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Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

I never usually buy commercial bread products. Mine are so much tastier and a darn sight better for me! Nevertheless, I have succumbed and bought a packet of English Breakfast Muffins. The reason behind this is to understand the texture and taste of them because I think my sourdough adventures will lead to a tastier home-made version sometime soon.

So my experiments begin. I must seek awesome ways of eating this delightful muffin. Is this awesome cleverly disguised as a breakfast dish? Id say so, but I may be biased.

Turkey English Muffins for Breakfast

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $5 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 English muffins
100g turkey breast
2 organic free ranged eggs
1 tomato, sliced
2 cheese slices
handful baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cranberry jelly
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Slice all the ingredients ready for construction while the muffin is hot.
  2. Split the muffins in half at the join line and toast lightly.
  3. While the muffin is toasting, lightly scramble one egg in a bowl and pop it in the microwave oven for 30 – 40 seconds until cooked. 

    Quick method for light fluffy eggs

  4. Once the muffin has been toasted, spread mayonnaise on one half and cranberry jelly on the other. On the mayonnaise side, add the baby spinach, tomato, salt and pepper, turkey, cheese, egg and more salt and pepper. 

    Construction of a master piece.

  5. Devour immediately.

So yummy

Observations

  • This was so tasty and filling. Much happiness comes from such a complete breakfast!
  • A note about seasoning. If you noticed, I seasoned the muffin twice; on the tomatoes and on the eggs. I believe both require adequate seasoning to enhance their flavours. Do a blind taste test on a piece of tomato and a bit of egg both seasoned and unseasoned and you will understand my rationale behind this.
  • I’ve heard and read a lot of things both for and against microwaved proteins. I hardly ever use my microwave, but this 30 – 40 second zap for one egg produces light, fluffy eggs that are otherwise time-consuming and require a lot of clean up. My only word of caution is to not over cook the eggs in the microwave, unless you want rubber fighting weapons for comic skits.
  • Want a vegetarian version? Just leave the turkey off and perhaps substitute a lentil patty!
  • Diabetic Note: One of these muffins is within my carbohydrate budget. The protein from the turkey, cheese and egg (particularly the egg) keeps me full for hours. While you may be pushing the fats friendship from the egg content and cheese, all in all this is a pretty balanced and awesome breakfast!
  • Ethical Note: I used tomatoes from my garden. YAY! And with any luck, next time I write to you about English Muffins, it will be about my own home made sourdough version. Fingers crossed!
 

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Carrot Sourdough Muffins

I have made this so many times lately that I thought it deserved sharing. They have become a bit of a staple in the house for morning and afternoon tea treats. This is a delicious way of using up your sourdough starter and although it has a lot of elements, it is so easy. It is adapted from a Richard Packham recipe.

[  SERVES: 2  |  TIME: 40 MINUTES  |  COST: $3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING:  4.5  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5 ]

Ingredients

1½ cup plain flour
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup active sourdough starter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins
½ cup graduated sugar OR 1 teaspoon stevia
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk OR soy milk
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 free ranged egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grate your carrot finely. If you can only use a coarse setting, boil it lightly for a few minutes until its par cooked. Allow it to cool before using it.
  3. In a bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together until it becomes pale. This will take several minutes.
  4. Add the egg and milk and mix well.
  5. Add the starter, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Incorporate your dry ingredients into the egg mixture gently. Do not overwork the batter.
  6. Gently stir through the carrots, raisins and nuts.
  7. Half fill your muffin papers.
  8. Cook at 180ºC for 16 – 18 minutes.

