Recipe and photograph – Dr Joan Ransley

Sometimes the best meals are made from simple, good quality ingredients. Rye sourdough toast tastes delicious and contains dietary fibre which can help prevent constipation and improve the health of the gut microbiome. Government guidelines recommend fibre intake should be increased to 30g per day. Most adults in the UK only manage about 18g per day.

The long fermentation time, together with the mix of wild yeast and lactobacillus reduces the fructan content of sourdough bread making it easier for some people to digest. The sourdough process makes the micronutrients in the bread more available for the body to use.

Spinach is full of micronutrients, fibre and a unique mixture of polyphenols which are good for the health of the gut. Asparagus is a rich source of polyphenols.

Method

Prepare four slices of toast, lightly butter each slice and place on warmed plates. Meanwhile place the spinach in a steamer over a pan of simmering water and steam for three minutes until it has wilted. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the spinach and season with a little salt and pepper. Place a quarter of the spinach on each piece of toast.

How to poach an egg

Fill a wide pan with hot water to the depth of 5cm and bring to a simmer. Break each egg into a cup and then slip the egg into the water leaving plenty of space between each one. Set a timer for two minutes. Keep the water at a gentle simmer – just checking there are small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan. After two minutes turn the heat off from under the pan and gently baste the eggs with the hot water until they are as cooked as you like them. After two minutes cooking time the white will be cooked and the yolk will be runny. After five minutes the yolk will be soft. Leave a little longer in the pan if you like the eggs well done.

Remove the eggs from the pan using a draining spoon or fish slice, dab on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any excess liquid and serve on top of toast topped with spinach.

How to scramble eggs

To serve four people. Beat eight medium sized eggs in a mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper. Gently heat 20g of butter in a non-stick frying pan. Try to match the size of the pan to the quantity of egg. You don’t want too high proportion of the mix to be in contact with the bottom, or the eggs to cook too rapidly.  A 25cm pan is ideal for this quantity of eggs.

Add the eggs to the pan and briefly increase the heat, then lower it again after the count of ten.  Start stirring the eggs as they turn opaque. Continue to cook gently, stirring as the curds begin to form and the eggs are not quite as set. Remove the pan from the heat, stir once more and serve.

The additions
Asparagus spears can be steamed with spinach however they take slightly longer to cook – allow five to ten minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a non-stick pan and cook the tomatoes and mushrooms for five minutes until just beginning to caramelise and brown slightly. Season with a little salt and black pepper.

Cooks tips

It is important the eggs used for poaching and scrambling are fresh so check the date stamp on the egg box. Another way of testing if an egg is fresh is to place the egg in a bowl of water. If the egg lays on its side at the bottom, it is still quite fresh. If it stands upright on the bottom, it is still fine to eat, but should be eaten very soon, or hard-boiled. If the egg floats to the top of the water, it’s past its best, and should not be eaten.

Both scrambled eggs and poached eggs must be cooked in a gentle heat otherwise the egg protein coagulates too quickly and becomes tough.

Variation

Tendersteam broccoli is also a great vegetable to accompany cooked eggs.

 Per Serving (240g)Per 100g
Calories (kCal/KJ)267 / 1113111 / 464
Protein (g)135.2
Fat (g)156.4
Saturated Fat (g)5.12.1
Carbohydrate (g)187.3
Sugar (g)3.21.3
Fibre (g)3.51.5
Sodium (mg)422176
Salt equivalent (g)1.10.44
FODMAPs15g Mushrooms contain moderate amounts of mannitol. 15g asparagus contains moderate amounts of fructose.