Best Veggie Brunch; baked eggs

food blog recipe healthy veggie

This is a super easy, slightly spicy veggie brunch recipe you can rustle up any day of the week.

I’ve been eating a lot less meat over the past few of months. Mainly because I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could eat less meat. But I am actually now really enjoying eating less meat.  I’ve always been a fan of veggie food and eating more veg and less meat actually helps me stay healthy. It’s also a lot cheaper and I feel better for it.  So, so far, so good! Continue reading “Best Veggie Brunch; baked eggs”

Mushroom, chilli and feta omelette pizza

food travel healthy living blog

Does anyone else wake up craving pizza?

I do. Quite often. And if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of this, and you all seemed to love it. Thanks, guys.

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Continue reading “Mushroom, chilli and feta omelette pizza”

Chocolate Cherry Protein Bircher

Overnight oats or birchers have become my go-to breakfast. But how do they work? Soaking the oats overnight makes them easier to digest. They’re also low in fat, and are a complex carbohydrate so they release energy slowly throughout the morning. You basically pop all the ingredients in a bowl the night before and enjoy them (eaten cold) the next day… Couldn’t be easier… Continue reading “Chocolate Cherry Protein Bircher”

Love-yourself, brunch for one

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I recently posted this on my food-porn FILLED Instagram account and asked my beautiful followers if they wanted the recipe.

It proved to be one of my most popular posts that week, so I’m sharing it with you all because I’m such a nice and lovely person. You’re welcome!

Then, pondering a suitable title got me thinking. There is something a little sad about the recipe: it’s only for one. I toyed with ‘Lonely hearts, brunch for one’ but decided that was far too melancholy. Continue reading “Love-yourself, brunch for one”

Southeast Asian-inspired brunch

food blog recipe manchester brunch

I know the ultimate brunch right now is something more along the lines of ‘smashed avocado on sourdough’ or ‘poached eggs with avocado and Siracha’, but I’m here to switch things up a bit. Continue reading “Southeast Asian-inspired brunch”

Fluffy Eggs and Mushrooms on Toast

Cheshire Food Blogger

Scrambled eggs on toast is a wonderful veggie option for brunch, especially at the weekend. Here is my recipe for a quick, simple and satisfying breakfast that you can rustle up in no time.

#bestofthebrunch
#bestofthebrunch

Weekends are all about a lie-in and a decent brunch – if you ask me. Here’s a weekend breakfast classic which is quick, easy and not all that unhealthy. Fluffy scrambled eggs with herby mushrooms on granary toast. Mmmm. A splash of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce at the end tastes great and helps if you have a hangover!

You’ll need a wok or a large frying pan for the scrambled eggs, and a little separate frying pan is perfect for the ‘shrooms.

This recipe serves 2, and takes about 10-15 minutes in total.

What you need:

  • 5 free-range eggs
  • a dash of milk
  • a small handful of finely chopped, flat-leaf parsley (or you could use thyme or coriander – whatever you fancy)
  • a big handful of sliced chestnut mushrooms
  • a shallot, very finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  •  2 knobs of butter or spreadable Lurpak
  • a little bit of olive oil
  • 4 slices of granary bread
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

What to do:

  1. prep your work station – get the wok and frying pan ready on the hob, toast in the toaster (but don’t toast just yet) and get your plates and cutlery out ready.
  2. crack your eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork, adding the dash of milk and salt and pepper. Mix in half of the chopped parsley.
  3. put one of the knobs of butter into small frying pan with the olive oil, and wait until it starts to foam. Then, add the sliced mushrooms and chopped shallots (if using). Leave them to fry gently, tossing every 30 seconds or so.
  4. add the other knob of butter to the wok and again, wait until it starts to foam (a medium heat should do it), pour in the eggs and using a wooden spatula start to stir them immediately, continuing to stir until they start to come together.
  5. pop the toast down in the toaster!
  6. as the eggs cook – turn down the heat, but keep folding them over with the spatula.
  7. check your mushrooms to make sure they are going nice and golden, and add the chopped garlic and the rest of the fresh parsley for the last 30 seconds or so.
  8. by this point you should be ready to bring it all together, get your toast buttered and serve the scrambled eggs on one slice, then a generous pile of the mushrooms on the other.
  9. season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of Tabasco hot sauce to taste! Enjoy!

