Mushrooms on toast – pimped up Jamie Oliver style


Mushrooms on toast

No matter how much selfish British shoppers stockpile, they’ll never see off the humble mushroom. Old habits die hard, and for me I have to have a ‘hot’ meal for breakfast which has become more problematic recently due to the shortage of bacon, egg and sausages. Thankfully, Mushrooms on Toast from Jamie Oliver has come to my rescue as a comforting, vegetarian alternative.

The addition of the garlic, butter, thyme (I used dried herbs as I couldn’t get any thyme leaves) and balsamic vinegar perfectly pimps this modest meal up. Enjoy it with some decent bread (sadly I couldn’t get any) and it’s happy days. Incidentally, this recipe is tucked at the back of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Save with Jamie’, a book packed with lots of frugal culinary ideas (including a cracking vegetarian section) which have never been more relevant in present times. Continue reading “Mushrooms on toast – pimped up Jamie Oliver style”

Scrambled egg with bacon and mushrooms – healthy English ‘fry-up’


scrambled eggs and bacon

Given the current difficulties in sourcing ingredients, my blogs for the foreseeable future will be less imaginative, or feature mushrooms because that’s the only produce I can get my hands on in decent quantities! Scrambled egg with bacon and mushrooms from the Hairy Dieters won’t win any prizes for originality, but as a healthier, toned down version of an English ‘fry-up’ this meal is a great weekend breakfast treat. Best of all, you can have it ready in under 10 minutes at a cost of less than a quid per portion.

Traditional fry-ups can typically exceed 1,000 calories, whereas this recipe comes in at a more modest 337 and it fills you up too. Reducing the (rather generous) quantity of butter to make the scrambled egg will further cut the calories. Continue reading “Scrambled egg with bacon and mushrooms – healthy English ‘fry-up’”

Baked eggs with mushroom filling – just 52p per portion!


baked eggs with mushroom

I’ve previously featured baked eggs with chorizo from the Hairy Dieters on this blog and finally got round to trying the vegetarian option in their ‘Good Eating’ book. Frozen spinach has quite a strong taste, a little too strong for my liking, but at a cost of approximately 50p per portion baked eggs with mushroom filling makes for a cheap vegetarian breakfast.

Due to the current food shortage in my local supermarket because of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m trying to make what ingredients I do have in go further with no wastage. Given I had some frozen spinach in my freezer and a few tired looking mushrooms in my fridge this recipe fitted the bill perfectly for these uncertain times. Continue reading “Baked eggs with mushroom filling – just 52p per portion!”

(Healthy) Corned beef hash – budget winter comfort food for under £1


Corned beef hash

Traditional Corned Beef Hash recipes are often high in fat but this clever alternative from the Hairy Dieters comes in at less than 250 calories per serving! Celeriac is used instead of potatoes and only 200g of corned beef is required instead of the larger 340g cans.

Will you notice a difference compared to the more traditional version? Well, yes, probably. Does it still taste great regardless? Yes, absolutely, and at less than a quid per portion to make what’s not to like?

The Hairy Dieters suggest having this for brunch, but it will work equally well as a nourishing evening meal on those cold winter evenings. If you love this dish, why not try another of their comfort food classics – Pan Haggerty Lite. Continue reading “(Healthy) Corned beef hash – budget winter comfort food for under £1”

Crushed Berry Layered Yoghurt – perfect on a ‘5:2’ day


berry yoghurt

If you’re following a ‘5:2’ diet plan, you’ll know how difficult it can be to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner within a limit of 600 calories on a ‘2’ day. So what are your options? Skip breakfast and struggle through until lunchtime, invariably reaching for the snack jar around 11am, or try and get something light and healthy inside you first-thing?

A piece of fruit is always an option but if, like me, you love yoghurts why not combine both options by having Crushed Berry Layered Yoghurt from Justine Pattison? You can pick up cheap bags of frozen mixed fruit from supermarkets which are great to have on stand-by for busy mornings and it means you’re not wasting any fresh produce either – just take out what you need. Of course, you could just buy some ready-made yoghurts, but some can be higher in sugar and calories than you think so I prefer to make my own.

I like to use ramekins for these fruit-topped yoghurts and keep them in the fridge, where they’ll last for 3 days. If you’re a fan of this simplistic health-kick, check out Justine’s Without the Calories – Quick and Easy book where you’ll also find a recipe for Cherry and Chocolate Chip Muesli. Continue reading “Crushed Berry Layered Yoghurt – perfect on a ‘5:2’ day”

Baked eggs with chorizo filling – brunch treat for 73p per serving!


Baked eggs with chorizo

How do you like your eggs? Poached, scrambled or fried? Have you ever tried them baked? If not, you should try baked eggs with chorizo filling from the Hairy Dieters for a tasty brunch treat for under a quid per serving! You only need a small amount of chorizo and basil to generate some really delicious flavours, topped with the egg and a sprinkling of cheese.

The only problem I have with this recipe is that one serving is not enough, so invariably I end up skipping breakfast and indulging in two of these pots of delight for just shy of 400 calories. Hey, who’s counting? ;-).

You’ll find this recipe in the Hairy Dieters third health eating cookbook – Good Eating, where they also provide an additional baked eggs recipe featuring spinach and mushrooms. Check it out, but do take care when lifting the ramekins out of the oven as they will be very hot! Continue reading “Baked eggs with chorizo filling – brunch treat for 73p per serving!”

