Yes, not woodworking!

The amount of work I get through in any given day requires my best health. It doesn’t take much to take a body dow so keeping fit and trim is critical. Add to that any kind of serious disease and its all the more important to exercise, work and eat well. I am a longterm diabetic. Diabetes is considered a serious disease. It’s up there. keeping your blood sugars at near normal levels, avoiding spikes can be a challenge for us, but if we take charge of self-cooking, eating what WE cook and minimising the unknowns of carbohydrates hidden in sauces, pastries and breads is more than important. Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes still requires due diligence. This one of my best breakfasts. I eat it most mornings and I indeed love it. I am as near as it gets to being an expert on my own diabetes only. I cannot speak for other diabetics and I have no medical training or background. This is offered as something you might enjoy experiencing.

You are not limited to these but the medley is wonderful and came by adding and trying until I got the mix just so

In this meal I use specific vegetables that are mostly lower in carbohydrates on the one hand and then known for their health-giving nutrition. What’s important to me is keeping the carbohydrates in check whilst at the same time taking enough on board at the start of my day to cater to my energetic lifestyle.

Consider this:

Spinach is a healthy green veg that provides vitamins A and E, protein, fibre, zinc, thiamin, calcium and iron. It contains oxalic acid which can block the absorption of valuable nutrients but when cooked that doesn’t happen so there is no need to shun spinach at all.

Home grown gives you fresh every day and more than you can eat

Courgettes (Zucchini) are a wonderfully low carb veg with a plethora of vitamins and minerals to keep you going. I use these in many meals ranging from salads to breakfasts, soups, and even pasta where I eat only one-third of pasta in a normal meal and replace with courgettes and other vegetables. The list nutrients and vitamins in this action-packed veg is too long and that is not what this is about but rest assured, I have bags of energy throughput the day. Courgettes Cooked courgette is particularly high in vitamin A, and raw zucchini apparently contains slightly less.

Home-grown is easy for pick fresh quality

Mushrooms are a must for me because they are so packed with healthful vitamins and nutrients and are one of the highest antioxidant providers to our bodies. Don’t just believe me, check them out online.

Close-cup shrooms work fine for me

Tomato. Don’t we all love fresh, home-growns? And they again fall into the category of super food. I use them every day in my food, whewther raw or cooked and may we all start to grow our own. Six plants give me all the tomatoes I need.

Any tomato type will work

Onions are a definite must in this breakfast and many more dishes ranging from salads to curries and everything in between. Red, white or brown, they make it into my food every single day. Again, far too many health benefits to do justice to from my limited knowledge but these are the first to go into my cooking pan in the morning.

Your choice of white, brown or red, or mix

The breakfast/brunch meal needs the following ingredients roughly in my preferred cooking order:

Onion: About 75 grams of any colour works but I look for small onions around 75 grams per serving. That is around 6-7 grams of carb. If you have a large onion chap it in two with the outer on and stand the unused half on a small plate to use later.

Mushroom: Four or five golf ball size is great.

Courgette: I usually go for half a courgette cut in two across it’s length about 30mm in dia and 12cm long. Stand the unused piece on end on a plate to seal and it’s good for up to a couple or three days after. A whole courgette is good if you like. Not high in carbs at all, almost none compared to bread and such.

Tomato: Any kind you like but the small ones are nice to prepare and look nice in the final plate mix with the added spots of red to colour the whole.

Egg: Two small eggs work well for me but I often use one or two large ones from time to time too. Take caution not to use too many eggs per week. My small eggs seem to be good for me for a long time now. My cholesterol is around 3.8 but then I am also vegetarian so don’t have the usual issues often associated with red meats and such.

Milk: It’s a small amount. Maybe 3 Tbsp to go with the eggs for the omelette.

Cheese: If you want a cheesy omelette consider the following — As an alternative to hard cheese I regularly use low-fat cottage cheese inside my omelette. It’s very tasty and keeps my omelette moist. I also use mature cheddar once week or so but Feta cheese is nice though higher in salt than I might want regularly.

Salt: Not too much. Add to suit your taste but this is generally the only food I season with salt. I generally have good blood pressure anyway but I don’t care for a lot of salt anyway.