Cheshire Food Blogger

Lean Sausage Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish I really, really love. It pretty much hits alllll the mid-week dinner sweet spots: nutritious, check. Quick, check. Minimal washing up, check. It’s also perfect for a weekend brunch, especially when you team it with bacon and warm baguettes like I did with my ‘Hungover Breakfast.’ But, if you’re looking for something different and healthy to rustle-up in the evenings: then this variation of the dish for you.

This is probably as good a time as any to point out how versatile this dish is too: if you don’t like mushrooms, swap them for diced peppers, or leave them out. If you’re not keen on spice, skip the cayenne pepper. If you’re veggie, lose the meat and add more of the stuff you like. If you’re feeling naughty and fancy using all pork sausages then WHY THE HELL NOT! In this version, I use half pork sausage and half chicken sausage. This isn’t because only half of me was feeling healthy that day, honestly… It’s because my boyfriend’s ‘bulking’ and I’m doing exactly the opposite – so sometimes we just have to meet halfway. Using all of either sausage, or a mix of the two doesn’t matter. It still tastes great, so do whatever you fancy.

The possibilities really are endless with this dish. I’d love to see your creations, so make sure you tag me @sophiesscran if you try this one!

This recipe serves 2 hungry people and you should have some leftover for lunch (bonus). It takes about 30 minutes to prep and cook from start to finish. Equipment-wise, all you need is a large, heavy based frying pan and a working grill.

Lean Sausage Shakshuka <3
Lean Sausage Shakshuka <3

What you need:

  • 2 chicken breast sausages, I use these ones from the mighty Muscle Foods
  • 2 lean pork sausages
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 60-70g sliced mushrooms (about a quarter of a punnet)
  • 2 heaped tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • fresh coriander to serve (optional)

 

What to do:

  1. First of all fry (in a little coconut oil) or grill the sausages until just cooked through, then slice and set aside.
  2. If you’re using the same large frying pan, give it a quick wipe with some kitchen paper, then add some more coconut oil and gently fry the onion for 2-3 minutes. Then add the sliced mushrooms and stir-fry until softened.
  3. Pre-heat the grill to medium (180° C).
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and stir well, then add the spices. Stir everything really well as the spices release their aromas.
  5. Add the sliced sausage back to the pan, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir. If the mixture looks a little dry add just a splash of water, and bring to a gentle simmer for 8 minutes or so while the sauce thickens.
  6. Make some space for the eggs, then crack them on top of the mixture and lightly season to taste. Transfer the pan to the grill and heat at 180° C for 3-4 minutes, checking them regularly to ensure the eggs are cooking gently. Reduce the heat slightly if needed.
  7. Remove the pan from the grill and top with finely chopped coriander, and if you like it spicier, some hot sauce on the side!
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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Ollie's Mulberry and Apple Jam

Morning Campers!

I’ve not treated you to one of these for a while, a lovely guest post plus special recipe, this time from Ollie Nuttall – Head Chef at Cheerbrook Farm Shop & Butchers in Nantwich, Cheshire. A local lad born and bred in the Nantwich area, Ollie started cheffing in his early teens and has learnt some of his craft whilst working in various well-rated establishments across Cheshire. He worked as sous-chef at Brunning & Price’s Old Hall in Sandbach and then went on to work at Cheshire Cat Pub Co.’s The Three Greyhounds, in Allostock, Knutsford. Both pubs serve delicious, creative, comforting classics that are consistently well-executed and both in absolutely gorgeous settings.

Being on the creative side of the academic spectrum, and with a passion for food that shone through from an early age, Ollie decided to pursue a career as a chef to follow his ambition. When I met up with Ollie to find out more about why he loves what he does (and to try his delicious jam) he was quick to tell me that no two days are the same. The job is always keeping him on his toes; coming up with new recipe creations based on the freshest, seasonal produce Cheshire has to offer and serving them up in the idyllic setting of Nantwich.

