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Serves 4

I ate a lovely, warming, filling brunch of huevos rancheros (or mexican ranch-style beans) in a Chiquitos restaurant near the O2 in London recently. This was in preparation for my ascent to the top of the O2 – that’s right, you can climb it to a viewing

Delicious, spicy mexican style ranch eggs.  Guaranteed to perk you up in the morning

Delicious, spicy mexican style ranch eggs. Guaranteed to perk you up in the morning

 platform mountaineering style and get fab views of London City and the river on a clear day (we got lucky with the weather)! Awesome fun, and the breakfast set me up a treat!

I digress!  This is my own home-cooked version that I have only just got round to making 2 weeks later because I’ve not had time to soak and boil my beans!

This is a well-balanced brekkie plate with plenty of fresh anti-oxidant-rich veggies for fibre and vitamins, black beans for muscle-building protein and a bit of a kick to wake you up for the day.  Who said hot breakfasts had to be bland, unhealthy, stodgy and full of saturated fat?! Black beans are high in fibre (aids weight loss because it fills you up, and boosts the health of the gut), low in fat, and contain a decent amount of iron (important for building red blood cells and preventing anaemia), folate (important for red blood cells and transport of oxygen to the muscles and prevents spina bifida in unborn children), magnesium and potassium.

If you have to get the dried black beans that need soaking I would recommend preparing more than you need as you can always freeze them once cooked for easy use at a later date.

INGREDIENTS:

BLACK BEANS

400g black beans, cooked (use canned pinto beans, drained, if you cannot find black beans)

200ml vegetable or chicken broth, made with ½ a 10g stock cube

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

 

THE SALSA

Black (turtle) beans. High in fibre and carbohydrate but low in fat.  Contain iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.

Black (turtle) beans. High in fibre and carbohydrate but low in fat. Contain iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.

1 large red onion, chopped (185g)

1 large red pepper, chopped (145g)

1 clove garlic, minced (4g)

1 can chopped tomatoes or 4 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (400g)

1 can of sweetcorn kernels (160g)

1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

2 tbsp. fresh coriander or cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

salt, to taste

 

4 tortillas (40g each)

4 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Soak the black beans in cold water overnight (24 hours). Place in a large saucepan, cover with double the amount of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and leave to cook for at least 2 hours or until the beans are softened but not breaking apart. Add more water if it starts to dry out. Drain and leave to cool.
  • To make the salsa, stir the tomatoes, red onions, red pepper, sweetcorn, coriander or cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, minced garlic, and salt to taste, together in a bowl until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed (at least 1 hour).
  • Place the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook 1 minute until light brown. Mix in the black beans or drained pinto beans if using these instead, the broth and 1 tbsp. jalapeno pepper. Simmer until beans are heated through (about 5 minutes). Turn off heat, and keep warm.
  • Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5. Place tortillas on a baking sheet with greaseproof paper underneath. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until warmed through and softened.  Alternatively, heat in microwave on full power for 30 – 45 seconds.
  • Poach or scramble the eggs and cook to desired firmness.
  • To assemble huevos rancheros, place a tortilla on each plate. Top each tortilla with black bean mixture, a layer of salsa, and an egg (or ¼ of the scrambled eggs). Serve immediately.

 

Healthy, nutritious and perfect for brunch

Healthy, nutritious and perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or tea

SUGGESTIONS

– Add 1 inch of chorizo, chopped into small squares = additional 68 kcal / 285 kJ

 For a main meal, per portion:

–       Add 20g of grated cheddar cheese = additional 83kcal / 347 kJ

and/or

– 50g of shredded roast chicken (instead of the eggs) = 89 kcal / 372 kJ

– 50g of shredded roast pork (instead of the eggs) = 91 kcal / 381 kJ

– 50g of shredded roast beef (instead of the eggs) = additional 110 kcal / 460 kJ

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

per whole recipe

 Energy                         1495 kcal / 6255 kJ

Carbohydrate              229.7g

Fat                               38.2g

Protein                         64.2g

Total sugar                  53.3g

Saturates                    12.0g

Fibre                            48.4g

Salt                              8.4g (check canned beans for added salt)

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

per serving (if serving 4)

 Energy                         374kcal / 1565 kJ

Carbohydrate              57.4g

Fat                               9.6g

Protein                         16.1g

Total sugar                  13.3g

Saturates                    3.0g

Fibre                            12.1g

Salt                              2.1g (check canned beans for added salt)

 


Serves 4-6

I call this Spanish Omelette because that’s what my Mum always called it when we were kids!  It’s similar to a Spanish tortilla omelette but they don’t tend to have all of the extra vegetables in, just potatoes.

