It’s the new year and as much as I love the festive period, the parties, the food, the drinks, the chocolates, the presents, I (and my body) are thankful that the season of over-indulgence is well and truly over. Although that too is the one good thing about the whole affair, we eat and drink so much that when January comes I am always full of motivation to start afresh and this year is like no other. I have been scouring magazines, cook books and blogs to get inspiration for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will share lots of lovely ideas over the next few weeks.
There has been one significant change for me this January though. I have taken on the very brave task of banning myself from all chocolate and sweet things for the whole month. I have made one exception to the rule which is next Sunday on my birthday I will be allowed to have a small cake from Belle Epoque, a beautiful little patisserie. Of course, I have already chosen what I want and am longing for it more and more as every minute passes!
As for the healthy eating, for me, that means cutting out carbs and sugars. We are now eating lots of high-protein meals but not in the Atkins sense. Along with the usual fish, chicken, meat and green veg, we are also having high-protein pulses which consists of beans and lentils mostly. To my surprise, there are lots of great things that you can do with beans and lentils even for breakfast and this is one which we have enjoyed over the last week. I don’t intend to bore you with all of the nutritional benefits of each and every morsel that passes my mouth but I will give bits and pieces of information here and there as we go. The one thing I will say, the beans and lentils really do help satisfy hunger and I’m sure like me you would be surprised at the amount of protein which they contain.
The real key for me when it comes to healthy eating particularly mid-week is to plan in advance and for meals to be quick and easy. I prepare as much as possible on Sunday night which includes lunches for the week, most of what we will have for dinner and in this case the beans for breakfast. This is a great recipe for a week. You can make a large batch of beans (about double the recipe below) at the start of the week and then they will be ready for the rest of the week. You can even cook the eggs the night before so that you simply have to put everything together in the morning or you can even do that the night before too (you can tell I’m not a morning person!).
I have served this with some salsa for a little extra flavour and spinach. You can use shop bought salsa for this recipe or follow the recipe available here if you prefer something chunkier. As for the beans, I find the ones in water that come out of a can or carton have a much softer and smoother texture as well as being so easy so prefer to use them but you can easily use dried beans if you have more time for soaking and simmering. These are the ones I use and they only cost 75p.
The whole dish is so flavourful and the colours pop. A perfect bright start to a weekday morning.
EGGS WITH BLACK BEANS, SPINACH AND SALSA
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 cartons/tins black beans in water, drained
2 limes, juice only
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Small bunch coriander, finely chopped
3 – 4 cloves garlic, crushed
8 free-range eggs
4 handfuls spinach
Tomato salsa for serving
Salt and pepper
- Place the black beans in a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Place in a bowl and mix with the lime juice, spring onions, coriander, garlic and a good amount of salt and pepper. Combine well.
- Bring a pan of water to a fast boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the eggs. Cook for 5 minutes for a runny yolk, 7 minutes for a soft boil and 10 minutes for a hard boil.
- Half the eggs and serve on top of the black beans together with the spinach and some salsa. Sprinkle the eggs with a little salt and pepper and serve.