This recipe is fresh from the fruit in his garden – juicy mulberries and big cooking apples. As they were ripe and ready, he wasted no time in turning them into this scrumptious jam which is perfect on scones or even just a slice of toast. He admits, this is not something he’d usually make, but as it’s a great way to use up what nature’s provided (and save money on future pots of jam!) he thought, why not. It only cost £4 for the sugar, and 30p for the lemon the only gadget you might need to make the perfect jam is a big heavy saucepan and a jam thermometer

This recipe takes about 1 hour and makes about 2.5kg (5 lb) of jam, or 6 jars full.

What you need:

  • 1.5kg (3 lb) mulberries, washed
  • 600ml (1 pint) water
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 500g (1 lb) cooking apples (prepared weight), peeled, cored & sliced
  • 1.75kg (3.8 lb) jam sugar
  • A knob of butter

What to do:

  1. Wash 6 largish jam jars, and place on a tray in the middle of the oven at 100°c to sterilise them. Leave them in the oven at this heat, until the jam is ready.
  2. Place the mulberries in a preserving pan (large heavy based saucepan) with half the water and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until soft and pulpy.
  3. Place the prepared apples, lemon juice and zest in a separate pan with the remaining water, and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the apples to the mulberries in the preserving pan, and stir in the sugar.
  5. Continue stirring until all the sugar is dissolved, then add the knob of butter.
  6. Boil the jam for 10-30mins and use a jam thermometer to test the temperature (It could take longer than 30mins)
  7. Test for a set using the jam thermometer, and when setting point is reached, take it off the heat and remove the top layer using a slotted spoon.
  8. Remove the jars from the oven, and divide the jam into them equally then add the lids.

Do you have any fresh fruit growing in the garden, which you could turn into jam? Gooseberries are in season at this time of year, as well as red currants, blueberries and cherries!

Let me know if you’re making a jam this summer and use the hashtag #sophiesscran to show me your creations.

Follow Ollie on Instagram here for more food ideas and recipe inspiration.

Ollie's Mulberry & Apple Jam <3
Ollie’s Mulberry & Apple Jam <3

Tabasco: #bestofthebrunch

Creamy Baked Eggs with Bacon, Buttered Toast & Tabasco

bestofthebrunch

When I was recently asked by Tabasco UK to take part in their #BestoftheBrunch challenge, I was really excited. How could I refuse?! Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love hot sauce, especially Tabasco Habanero, so I really couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

For the first of my #BestoftheBrunch recipes, I decided to go for something  a bit different. It’s not like me to choose a creamy eggs recipe (as I would usually have eggs with tomatoes for brunch), but I was keen to try this, and wanted to offset the creaminess with lashings of Tabasco Hot Sauce 🙂 who wouldn’t?!

The recipe is inspired by Rachel Khoo’s ‘Eggs in Pots’ from her show The Little Paris Kitchen, I have however pimped it up and used this as a great opportunity to try each of the 4 separate flavours; Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce (hot), Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (mild), Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce (mild, with a slight kick – smokey BBQ flavour) and Tabasco Habanero Pepper Sauce (really hot!)

This recipe takes about 30 mins in total and serves 2 people.

What you need:

  • 4 rashers thick-cut smoked back bacon
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • chopped coriander
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4 free-range eggs

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Grill the smoked bacon to your liking (I don’t need to tell you how to do this!)
  3. Season the crème fraîche with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  4. Place a tablespoon of crème fraîche in the bottom of a ramekin, followed by some chopped coriander and a generous splash of Tabasco sauce of your choice (don’t be shy).
  5. Crack an egg on top, add another dollop of crème fraîche and sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg and a final few drops of Tabasco.
  6. Repeat the above with three more ramekins (I swapped the Tabasco sauce used each time).
  7. Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks are set to your liking.
  9. Serve with lashings of heavily buttered wholemeal toast (for dipping!) and the grilled bacon on the side…

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Of the four sauces, my personal favourite this time was the Chipotle (it’s so rich and smoky – it worked really well with the warming nutmeg and creamy crème fraîche.)