Other seasoning options: You can use whatever you like, I generally rely on dried: mixed herbs, paprika, chilly flakes or granules (for spicy), cayenne pepper powder (read the ingredients to make sure it’s 100% cayenne without added ingredients like chilly and salt) and then there are oregano and basil, fresh or dried. I use dried flakes for speed and ease and flavour.

The famous reality about omelettes is you can add to the omelette any additional feature food you want to. Things like potato and other vegetables or indeed a smaller amount from the above veggie mix. Even meat if you must!

So, let’s get cooking here!

Part I — The veggies!

Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to a small frying pan or omelette pan and heat to a medium-high heat. I love Teflon for the easy clean and I use just the one small pan throughout for this meal for one or two people.

While the oil is heating through, prep your onion by slicing thin…

…and then cross-slicing. Slicing gives more even cooking throughout.

Add the onion to the stir fry olive oil and cover.

Slice the mushrooms along their length by cutting first in two and then placing flat face down and cutting into thin slices 3mm or so thick. The thin slices mean quicker, more even cooking.

Add to the onions once the onions have become translucent and slightly golden and cover.

From here on, by the time you have cut and prepared the ingredients as follows, the previous ingredients are ready to receive subsequent ingredients.

Slice the tomatoes. I generally aim for three cuts on cherry tomatoes. The cook through more evenly that way.

Add to the cooking pan and cover.

Thinly slice the courgette along its length…

…and then cross-slice.

Add to the cooking pan and cover.

Finally the spinach. Add a handful of spinach over the top of all ingredients and keep on a medium heat for just a few minutes until the leaves flop and turn a darker green.

While the above takes place any downtime facilitates putting the ingredients in place for the omelette and making it as follows:

Part II — The omelette

With your veggies cooked and set aside in a warm place to retain heat, you will have prepped your omelette as follows:

In the same pan as you just used for the veggies add a tablespoon of olive oil if needed. In a non-stick pan it will be unlikely and put to a lower heat if you have yet to mix the omelette.

Mix the two eggs with the milk and whisk.

In this pic I have added my seasonings before cooking

It’s up to you when you add the seasoning but salt is best in with the mix from the start. I add my ingredients before cooking because they seem to add flavour and be more evenly distributed through the mix of eggs and milk.

Carefully pour into the pan and heat to a mid-high heat setting. I like my omelette a little brown but not burned. In the final pic bottom it is the seasoning of cayenne that is giving the darker appearance.

You will need to flip the omelette after about three minutes of cookingServe side by side with the veggies and enjoy your breakfast.

After flipping you can add cheese or other ingredient to the omelette before or after removing from the pan. There will be enough heat in the omelette to melt the cheese. Only add to one half if this is your plan as you will then fold the other half over onto the other half.

The cottage cheese version is lovely! The brown is cayenne pepper . . . just so no one thinks the omelette is burned..

You might want to add a couple of slices of toast. If you are a diabetic this is a low carb breakfast but there is enough carbs in the whole meal to keep me going for five hours of good hard manual labour. I use a bread called Livlife seriously seeded bread which has 3.5 carbs per slice. the slices are thin and small but they are punchy and I like them very much.

17 Comments

  1. P Mc on 12 September 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Enjoyed your rarebit receipt three times since posted. Added sautéed onions because I like onions in everything. Zucchini onion omelette is one of my favorites. I’ll try adding the spinach and tomatoes now. Just wanted you to know that someone is looking foreword to your breakfast receipts.

  2. nemo on 12 September 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Almost exactly what you prepared (but without mushrooms) I’ve eaten as lunch for most of the summer. All homegrown, except for the eggs and milk. But my preparation was less fancy. I just cut everything up: onion, tomatos, courgette, sweet pepper if a ripe one is ‘due’ from the plants, a bit of parsley and chives, and eggs with a little milk. Mix everything together in a bowl, bake and stir regularly. Haute cuisine it ain’t but it’s simply delicious.

    Recently I started adding some chilisauce – even more deliciouser.

    Your dish looks much better visually than mine though.

    • Paul Sellers on 12 September 2020 at 10:44 pm

      I like cooking processes, the utensils, the kitchen and the making of food to be as much an art form as my woodworking. I work efficiently and can have raw food on the table in 20 minutes or so if/when I follow my own systems and recipes; and my cooking utensils and equipment are all washed by the time my food is done and on the table. The dish I made is different every time because of varying the amounts and the seasonings.