Observations

  • It is really really important not to over work the batter. If you give it the bare minimum of work, your muffins will be lighter and fluffier. If you use a blender, your muffins will turn into stones. A gentle hand is needed for this one!
  • I use to cook the carrots but now I use finer grated raw carrots and it tastes so much better. Be guided by your grater size / thickness.
  • When baking, put a bowl of water in the oven so it is moist with steam. This will stop your muffins from drying out.
  • There is a fine line with this recipe between deliciously moist to overcooked and dry. Test it with a knife tip or a skewer from 15 minutes and adjust cooking time to suit your oven.
  • I have tried all manner of fruit and nuts in this mixture. I’ve used almonds and macadamia nuts as well as sultanas and cranberries. What I have mentioned in the ingredients list was my favourite combination.
  • Diabetic Note: I use Stevia where possible. It is a natural substance that is sweet without causing a blood glucose reaction. I use Stevia here to replace half a cup of sugar to my benefit without ruining the texture of the muffins. As a result, I can have one or two of these for morning or afternoon tea without feeling too guilty. Certainly it doesn’t seem to upset my BGL too much.
  • Ethical Note:  I found it to be almost impossible to buy Australian walnuts in the supermarket but the health food store had a few options. Where possible, I purchase locally, but sometimes national options are the only possible ethical option.

 

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Call for comment reveals cracks in new free-range egg label plan

Further to yesterday’s post regarding Free Ranged Eggs, this article in todays SMH is great news.

Written by Alexandra Smith. Published May 28, 2012 in Sydney Morning Herald.

English: These chickens create the beautiful f...

English: These chickens create the beautiful free range eggs that are served at Tranquilles Bed and Breakfast, Cafe and Gallery at Port Sorell, Tasmania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE introduction of a controversial new definition of free-range eggs could be delayed after the consumer watchdog decided to call for public comments on the standard, which animal welfare and consumer groups strongly oppose.

The Australian Egg Corporation, which represents most egg farmers, lodged an application with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to register a new certification trademark, which would allow egg producers to keep as many as 20,000 hens a hectare and label them on egg cartons as free-range.

The egg corporation had hoped to introduce the new standard and use the trademark by the end of next month.

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But amid widespread criticism of the standard, the ACCC has written to ”interested parties” asking them to comment on the egg corporation’s standards before it considers the new trademark.

A spokesman for the ACCC said the decision to call for public comments on a trademark application was made on a ”case-by-case” basis and depended on the nature of the trademark and whether it would raise any consumer issues.

The head of the egg corporation, James Kellaway, has warned that a carton of free-range eggs would soar to at least $10 a dozen if farmers did not embrace the organisation’s planned new standard.

“This is a responsible standard to feed Australia’s growing population long into the future,” Mr Kellaway said.

But Lee McCosker, a spokeswoman for Humane Choice, said the group complained to the ACCC more than a year ago about the egg corporation’s plans to dramatically increase stocking densities. “When we learnt that the egg corporation had applied for a certification trademark we appealed to the ACCC to reject the application because of the unacceptable proposal to increase stocking rates and the lack of consultation with the egg industry,” Ms McCosker said.

A free-range egg purchased in the UK.

A free-range egg purchased in the UK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It appears the intention of the egg corporation was to present a standard to the ACCC that suited the larger industrialised producers while seriously marginalising the genuine free-range farmer.

”We can only trust that the ACCC has recognised this and also acknowledged that the consumer will be disadvantaged if this standard were to ever make it into the marketplace.”

Phil Westwood, the president of the Free Range Egg and Poultry Association, said there was ”considerable anger” within the egg industry.

He said the egg corporation was ”more interested in meeting the agendas of the major supermarket chains and corporate operators rather than the many legitimate farmers across Australia”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/call-for-comment-reveals-cracks-in-new-freerange-egg-label-plan-20120527-1zd5o.html#ixzz1w99XSybf

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Food: Ethical Eating

 

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Free Ranged Eggs

You’ve heard me bang on and on about free ranged chicken and eggs. I’ve discussed the value of free ranged eggs for your health, animal ethics and the economy. To carry the label “Free Range”, producers must comply with a high standard of animal ethics and welfare issues resulting in a higher quality of product. Accreditation labelling ensures that producers are checked regularly for compliance to these standards giving consumers piece of mind.

