Gluten-free,  Savoury

Courgette and cumin bread (gf) and haywire hens

My husband orders trains our hens to lay their eggs in a methodical fashion in satisfyingly tidy wooden boxes filled with hay. Each box is equipped with an enticing ‘wooden egg’ in case the hens are still in doubt as to their duties, and emptied of any real eggs at 5pm. The anomaly is, that when they’re not ‘working’ (i.e. laying), they’re allowed to cause mayhem anywhere they please – in my more fragile plants for example – and even come into the house should the idea take their fancy.
There are three identical boxes, but for some reason they greatly favour one above the others. I think it’s a case of full restaurant syndrome; everyone crowds into the full restaurant, even if the food is just as good at the empty restaurant next door. I invariably find five eggs in this one box and none in the others. This morning there were three hens and a cat piled on top of each other in an alarmingly chaotic way in the preferred box. Needless to say, the sight made my husband break out in a cold sweat. I see an intensive revision course on the horizon.
Ingredients (10 servings)
4 eggs, separated
100g olive oil
100ml plain yoghurt
170g courgette, grated
100g hard cheese, grated (I used Comté)
70g chickpea flour (you could substitute plain flour)
40g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and prepare a medium-sized loaf tin. Whisk the egg yolks, olive oil and yoghurt together until light and smooth, then combine with the grated courgette and cheese and set aside. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and set aside. Mix the flours and spices into the egg yolk mixture and then gently but thoroughly fold in the beaten whites. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool. Delicious accompaniment to soup, salad or vegetable dishes.


  • ourfrenchoasis

    Your stories never ever fail to make me laugh, partly because I love the way you write and the way you tell them and partly because I can totally relate to everything, it all sounds so terribly like our life a couple of hours up the road in the Charente Maritime! Admittedly husband is not at all regimental about the chickens, but none the less the chickens do have four identical boxes and they only ever seem to lay in one as well!!!

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      😀 I’m so relieved to hear that your hens are as disordered as ours! Do you have a cat that squats their laying boxes though? I caught my husband telling the cat, in no uncertain terms, that he could only use the boxes if he was going to lay an egg! I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful weather too in CM…

  • apuginthekitchen

    The bread is wonderful and your story is hilarious, very odd about the chickens only laying in one box. Is your husband a virgo? A cat laying with chickens would be a sight, your cat sounds pretty amazing, the cats that hang out around here hunt birds, and I unfortunately find dead birds here. You have an exceptional kitty.

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      No he’s not a virgo – he’s a (very typical) leo. Having said that he has four virgo children!!! The cat always sleeps with the hens – on the hay beneath their perch! Hope you and Percy are well. 🙂

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