… I couldn’t resist these eggs. My only Easter eggs. Thanks Pear!
… I couldn’t resist these eggs. My only Easter eggs. Thanks Pear!
So when my sister recommended The Little Larder recently I was taken back to stories from my last job where a colleague would Facebook photos of her all day breakfast with lewd tomato sauce messages written on her plate by her friend the waitress. The waitress and the colleague have moved on, but the story remains and makes me laugh.
Even though it was the weekend and busy, we were served promptly and our meals didn’t take too long. My sister ordered pesto scrambled eggs with salmon, so I didn’t photograph it, but I ordered the mushroom polenta with avo and poached eggs and a beetroot, carrot and orange juice.
The poached eggs were a little undercooked in my fussy opinion but the polenta was superb and with the balsamic, cherry tomatoes and hot sauce, was truly interesting and yummy. You’re going to pay New Farm prices here with most hot brekkies over $15 each. We finished with a stroll around New Farm, acting like complete tossers and behaving in a way that only sisters could probably understand. If you and your sister swear a lot and talk about Brisbane gigs, architecture, libraries and boys.
So exactly like you and your sister.
So this is probably the last eggy dish in an unofficial egg series of blogs. This was something I whipped up for Ben when he was feeling ill. It’s the easiest, most versatile thing ever.
You could also add cheese, or make them more Spanish by adding a tomatoey sauce at the bottom of the dish.
Simple. Great if you’re feeling ill or lazy.
So I think the final frontier for ex-vegans eating eggs again is quiche. I’m not sure why, but I’d take a poached egg over quiche any day of the week, even though you’d think a poached egg is more “eggy”.
I’ve wanted to create something freezable for work and thought I’d give quiche a try, but also didn’t want to spend ages making bases. Then it hit me, from the packet of mountain bread I buy for me breakfast wraps:
And so, dear readers, that is exactly what I made. I doubled it for lunchable goodness. When cold, I wrapped them individually in foil and froze.
Has this made me love eggs? Alas, no. I have been eating fewer eggs these days, reserving them for breakfasts, but Ben loves quiche and even as I type told me he was going to defrost a piece for lunch today.
So not quite delicious in my eyes, but if you already like egg, you might really like this recipe.
So I’ve been cooking a lot with eggs lately. It’s starting to wind down a bit, but I have a few recipes that I’ve had fun playing with and will share.
The first is a packed lunchboxer’s delight and super easy.
Grated sweet potato (will depend on the size of you muffin trays. I used a medium and a small)
Half as many eggs as you have muffin holes (I have 12 muffin holes, so I used 6 eggs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Turn out at eat, or save for lunchboxes.
So if you go to Cafe CheCoCho on Hardgrave Street, you must not sit at the Hobbit Table.
What is the Hobbit Table, you may ask? Well, frankly, it’s my table. Okay not literally but it’s decoupaged in dozens of pictures taken from Tolkien stories and as someone who has read “The Hobbit” over a dozen times and “The LOTR” about six, I feel compelled to sit there and sad when I don’t. Don’t worry, the other tables are just as charming and skillful. I’m also partial to the vintage ladies table when the Hobbit is occupied.
So enough about tables.
I passed Cafe CheCoCho (Chess, Coffee, Chocolate) for years before I finally went in. I’m sorry I didn’t go earlier. Until the move this year, we went there while our laundry was washing up the street on a Sunday morning. It was a ritual we had. Although I don’t miss lugging laundry to a laundromat, I do miss that ritual!
CheCoCho does a standard-ish cafe menu really well. You’ll find some lovely vegan options for breakfast and drinks and they make a mean bowl of chips.
The best breakfast option is by far the $9 All Day Brekkie. The veggie option comes with roast veggies instead of bacon, which sounds unusual but works so well. This time, I ordered The All Day and Ben ordered an omelette. Ben got a latte and I got a chocolate milkshake. Vegan milk options are happily used.
I love how consistently excellent the poached eggs are here. I really can’t recall getting a bad one and as regular readers will know, I eat a fair few poached eggs in and around Brisbane. Just after this breakfast, I took a good non-vego friend here who also ordered the vego All Day Breakfast and she loved it. It was totally satisfying sharing the poached egg love.