Free range eggs

Free range eggs (Photo credit: Constance Wiebrands)

Today I wanted to share with you two issues facing Australian consumers but I thought I would share this fantastic chart to help consumers understand the difference between the different egg labels. Perhaps it will clarify some of the ethical issues regarding egg production.

In Australia, there are plans to change the standards for free range egg production from 1,500 chickens per hectare to an incredible 20,000 chickens. The proposed changes also want to restrict chickens to be inside for the first 25 weeks of life instead of being allowed to free range from 5 weeks.  This great article on The Conversation (New standards could make consumers chose between the chicken and the egg) helps explain the issues.

Chickens

Chickens (Photo credit: Allie’s.Dad)

As horrifying as these changes sound, it’s not too late for consumers to vote against the proposed changes. You can sign the Animals Australia petition entitled Don’t let ‘Free Range’ become ‘Factory Farmed and talk to your friends about it. Express your concerns via social media like Facebook to heighten consumer consciousness.

It is not impossible for consumers to stall horrendous political decisions. Just this week, Tasmania announced a ban on battery egg production in its state and has made moves to phase out stall pig production. What a fantastic win for animal ethics and consumerism! You can read about this victory on this ABC news feed and this National Newspaper article.

 
 

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Quiche Lorraine

Today at the farmers market, I picked up a dozen huge farm fresh free ranged eggs. I think it was the size and perfection of them that inspired me to make a Quiche – something I rarely make but intend to make more often now!

[  SERVES: 5  |  TIME: 3 hours  |  COST: $4  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4.5 / 5  |  MY RATING: 3.5 / 5 |  Brittanys Rating:  4 / 5  ]

Ingredients

Filling: inspired by Taste.com.au

6 – 7 eggs
¼ cup soy milk
¼ – ½ cup grated cheese
4 – 5 rashers short cut free range bacon
1 small onion diced
salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle of oil

Crust: recipe from Richard Packham

1 2/3 cup white flour
2/3 cup butter
½ cup sourdough starter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Method

  1. To prepare the crust, sift flour, salt and baking soda together. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/2 cup fresh starter, just until all ingredients are moistened. Add a few drops water if too dry, a spoonful more flour if to moist. Cover or wrap and let stand 30 – 60 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pie crust on a floured surface, turning the dough a ¼ each roll to form a circle. Carefully press it into a greased pie dish. Place some baking paper carefully onto the pastry and half fill it with dried split peas, heavy dried beans or coffee beans. Bake in a preheated oven (200°C) for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and baking paper and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.
  3. Reduce the oven to 180ºC. Dice the onion and bacon and saute in a hot pan until slightly caramalised.
  4. Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper together. Drizzle in a splash of soy milk while whisking. Finally, season to taste.
  5. Pour half of the egg mixture into the baked pie crust. Add the bacon mixture, ensuring it is evenly spread throughout the Quiche. Pour in the rest of the egg mixture and top with grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until the egg mixture is set all the way to the middle. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy hot or cold.

Observations

  • Careful not to burn it like I have here. It went from not ready to slightly over cooked within about 5 minutes. If in doubt, reduce the heat slightly.
  • If you are not a sourdough nut, check the pie crust recipe at Taste.com.au for a non sourdough version
  • Diabetic Note: This isn’t so bad on the carbs, but possibly not great for your cholesterol and daily fat intake. Watch your portion size and add a salad to pay for your sins!
  • Ethical note – Eggs: Notice how yellow my Quiche is? That is because of the eggs. There are so many benefits to quality free ranged eggs. There are obvious benefits as far as animal welfare goes, but also the quality and taste of the eggs. Do yourself, and the chickens a favour, and demand free ranged eggs.
  • Ethical Note – Cheese: I used Romano Pecorino for my grated cheese. If you haven’t noticed, I use it quite often. It has a unique, rich, robust flavour that adds a delightful element to your dish. I have a wonderful local cheese maker who I source my cheese from: Bangalow Cheese Co. Locally produced cheese may be heavier in the hip pocket, but they have a lower carbon footprint, and support the local economy. And in my opinion, you can’t compare apples and oranges; local hand-made cheese are quality when compared to the mass-produced cardboard sold in zip locked bags.

