Oh Dairy how I love thee, and how grateful I am we do not live in World War 2 or times of rationing, for within you the secrets to addressing malnutrition and getting better are hidden.
There are ways to buy eggs. You can buy a beautifully selected half dozen from Waitrose and be reassured by their speckly blue shells and free range environments with televisions. You may need a mortgage.
Or you can go to your butcher, your local market, look up your local egg map, catering suppliers, or whatever shop near you do this(and one will) and buy them cheap by the tray. I buy a tray of 3 dozen. This costs me £3 for 216 grams of protein, packed with good cholesterols, vitamins, minerals and a base for just about every thing you can think of in a cookery book.
In this tray of uniform ovum, there are poached eggs, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, eggs to bind recipes for burgers with, hollandaise, bearnaise, custard, meringues, omelettes, dressing, cake, biscuits, glaze…..
The ways that our cuisine has found to combine eggs with fat, are staggering, if you make pancakes or batters, you will find that an extra egg yolk never goes amiss. Eggs are what you need right now.
Note. I buy free range if I can, and assume that any reader in modern Britain is familiar with the reasons free range are better. My job here is not to lecture people on the ethics of food, and I do not place the welfare of chickens over my own health or that of others in these circumstances however much that may offend your sensibilities.
Cheese is amazing, it is high in protein, it is dense fat, it is excellent in the treatment of malnutrition, makes an amazing snack. A 1 ounce serving of cheese, can provide a whopping third of your daily calcium requirements and give you a huge calorie boost and a whomp of protein. Adding cheese to food is a really easy way to enrich it, cheese added to mash. Cheese sauce goes with just about everything.
But cheese is expensive. If like me, you really like cheese and just can’t afford cheese that isn’t rubber and horrible, there are ways and means.
Budget supermarkets do mozarellas, grated parmesan in bags and bags of grated cheese of different varieties, in ways that wont hit your budget like a £3 block of cheese. You can buy cheese pretending to be our regional cheeses for £1.25-£1.90 a block, in budget supermarkets and apparently some mainstream supermarkets.
There is an amazing stall on my local market which sells lovely cheese at a decent price, and because I am buying exactly how much I want, I can have a couple of ounces of cheese that I really like without it breaking the bank or stopping me buying other stuff. The same applies to cheese counters in supermarkets.
Cream Cheese and Sour Cream, and Creme Fraiche
Yum to eat by the spoon or dip stuff in, with lots calories. Expensive. You can make your own sour cream and creme fraiche, and it’s lovely.
Yoghurt is lovely, it is digestible it is very good for your stomach, and by all accounts you can treat thrush with it. You can buy it cheaply in tubs, flavoured or not, with dubious science attached or not, and it will give you calcium in a way that is delicious with fruit or chocolate spread and nuts. Or you can make it and have a constant supply for next to nothing as long as you add milk and keep it in the right environment.
If you are in the business of enriching your food and sneaking in calories where they won’t be noticed, cream is your friend. The luxurious motif to food porn is not actually that expensive and a tub of double cream can be a good way to enrich an awful lot of food. Cream in porridge, is a lovely lovely thing.
Also a great cooking ingredient and a way to loosen up pasta sauces or add a bit of calorific fun.
Whole milk is where it is now at. 2litres of whole milk holds 1480 calories, and there are no ends to the way you can work milk into your diet. From the making up of porridges, custard, food supplements, eating cereal, to cheese sauces. It has calcium, protein, and is actually relatively low in any fats that could be considered bad.
I thought breakfast cereal had deteriorated in quality, until I realised that breakfast cereal with semi-skimmed milk is just a soggy abomination. Ice cold milk on cornflakes is one of the untold wonders of the world.