I’m also happy that there are a few places left that serve milkshakes in metal canisters. Does anyone else remember getting them when you were little? I loved that. Or, at a close second, in a milkshake glass with the leftovers in the canister and both served to you. I’m getting flashbacks to this diner from my childhood in Victoria called …something “Park” which served milkshakes this way and HAD A SMOKING SECTION (Today, there is no smoking in any Australian shopping centre or food service area). So very old. I digress. Here’s our drinks (Ben always enjoys the coffee here and orders a huge one):
Seriously, just eat here. It’s old, it looks a little grubby at times, it’s not air conditioned but it’s really affordable and it sells books for $2 (Such a cool and varied selection as well). It’s just very West End.
EDIT: The owners have had to get rid of most of their decoupage tables except for the big indoor one because, due to age and rain, they had gotten gummy and were peeling. This means the Tolkein Table is gone and I am sad forever, but I’m sure I’ll adjust to eating on a non-fantasy epic table. In time. Perhaps.
So this is one of the easiest recipes in the world. I make them regularly and they’re full of protein and very flexible on the flavour balance.
I like to make these on the weekend and eat them for lunches. They freeze well and are nice hot or cold. I took this batch to a picnic on a perfect Sunday afternoon. Very yum.
2 cans of chickpeas
2 eggs (if you want to make these lower calories, just use egg whites. I hate waste).
4 tbls flour
4 tbls parsley or other greens floating around (spinach, coriander, etc.)
Cumin, paprika, ground coriander
Salt and Pepper
Any other spices or flavours that you fancy
Drains and rinse the chickpeas. Chuck those puppies in the food processor and give them a blitz to get them started. Add all the other ingredients and blend until sticky (you may want to mix more or less depending on what texture you like).
Roll into balls or patties and bake on a well oiled tray until outside is crispy.
These are really nice with sweet chilli sauce. I had them the other day with a spinach and feta dip and they were delicious. You could also put this in felafel.
Makes about 2 dozen balls, depending on how small you roll them.
So easy, you won’t have any excuses not to try them and report back!
So I don’t know about where you live, but in Australia a mid week breakfast tends to be toast or cereal. Maybe yoghurt or muesli or oats if you’re a bit fancy. A piece of fruit? Perhaps.
Upon selecting these photos, perhaps I’m a breakfast person after all.
We save cooked breakfasts for the weekend.
For a long time, breakfast for me was fruit or yoghurt. I couldn’t stand the thought of more in my tummy that early in the morning.
My trainer, however, had other ideas. He’s actually a guy from work and a bit amazing. He trains me and some other colleagues once a week. It was his idea for me to give up sugar. He’s also a protein advocate and not vegetarian. He knows that I am self conscious about my “grain belly” but is not an advocate of cutting wheat and grains from your diet- only refined, poor quality grains.
The other day he ask me, “How many eggs do you eat a day?”
I blinked. I was vegan for three years. I really don’t like eggs that much. Now cheese. Cheese I’m on board with. Eggs still freak me out.
“Umm… I have two a week. On the weekend”.
Cue eye boggling.
My trainer’s response? Eat 4-5 eggs a day. A DAY.
I get it. Protein is important. We all know that protein is needed for regenerating tissue in the body. But you don’t have to look far to find a vegan or vegetarian who will tell you that you don’t need animal protein in your diet. More and more mainstream sources are suggesting we are careful about our animal protein intake because of the other health risks this can inflate.
So I told him I would try and went away to reflect and research it.
But 4 or 5 eggs a day?
If you read any of the links above, you’ll see that one, maybe two eggs were the recommended amount. Does that mean I should eat the rest in egg whites? What do you do with the spare yolk? I’m not chucking that out. What do you do with it (seriously, comments below appreciated).
Furthermore (and I know this link is to an Oprah article and therefore may not be as reliable as the Harvard or Mayo Center links) there’s the sensible idea that if you’re eating more eggs, you’re probably eating fewer wholegrain serves.
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, the first thing is to get that one a day. And I have for the last four weeks. Here’s my new breakfast wrap (Parmesan is a good source of calcium, an egg cooked without oil and greens on a wholemeal wrap).
I like my whites solid (I hate uncooked egg white) and my yolks runny for a good dose of lecithin,
If I have the chance to eat another egg or eggs, then sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t. I know that even though my weight hasn’t changed yet, my muscle mass is increasing and I’m getting lots of comments from people noticing (vain, I know). When I go to the doctor’s for a checkup next month, I’ll be sure to have a blood test and get my cholesterol levels measured to make sure daily eggs work for me and my body.
My trainer is not an idiot. He knows that I don’t have to worry about cholesterol from other food sources because, apart from a little dairy, my largely plant based diet is cholesterol free. I understand where he was coming from.
I don’t think I’m going to get to 4-5 eggs a day but for now my trainer will just have to live with that.