High in protein and packed full of vegetables - an excellent post-exercise meal

High in protein and packed full of vegetables – an excellent post-exercise meal

 

This is a brilliant, tasty and healthy meal that you can eat either hot or cold, for lunch or for an evening meal.  It’s packed full of protein so, with the addition of the potatoes, it is very filling.  It also manages to cram plenty of your 5 a day veggies in there too so there’s lots of fibre and vitamins.

 If eating as an evening meal, I would have a quarter of the omelette with some side salad.  If you are having it for lunch then just have a sixth but with more salad.  It’s great for packed lunches too as it holds together well in Tupperware! If you want to make a vegetarian version, just leave out the bacon or you could just as easily use the Quorn veggie bacon strips. An alternative to bacon might be grilled chicken pieces / Quorn chicken pieces.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

380g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

Brilliant for lunch or an evening meal

Brilliant for lunch or an evening meal

6 rashers of lean bacon, parma ham or chorizo

1.5 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil (15ml)

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and diced (100g)

½ red pepper, deseeded and diced (80g)

½ green pepper, deseeded and diced (80g)

1 courgette, cut into 1cm cubes (100g)

120g mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced finely

½ red chilli, deseeded and sliced finely

100g frozen sweetcorn

A vegetarian treat too - Spanish omelette without bacon

A vegetarian treat too – Spanish omelette without bacon

100g frozen peas

2 tbsp. fresh or dried thyme

8 eggs

100ml semi-skimmed milk

1 tbsp. dried mixed herbs

½ tsp. paprika

Fresh ground black pepper

50g grated cheese

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. The dish you need to fit all of these ingredients in needs to be 10.5 inches (26cm) in diameter and at least 1.5 inch (4 cm) deep. For less washing up the ideal would be to cook the omelette all in one frying pan.  If you don’t have a frying pan large enough then you can use a ceramic flan/pie/tart dish with these dimensions.

 2. In a saucepan, cover the cubed potatoes with boiling water.  Cook for 10 minutes until softened but still firm. Drain well.

 3. Grill the bacon until done, but not too crispy.  Cut into strips and set aside on a plate for later.

 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, preferably the one you’ll use to finish cooking the omelette in, over a medium heat. Fry the potatoes for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

 5. Add the rest of the vegetables and fry for 8-10 minutes further until all are softened. Turn heat off or just keep it over a low flame.

 6. Stir in the fresh or dried thyme.

 7. In a jug prepare the omelette mix. Beat the 8 eggs together with the milk. Add the dried herbs, paprika and black pepper. Beat again until the herbs and spices are mixed through with the eggs.

 FRYING PAN METHOD

  • Heat the grill on full, allowing enough space for the frying pan to fit comfortably under the grill with the handle (especially if plastic or wooden) pointing outwards so that it does not burn.
  •  If you are using the frying pan to cook the omelette, return the vegetables to a medium/high heat. Stir in the bacon, if using. Spread the vegetables as evenly as possible over the base of the pan. Pour the omelette mixture over the vegetables and allow it to settle down into the spaces.
  •  Cook the base of the omelette until you can see the edges browning – approximately 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the omelette.
  •  Place the frying pan under the grill. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  •  Stick a knife into the centre of the omelette. If it comes out without raw egg on it, it’s done!

 FLAN/PIE DISH METHOD

  • Heat the oven to 180°C.  Use just a little oil to grease the flan dish.
  •  If you are using a flan or pie dish, stir the bacon into the vegetables. Spread the vegetables as evenly as possible over the base of the pan. Pour the omelette mixture over the vegetables and allow it to settle down into the spaces.
  •  Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the omelette. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the omelette is firm on top.
  •  Stick a knife into the centre of the omelette. If it comes out without raw egg on it, it’s done!

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(Per whole omelette)

 Energy                                  1877 kcal / 7854 kJ

Carbohydrate                    125.5g

Total Sugars                        33.3g

Fat                                          104.1g

Saturated Fat                     35.2g

Protein                                 112.0g

Fibre                                      17.2g

Salt                                         7.6g

 

(Per serving, serves 4 (6))

 Energy                                  470 kcal / 1963 kJ (313 kcal / 1309 kJ)

Carbohydrate                    31.4g (20.9g)

Total Sugars                        8.3g (5.6g)

Fat                                          26.0g (17.4g)

Saturated Fat                     8.8g (5.9g)

Protein                                 28.0g (18.7g)

Fibre                                      4.3g (2.9g)

Salt                                         1.9g (1.3g)