  3. Chris on 12 September 2020 at 9:30 pm

    How come vegetarian out of curiosity? Any specific reason or just because?

    • Paul Sellers on 12 September 2020 at 10:41 pm

      Several reasons not the least of which is back in 1985 I was diagnosed with an incurable disease. The doctors seemed well intended but I didn’t leave it there. My body is my responsibility. After reading many a dozen books I discovered much about diet and changed everything radically and that included no meat and many animal products that were causing or exacerbating my problems. 18 months passed and I was in control. 6 years passed and there was no trace of the problem anywhere. I went back on many of the foods I had excluded hitherto by reintroducing them one by one. That way I could better identify my allergic responses. Meat and dairy were high on the list. Dairy I do eat but not much of it. I do tend to eat soy-based foods for protein, such as alternative yogurts. Meat I find little time for but mostly I can’t be bothered with something I don’t particularly enjoy and something that really does not have much in the way of health benefits that I can’t happily get from my vegetables and such. I don’t think I have ever been happier than being vegetarian. Add into that two dozen other good reasons, unethical meat raising, unethical processing, factory farming and so on, I have a clear conscience to sleep by too. Now having said that, this is me. I don’t at all judge or condemn others for enjoying their food types and sources. Mostly, for me, it wasn’t a choice. When you have a young family depending on you you can’t afford to die because of your diet when the diet can easily be rejigged!

      • joe on 13 September 2020 at 7:24 pm

        Hi Paul,
        Would it be too personal to share what the incurable disease was?
        Thanks,
        Joe

  4. Alain Briot on 13 September 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Do you live alone Paul? I never see anyone but you in the photographs.

  5. Chuck on 13 September 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Enjoy your cooking post going to try that one thanx for sharing

  6. Joe on 13 September 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Paul,
    In a Facebook post I once mentioned this. I will mention it one last time. There is a book I read called “How Not to Die” that goes over the science data to date on various foods. You are making great choices based on what I have ready in this book. It is well worth reading. There are a few super foods wo worth considerations as well but I don’t know their carb count. Some of the info in the book is an eye opener. I didn’t think diet could greatly alter our health. After reading this book, I have completely changed my mind on this.
    Sincerely,
    Joe

  7. sla on 14 September 2020 at 8:34 am

    Great!

    But, teflon pan is not very good, change it with deBuyer Mineral B this one is for life, iron, works much better for me. Or Lodge (le creuset, there are other great european makers) cast iron. You have to change teflon pans every couple of years, iron or cast irons cost cheaper and are healthier.

  8. António on 14 September 2020 at 9:30 am

    Mr Paul…
    It seems you miss a couple of pictures…
    The” knife wall” picture before chopping the vegetables. And did you use a rip ou a cross cut knife?
    LOL

    Similar story here, on the path to find more suitable eating habbits.

    All the best to you, family and team.
    Be safe!

    • Jon on 18 September 2020 at 11:15 am

      But he did avoid all gaps in those onion slices! Craftsmanship!

  9. Ed B on 14 September 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Looks great Paul! I often enjoy a few sprigs of parsley or cilantro to finish my breakfast’s. Cucumber goes great as well for a side that adds a nice crunch.
    For those questioning a vegitarian diet check out the documentaries ‘What the Health’ or ‘The Game Changers’. Eye opening…

  10. Mark on 14 September 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Paul, thanks for the lovely recipe (destined to be today’s brunch) and the sound nutritional advice.
    I do not eschew meat products, but I primarily use meat in small amounts as ingredient rather than main course. Buying and using meat in small quantities allows me to afford extra cost of ethically raised animals.
    Thanks again.

  11. Richard Misdom on 14 September 2020 at 10:35 pm

    I also like your combination omelette and have found shop made spatulas to be very gentle on cooking pan surfaces as well as easy to clean up.

  12. Ed B on 15 September 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Perhaps another Paul Sellers ‘How to’ pamphlet / publication? ‘A Woodworker’s Guide to Mealtime Preparation’ for breakfast, lunch and supper or perhaps ‘Dining at the Workbench’. 😉

  13. Matison on 18 September 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I am very happy to read of the things that Paul wishes to share of his professional and personal life. He gives much much more than most do.

    It is going too far to try to elicit the details of private matters that he does not already share with us. Sometimes people go too far with their questions and demands. Some things are meant to be private.

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