I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.
Martha Harrison, a probably wise women – but not entirely right this time.
It is true that the United Kingdom is known for far greater achievements that their culinary master pieces – and when I moved to the UK for university in 2006 I quickly noticed that I have been spoiled on the food front growing up in Bavaria – that the best tasting dishes in London are originally coming from one of their former extensive colony heavy empire. With Indian and West Indian influences on the fore front.
Nevertheless, when you spend your 4 years in England and manage to travel around a lot (mainly through playing volleyball tournaments and racing in rowing meet-ups for the university all around the country), you somehow can not avoid tasting British food. And you shouldn’t.
Most of the British cuisine is not paleo conform, unfortunately – even though I want to give a paleo pie or pastry a go at least once, as I was secretly obsessed with chicken and mushroom pies during my uni days. But there is one dish, available everywhere and truly the heart of the English kitchen, which can be paleo-fied so easily by simply cancelling certain ingredients:
the English Breakfast – also known as a proper “fry-up”.
According to Jamie Oliver – one of my earliest kitchen influences right after my mom and grandmother – describes the Full English as “one of life’s simple pleasures” and it traditionally consists of the following:
- pork (and leak) sausages
- field mushrooms
- smoked, dry-cured bacon
- black pudding
- baked beans
- thick sliced, white toast bread
Quite a selection, innit? And quite a load of calories in one sitting – I have seen people grubbing a full-on fry-up regularly as a late breakfast or brunch, especially as it makes the ideal hangover cure with roughly 1200 calories, 75g of fat and a crazy 70g of carbs alone. Why not healthy-fy it now and quickly check what is paleo-approved on our plate:
everything, but the toast. and the beans, especially when they come out of a green tin – even though the unique taste of baked beans is something people are actually after when thinking about a full English. But these are the only paleo no-gos.
I personally have never been a big fan of English sausage (and whatever bacon) for breakfast and the fact that I come from one of the world’s sausage headquarters – GERMANY – doesn’t help. Black pudding doesn’t do it for me either, so I took the remaining ingredients to recreate a dish, which is not only inspired by one of my favourite countries’ infamous breakfasts – but also helps me to follow my quest of #eggsploring the world: find egg dishes inspired by other countries and cultures – and make them paleo.
Now check out these beauty – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cause if you like it, crack an egg on it.
Fun fact: due to their size and meaty texture I chose portobello mushroom caps for this dish – and coincidentally the London Portobello Road Market was one my favourite spots to visit during my time in England. It’s a great all-week market offering the freshest vegetabels and fruits, as well as an amazing variety of new and vintage fashion, household goods and furniture. Make sure you pay the world’s largest antique market a visit and find a unique souvenir or two.
And shopping makes me hungry, so let’s get cooking.
Baked Portobello Eggs
Low in saturated fats and cholesterol and high in fiber, Portobellos are an excellent source of copper, which your body needs to produce red blood cells and carry oxygen through your system.
- 3 large, but even sized portobello mushroom caps – stems removed
- 3 medium eggs
- salt and pepper
- olive or coconut oil (preferably as spray)
- unsweetened tomatoe puree or passata
- a pinch or splash of paleo conform sweetener (e.g. stevia)
- chili flakes
- garlic powder
- In a sauce pan, combine your pureed tomatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper, oregano, chili and garlic powder. Then bring the sauce to light boil. If desired, as a splash of paleo sweetener.
- In meantime, spray your mushroom caps with your oil of choice and lightly salt and pepper them, before placing them on a baking tray and grill them in the oven for 10 minute on 175° until the soften slightly.
- As soon as your sauce has thickened a bit, transfer it into an oven proof baking dish or keep it in the pan, as long as you can fit it under the grill.
- Remove the portobellos from the oven and place them onto the tomato sauce – now carefully crack an egg into each cap.
- It might be helpful to separate the eggs first, add the yolks into the mushrooms and fill the caps with the remaining egg whites until full.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes under your grill at 160° until the egg white is hardened, it’s nice to keep the yolk a little runny though.
- Serve with a sprinkle of parsley or chives.