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Breakfast of Champions!

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I know that really and truly I should have posted this on Friday night so that you could try this for brunch over the weekend, but life has just been a little too hectic recently to be that organised with my blog (the blog really has fallen by the wayside a little recently!) Anyway, now you have it well in advance of next weekend, which we all know is a special weekend! Yes, it’s Valentines, so no doubt you will all be serving your loved one a scrumptious breakfast in bed. Now you have your breakfast in bed recipe all ready to go!

I called this dish “Breakfast of Champions” because breakfasts don’t really get much better than this in terms of taste and nutrition! Organic free range eggs, smoked wild Alaskan salmon and creamy kale! It’s all in there. Just think of how your body loves taking in all that great stuff like omega 3, great quality protein, and the calcium, iron and magnesium from the kale.

Believe it or not, this was also the first time I have ever made poached eggs in the old school way, as I was always slightly afraid of ruining them. It was easy and after testing the way with the first one, which wasn’t as attractive as it could have been, they came out perfect!

Breakfast of Champions (Creamy Kale with Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs) Serves 2

3-4 cups chopped kale, hard ribs removed
2-4 slices wild smoked salmon
4 eggs
1 tbsp cream cheese (optional)
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Poach the kale in the chicken stock until tender (about 5 mins). Once cooked, drain remaining liquid. Add butter and cream cheese if using and stir until fully melted and incorporated. Cover and keep warm while you concentrate on poaching the eggs.

Poach eggs according to your preferred method. I used a large saucepan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Bring the water up to a rolling boil and add the vinegar. Crack the egg into a ramekin. Stir the water to create a vortex and then gently tip the egg in while the water is still swirling (but you are no longer stirring it). Turn the heat down a little so you can observe the egg’s progress. Allow to poach for around 3 mins (or longer if you prefer it a little less runny). Carefully remove egg from water with a slotted spoon. Cook each egg separately to avoid disaster!

Once all your eggs are poached, layer kale, then smoked salmon and finally the eggs on a plate. Season with Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Amok Trey (Cambodian Fish Curry)

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I fell in love with this dish in Cambodia. It’s one of the most popular dishes in the country and you can find it anywhere. Every place I had it, the ingredients were slightly different, as was the presentation, although traditionally it is supposed to be steamed in a bowl made of banana leaves. My version is quicker and easier, just making it in a wok and certainly not messing around making banana leaf bowls, however I might go to the trouble if I were serving this for friends.

The most important ingredient in Amok is the Kroeung or spice paste. Traditionally it is made in a mortar and pestle, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to pound, pop the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste. The veggies are interchangeable so feel free to experiment. I have also made this with French beans and okra.
Obviously in Cambodia it is served with steamed rice, so I served mine with cauliflower rice. If you’re not a great fan of fish, it can also be made with chicken, shrimp or both!

Amok Trey (serves 2)
Ingredients:

For the Kroeung
3 stalks lemongrass, bottom 3 inches only, outer leaves removed
8 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 oz galangal, peeled and cut into pieces
1 oz fresh turmeric root or 1 tsp turmeric powder
4 kaffir lime leaves, hard rib removed
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

For the Amok
1 portion of Kroeung
375g ling or other white fish fillets, cut into bite size chunks
1 red pepper, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 large pak choi, sliced
2 red chillies, sliced (add more for extra heat if you like)
2 green chillies, sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 egg
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 cup cilantro/coriander leaves

Blitz the Kroeung ingredients in a food processor until you have a paste.
Heat the coconut oil in a wok. Add the red peppers and chillies and stir-fry for a minute.
Add the paste and fry for 30 secs until it is is fragrant.
Add a little coconut milk to the paste to loosen it. Continue to add a little more until all the coconut milk is mixed in.
Bring to a simmer.
Add the coconut sugar and shrimp paste.
Stir in the carrots and white stalk part of the pak choi, reserving the leaves for later.
When the veggies are tender (this should only take a few minutes), carefully add the fish and gently fold into the sauce. You don’t want the fish to break up into tiny flakes – it should retain it’s chunk size.
Continue to simmer for about 3 minutes until the fish looks just cooked.
Beat the egg and fish sauce together and gently fold into the curry, trying not to break up the fish as you stir it in. At the same time, add the pak choi leaves.
Simmer for a minute or less until the egg has cooked and coagulated and the pak choi leaves have wilted.
Serve with the cilantro leaves on top and some extra green birds eye chillies if you like. It goes very well with cauliflower rice.

This is how it looked when it was served to me in Siem Reap

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Something Fishy

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I’m so tired at the moment. Not sleeping well or enough definitely doesn’t agree with me! It doesn’t help that I’m trying to lose a few pounds so I’m not eating as much (or as many treats) and I’m going ultra-low carb. But the good news is it’s ‘cheat day’ tomorrow, so I will no doubt be making something sweet and yummy (Primal, of course). I’m also hankering after some sweet potato, so I’ll probably gorge myself on a lovely baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon! Hmmm…some fruit too…and dark chocolate…

Enough day-dreaming about what food I’m going to eat tomorrow! Here is a recipe for some very tasty spiced salmon fish cakes. The spice combination was roughly meant to resemble jerk seasoning. It worked pretty well, I thought. Apologies for the photos, the lighting wasn’t great at the time I took them.

Spicy Salmon Fishcakes (serves 3)
Ingredients:

2 cans wild Alaskan Salmon
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
1/4 leek, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp allspice
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch chilli powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp dessicated coconut (shredded coconut)
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 180C
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Form into round patties
Place on a greased baking sheet
Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins
Serve with salad for a delicious lunch.

Easy dinner for 1

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Feeling a little delicate today after a friend’s 40th birthday celebration last night which obviously involved a lot of champagne quaffing! I won’t be doing much cooking today, just lots of tv watching and nursing my slightly sore head!

During the week I work in the evenings teaching bootcamp and boxing classes, so when get home after 8, I need to cook something quick and easy. This tuna was just that, and very tasty too!

Mexican spiced tuna (serves 1)
Ingredients:

1 tuna steak
Half an avocado
Half a tomato, diced
1 lime
Pinch of garlic powder
A few drops Tabasco
Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
1 courgette/zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
Half a yellow/green pepper, sliced
Half a red/ orange pepper, sliced
Half a red onion, sliced into wedges
Chipotle flakes
Sea salt
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Heat a griddle pan until it’s really hot. Put the veggies on to slightly char. They will take longer to cook than the tuna steak, so get them on first. Depending on the size of your griddle, you may need to do them in batches. Sprinkle on some of the chipotle flakes and sea salt.
While they are cooking, mash the avocado and squeeze the juice of half the lime into the avocado. Season with salt, add the garlic powder and Tabasco to taste and mix in the chopped tomato and cilantro (I used about a tbsp of chopped cilantro leaves but it’s up to you if you want to use more or less).
Season the tuna steak with salt and chipotle flakes and put on to sear. How long is totally dependent on how rare or cooked you like your tuna.
Plate up the tuna and veggies, squeezing the other half of the lime over them for a citrusy zing. Add the guacamole and garnish with a little more chopped cilantro and dollop of sour cream if you do dairy.