Which sauce do you prefer, and why? Do you have any #BestoftheBrunch recipes you want to share? Feel free to get in touch by commenting below, or send an email to: sophiesscran@gmail.com

Enjoy, Scranners -x-

Grandad’s Sausages: Full English and Posh Dogs Recipes

You may have noticed that despite my focus on healthy living, I love sausages.

They are so versatile, tasty, quick and easy. If you’re a meat lover you’d be daft not to have a constant stash of good-quality sausages in the fridge or freezer.

I also love veggie sausages too for a lighter, healthy alternative.

Grandad's Sausages - Perfectly Packaged for #BritishSausageWeek
Grandad’s Sausages – Perfectly Packaged for #BritishSausageWeek – scroll down for more pictures

Grandad’s Sausages

I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of Grandad’s Sausages as part of celebrating British Sausage Week, which was earlier this month 3-9 November.

I got the chance to meet up with Matthew Woodward and his business partner Michael – we met in Chorlton; it was pouring down with rain and it turned into a sort of ‘drive-by’ pick up, which was very funny and felt a bit like we were doing something dodgy. But we weren’t, honestly, just casually picking up sausages…

Both Matthew and Michael are really nice guys. I will certainly be ordering more of their sausages in the future, and my own Grandad has already told me he wants some next year for his famous Summer family BBQ’s!

Their sausages come in a range of different succulent flavours (the ones bold were included in my sample):

  • Traditional British Pork
  • Olde English
  • Lincolnshire
  • Cumberland
  • Pork & Welsh Leek
  • Pork & Somerset Apple
  • Pork & Crushed Garlic
  • Pork & Fiery Chilli
  • Pork & Bury Black Pudding
  • Pork & Cranberry
Selection of Grandads Sausages
Selection of Grandads Sausages

Now for the recipes…

Full English Breakfast with Grandad’s Sausages

First off had to be a traditional full-English breakfast. I just grilled the sausages (hardly any fat came out) and served with: plum tomatoes, fried egg ‘sunny side up’, black pudding & buttered toast. I had the Cumberland & Lincolnshire, and Bradley (boyfriend/partner in crime) had the Traditional Pork and Olde English. All super-succulent and perfectly seasoned, very meaty and even more

Plum tomatoes, fried egg, black pudding & buttered toast. I had the Cumberland & Lincolnshire, and Bradley (boyfriend/partner in crime) had the Traditional Pork and Olde English. All super-succulent and perfectly seasoned, very meaty and even more

I tried the Cumberland, Lincolnshire, Traditional Pork and Olde English. All super-succulent and perfectly seasoned, very meaty and even more

All super-succulent and perfectly seasoned, very meaty and even more moreish. No need for bacon when the sausages are this tasty!

Grandads Sausages Full English Breakfast
Grandads Sausages Full English Breakfast

 

‘Posh-dogs’ with Grandad’s Sausages

Next up was my take on ‘posh-dogs,’ where I used Pork & Fiery Chilli, Pork & Somerset Apple and Pork & Welsh Leek.

I warmed a poppy seeded baguette in the oven at 150 degrees for about 5 minutes, grilled the sausages in a griddle pan on a medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning regularly until cooked-through and crispy on the outside.

I served them with a little rocket and plum tomato salad, some fried shallots, English mustard and a little ketchup.

All of the sausages tasted brilliant, all with seasoning subtle yet distinct enough to be able to really appreciate the different flavours.

Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs served with poppy seed baguettes, rocket salad and fried shallots
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs served with poppy seed baguettes, rocket salad and fried shallots

Being a chilli lover, my favourite was the Fiery Chilli of course. Just the right amount of chilli for a nice little kick. So, so good as a ‘posh-dog’. I urge you to try it!

Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs - a taste sensation. Highly recommended!
Grandads Sausages Posh Dogs – a taste sensation. Highly recommended.

For more information visit grandadssausages.com!