 

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Omelettes

Sometimes, simple is made of winning.

[  SERVES: 2  |  TIME: 15 MIN  |  COST: <$3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4 / 5  |  MY RATING: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

3 free ranged eggs
splash of soy milk
1/4 cup diced red cap
1/4 cup diced spring onions
1/4 cup shredded fresh herbs – I used chives and parsley
1/4 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.
  2. Bring a skillet to a moderate heat before adding a splash of oil (I use macadamia oil for frying). Pour in the egg mixture and allow to set slightly for a minute or two before sprinkling the remaining ingredients over the top of the semi formed omelette. Place a lid over the skillet and cook gently until cooked all the way through. Take care with your heat settings – you do not want to burn the bottom of the omelette. It may take up to 4-5 minutes for your egg to be totally set. (If in doubt, you can finish it off with the lid off under a grill)
  3. Once the egg is fully set, slide it carefully from the skillet onto a place to serve.
  4. Serve hot, with condiments and a side of toast cut into triangles.

Observations

  • I mix up the vegetable combinations for these omelette all the time. Sometimes I’ll use shredded (cooked) cabbage, left over roast pumpkin and sweet potato, diced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes – anything I have at the time usually gets tossed in. Variety is the spice of life.
  • Non vegetarians can add diced bacon, sausage or other left over meats.
  • Talking about spices – sometimes, when I am feeling game, I’ll add some cayenne pepper or chilli flakes. Be guided by mood, taste and desire.
  • I can’t stress this enough – don’t have the heat up too high. Its better to be too low than too high. I often lift the edges of the omelette to ensure its cooking evenly rather than burning on the bottom. Be gentle and take your time for an expert omelette.
  • If you don’t have a skillet lid, or you prefer a browned top you can flip your omelette. If you are going to flip it, use two egg flips so you don’t break it, and do NOT add the cheese until after you’ve done the flip.
  • Chilli preserves, tomato relishes and good hearty home-made sauces are excellent on the side of the plate.
 

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French Toast

I do love it when our dear friend Kat comes to visit. She comes once every two weeks for a night of delightful food, fine wine, great company and the odd Disney cartoon. I may have mentioned previously that Kat is a professional chef, and is an awesome source of inspiration. This mornings breakfast is a classic example. We had just come home after an hours walk along the water and was trying to decide what to have to eat. Kat suggested French toast to use up left over sourdough bread from last nights chicken cacciatore dinner. As I was not familiar with the process of making French toast, I let Kat do the work… for educational reasons, of course…

[  SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 30 MIN  |  COST: <$3  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4/5  |  MY RATING:  4/5 |  KatS RATING: 4/5  ]

Ingredients

½ Sourdough Loaf  (Vienna Style, cut thickly)
3 free range eggs
200 ml skim or low-fat milk
Sprinkle of Nutmeg

Method

  • Mix the eggs, milk and nutmeg with a whisk. Soak the bread in the mixture until absorbed – approximately 5 minutes
  • Place the bread in a well oiled hot pan. Cook for four minutes per side, ensuring it doesn’t stick.
  • Serve once the bread is firm to touch and cooked evenly both sides.

Observations

  • Can this woman cook, or what?
  • You can top these little delights with your choice of toppings. I opted for the fruit version you see above while Joe ate his with tomato sauce and Kat had hers on a more savoury side with just salt and pepper.
  • Diabetic Note: This whole dish is heavy on the carbs, but kept us all full for several hours. Diabetics can technically eat this dish, but watch your serve sizes and of course what toppings you use. For me, banana always sets my blood glucose levels off, but oh my goodness… it was worth it!
  • Ethical Note: French toast is also known as pain perdu which literally means “lost bread” or day old bread. It is a way of using older slightly stale bread, rather than wasting it. More food is wasted in this world then eaten, so do your best to reduce food wastage.
 

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