Thursday, 28 July 2011

It May Be The Rooster That Crows... But Its The Hen That Lays The Eggs....

Edited to add; I adjusted the quote above a bit - first impression of blog titles and all that... ;)
Good Evening!
Wow. Although the previous posts took a bit more out of me in terms of organising what I was going to say, Im just feeling so glad I wrote them. A couple of you have written super sweet comments about them being helpful - and I also found writing them to be such pleasure! Writing is always such a cathartic activity and it also reminded me to be grateful for finding this new direction - and for sticking with it.
My key example is that last night Louis and I went out to a new American Diner style pub (how's that for an oxymoron!), which opened down our road. It's our New Years resolution to stop eating out in cheap chain restaurants, just because we are pressed for time, and to do almost ALL our cooking at home. We can then save up to go somewhere new exciting about 3 times per month. Obviously these new and exciting places won't always be particularly gourmet - we couldn't afford to to that! - but we want to make sure they are interesting places, or at least not large scale chains. It's also nice for us to do these meals midweek as sometimes, by the time Friday rolls around ,we are both so burnt we just want to collapse with a bowl of chunky soup and a glass of wine. In front of the telly.
So last night I was all stoked to be heading out - I've inserted a picture of the place we went to above. On the way there I realised I would never have been so open about heading somewhere fun on a Tuesday, even a year ago. I would have been scouring the menu to make sure they served salads, and would have had some meagre fat free sandwich for lunch before hand. It was so awesome not to be doing that! But then, even though Ive changed so much, writing that piece was a really good reminder, because I was just about to order my burger suddenly I wondered if I should just get the salad with a steak. Say what!?
Lord knows where that throwback even came from, but then I was like 'NO!' what am I thinking!? Sure, the bun might be refined carbohydrates and probably not even that good - but this is a burger joint. I am not going to be weird about this. So I ordered my burger, and I ate it ALL, and then I had a few bites of Louis Apple and Cinnamon Tart with vanilla ice cream and then I walked home very happy and absolutely nothing bad happened at all.
It was great! :).
Anyhoots, that was a digression.
The main aim of todays post is about quick fix dinners. Time and convenience are the biggest obstacles to eating well in my mind. (It is totally possible to eat well on a budget). This is particularly so if you are aiming to eat in the Weston Price style. Organ meats may well be cheap, but they are not very readily available - and cooking brown rice or other whole grains takes time! It's also difficult to get good quality meats at your average super market.
Enter Eggs. The perfect food.
Eggs are cheap, readily available and incredibly versatile. My supermarket stocks organic eggs ,but I don't think its even heard of free range chicken!. Eggs also happen to have the highest bio value protein of any whole food; isolated whey protein is the only better source. This means they have all 8 essential amino acids, and in proportions that are particularly beneficial for humans. Additionally, they are super rich in vitamin A,D & E (provided you eat the yolk!). Eggs are one of the only food sources of Vitamin D, which is essential for the proper absorption of calcium and hence strong bones and teeth. This is especially useful for anyone like me, who might have a few bone related woes :).
My absolute favourite winter go-to weeknight dinner is 3 soft boiled or lightly fried eggs, on top of a humungous bowl of steamed kale, tossed in a mustard, balsamic and olive oil dressing with a bunch of black pepper. I had it tonight and it just leaves me feeling so good! Kale is super widely available and one of the healthiest, and most filling, vegetables in town. Its also the highest in calcium. I particularly love the way it absorbs dressing - sort of like the way cooked cabbage absorbs wine and butter!
I've inserted a picture of my dinner just above here- please please excuse the appalling quality. Im getting a new I-Phone tomorrow (woop woop!) but until then I'm reliant on Louis to take photos and he had the nerve to go out tonight. This is off my laptop camera.. appetising no..?! ;)
Seriously though.
This dinner is great and it can come together in about 15 minutes flat - including washing up. All you do is steam the kale for about 10 minutes and meanwhile fry your eggs in about a tablespoon of butter and some smoked paprika, if you have it. (Smoked Paprika makes the eggs taste like bacon, a tip I got from here!). The key with frying the eggs is to keep the heat really low - you don't want the butter to burn, just to be sizzling a little. Eggs fried at the right temperature should take about 4 -5 minutes until they are done. And if you haven't had eggs fried in butter for a while, you are definitely in for a treat!
Once the kale is done dress it in a tablespoon or two of the dressing and slide the eggs on top. Finish with black pepper and you'd be very hard pushed to find a more nutritious, quick to pull together, meal!
(Even, getting off my nutritionist pedestal I also know that, on a personal levels, eggs just make me feel good - they are satisfying without being heavy and I actually love them so much that my death row meal would be Eggs Benedict and a Bloody Mary.
Don't tell me you've never given that question a thought...?
I love it and its just such an improvement on the Subway Veggie Delite, that used to be my go-to meal).
Also if anybody has any additional good recommendation for nutritious meals that are readily available, if you havent done an organised shop I'd love to hear from you -  Im ALWAYS looking for new ideas!
Speak tomorrow! xox
NB -  there are one or two caveats to this being the perfect meal. Obviously; this is the nutrition world we are talking about here ;).
Pastured eggs, which are eggs reared from chickens who eat a grass diet, would always be the ideal. Unfortunately, most eggs you buy in a supermarket, regardless of whether they are organic or not, are industrially raised and hence grain fed. Eggs from grain fed chickens have higher level's of Omega 6's (on account of the Omega 6's in the grains they are fed) and you basically want to avoid consuming too many of them. Eating too many Omega 6's will offset your all important Omega 6/Omega 3 balance and can also lead to internal inflammation. The problem is that, faced with your average small scale supermarket, you don't really have many better choices! All grains are high in Omega 6's anyhow, and just about all the meat in any average supermarket will be from grain fed stock. Alternating your egg consumption with a salad made from tinned beans is one idea (tinned beans are a pretty healthy food, they are just a little dull sometimes), and eating decent amounts of fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs and oily fish can also lower inflammatory load overall. Basically don't worry about it too much - just be aware that by eating industrial eggs you are not eating quite as healthy a food as a pastured egg would be, and make the effort to seek out pastured eggs as and when it is an option. :)
The kale is pretty much fail safe, although people with thyroid issues want to ensure it is cooked (which it is in this recipe!) and might also want to be careful around amounts..

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