Breakfast Omelette Burritos – burriliant!


Breakfast burrito

I haven’t got round to sampling many dishes from the Hairy Dieters’ most recent book, Make it Easy, but Breakfast Omelette Burritos caught my eye and has become a regular which my son Will absolutely loves.

At 447 calories per serving you might be better off having this as an occasional treat, or perhaps as a weekend brunch dish. Mustard with sausages and bacon? Well, why the hell not, it will certainly give your morning a bit of a kick!

As the instructions below outline, patience is definitely a virtue so do cook the egg very slowly otherwise your wrap will disintegrate when you come to lift it out of the pan. I’ve just about got the knack down to a tee now – perhaps I’ve made this too often? Continue reading “Breakfast Omelette Burritos – burriliant!”

Avocado on toast for under £1 per portion!


file-32

When I was a lad, a smart fitting suit and a dollop of decent aftershave was enough to impress the ladies. But times have changed. So boys, if you want to woo the woman of your dreams, get yourself down to the supermarket, pick up some avocados and rustle up this Avocado on Toast recipe from the Hairy Dieters’ ‘Go Veggie’ book.

Joking aside, it’s become really fashionable to eat avocado for both men and women and celebrity chefs, such as Jamie Oliver, have produced endless recipes for this increasingly popular fruit (avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable, by the way). The Hairy Dieters’ take on avocado on toast is really tasty with the cherry tomatoes mixed with lemon zest and vinegar (I used balsamic) topped with a dash of hot sauce and sprinklings of paprika. Yum.

This is a perfect breakfast or brunch dish which is very quick to make. Get yourself some good quality bread, sourdough is perfect, and tuck in. This is a real treat to eat for yourself, or better still, make it for someone you love.
Continue reading “Avocado on toast for under £1 per portion!”

Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach – the breakfast of kings!


Smoked salmon and spinach

Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach from the Hairy Dieters is truly the breakfast of kings! Whether you’re on a diet or not, this recipe is a proper treat and is super healthy at just over 200 calories.

Be generous with the nutmeg and black pepper, don’t overcook the spinach (it only needs about a minute in the pan) or your egg as the runny yolk into the salmon and spinach is pure heaven in your mouth.

Good quality smoked salmon can be expensive, but Sainsbury’s are currently selling 100g of Harbour Smokehouse Salmon for only £2 per pack. Fill your boots and make Posh Prawn Cocktail while you’re at it! Continue reading “Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach – the breakfast of kings!”

Menemen – Turkish eggs delight for 61p per portion!


Turkish eggs

The biggest compliment I can pay to ‘Menemen’ is that it has become my ‘go to’ breakfast, replacing bacon, sausage and eggs, for an incredible 61p per portion. This tasty Turkish recipe from the Hairy Dieters’ fourth book is very easy to make – it’s just a case of lobbing everything into one pan and doing a bit of stirring. The flavours are brilliant, and if you like a bit of a kick to your mornings you can be generous with the chilli powder!

Leave out the feta if you’re seeking a vegetarian version (or can’t be arsed buying cheese), or if you’re being strict on your calorie count and shopping budget. To save time,  prep the onions and peppers the night before and place them in an air-tight container and get all of your ingredients out ready before you start.

If you’re wondering what to do with the 200g of chopped tomatoes leftover why not try  making Chorizo with Butter Beans for a healthy, low-cal lunch? Continue reading “Menemen – Turkish eggs delight for 61p per portion!”

Biker Breakfast Muffins – a lighter spin on a McDonalds favourite


Biker breakfast muffins

My 12 year-old son loves Biker Breakfast Muffins and regularly requests them on lazy Sundays, where I tend to make them for a ‘brunch’ treat as the calorie count is on the high side if you’re watching your weight. Think sausage and egg muffins from McDonalds, but not quite as good although healthier and cheaper.

The Hairy Dieters suggest making a lighter version using lean chicken or turkey mince and some smoked back bacon. It will knock around 60 calories off and you’ll find the recipe in their Fast Food book. For the cost and additional faff, I haven’t got around to trying them as the sausage-based version goes down a storm in my house. Continue reading “Biker Breakfast Muffins – a lighter spin on a McDonalds favourite”

Creamed spinach with eggs – a brunch bonanza!


20180402_125726_resizedCreamed Spinach with Eggs features in The Hairy Dieters’ ‘Go Veggie’ book and tastes and feels like you’re eating a luxurious brunch, at a cost of only around 78p per portion! (excluding the costs of spices that you’ll need to have in your store cupboard).

If you like curry flavours give this a go – the tumeric, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon come together beautifully with the onion, spinach and single cream. The eggs, topped with the grated cheese, complement this dish perfectly, especially when you stick it under the grill to finish off. Simply gorgeous!

The Hairy Dieters suggest accompanying this with some rosti, you’ll find the recipe elsewhere in their book. Rosti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes and root vegetables. A standard serving (based on 4 people) will add another 239 calories onto this meal. And while I haven’t tried making rosti, I’m not sure whether this dish needs it. See what you think. Continue reading “Creamed spinach with eggs – a brunch bonanza!”