super breakfast week, day five: put an egg on it!

Please excuse the tardiness of this post- I know I promised you a new breakfast every day last week, but the week got away from me, and then so did the weekend! So today, I’ll give you the fifth Super Breakfast, which is really more of a concept than a recipe: Put an egg on it!

I like having eggs for breakfast, but they rarely satisfy me on their own.  Even with a piece of sprouted wheat toast, I’m left wanting more.  It’s the combos like broccoli eggs (a.k.a., loaded with vegetables) that really make me feel like I’ve eaten a complete, balanced meal. Recently I realized that SO many of the veggie-filled dishes I make for dinner could be transformed into breakfast in one simple step: Put an egg on it! The one prerequisite for this breakfast is, or course, that you’ve cooked the night before and have some leftovers.  Then all you have to do is roll out of bed, throw an egg in a pan, and lay that sucker on top of last night’s dinner.  Once you start trying this, your eyes will be opened to thousands of possibilities.  Honestly.  So many things are delicious with a fried egg on top!

Oh, you made a giant pot of vegetarian chili and have buckets left over? Put an egg on it!

Veggie burgers from last night’s barbeque staring you in the face? Put an egg on it!

Afraid you’ll be eating that quinoa salad for the rest of your life? Put an egg on it!

Really, guys- ANY kind of vegetable casserole/hash/stir-fry will magically turn into breakfast with the addition of an egg.  I’ll include some more recipe links at the end of this post.

While I’m encouraging you to throw eggs on everything, I should also say a little something about the kind of eggs that I buy.  I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “free-range,” “cage-free,” and “organic” tossed around when it comes to chicken and eggs.  While it’s great that an effort is being made in favor of producing eggs ethically and cleanly, it’s important to know what these labels actually mean; if they mean much of anything at all, in fact.  The definition of an “organic” egg is that the chicken was fed an organic diet, given access to the outdoors, and was not given antibiotics.  That organic feed could be a big sack of corn, though, when chickens are meant to eat grass and bugs in order to be healthy and produce nutritious eggs.  Their “access to the outdoors” could be as little as a porch attached to their giant, overcrowded barn; whether or not they actually go outside and get much needed sunshine (how do you think Vitamin D gets into the eggs, anyway?) is undetermined and not likely.  So what if the carton says “free-range” but NOT organic? Those hens had the same “access” as the organic chickens, but their feed wasn’t necessarily organic and they could have been given antibiotics.  And “cage-free” means exactly that- they didn’t have a cage.  That doesn’t mean they weren’t crammed into a dark, overpopulated commercial barn with no room to move.

All that is to say that personally, I don’t trust the labels that are put on eggs in the grocery store, with the exception of one.  To the best of my knowledge, the cleanest, most nutritious and most ethically produced eggs come from pasture-raised chickens.  This means that chickens spend most of their time outdoors, eating grass and bugs.  Simple.  The way nature intended.  These chickens are happy and healthy and, because of their natural diet and lifestyle, produce eggs with the best possible nutrient content.  Of course, these eggs are a lot more expensive!  But it’s worth it to me to know what I’m putting in my body and how it got to me.  An even better solution would be finding someone who raises chickens, or getting some of my own! A girl can dream.

To read more about the fallacy of an “organic” label on eggs, click here:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/06/08/why-you-dont-want-to-buy-organic-eggs-at-the-grocery-store-.aspx

To read more about the benefits of pastured eggs, click here:

http://www.cheeseslave.com/how-to-buy-organic-eggs-pastured-vs-free-range-eggs/

To read more about the brand of eggs that I buy at Whole Foods, click here:

http://vitalfarms.com/

And more things to put an egg on!

Curry Veggie Quinoa

101 Cookbooks Veggie Burgers

Veggie Enchilada Casserole

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super breakfast week, day two: broccoli eggs

Today, I ate a whole head of broccoli for breakfast.

Ok, it was a small head.  But still an impressive amount of vegetables to be eating for my morning meal, I daresay!  That’s the goal, my friends: EAT AS MANY VEGETABLES AS YOU CAN!  This means cramming them into meals where one might not normally eat veggies.  But with today’s recipe, having broccoli for breakfast is easy and tasty.

I’ll start by saying this is probably the most time-consuming of my Super Breakfasts.  But all things considered, it’s pretty darn quick, and some prepping ahead of time could make it even quicker.  I have my boyfriend’s sister Erin to thank for this amazing breakfast!  Erin is a busy, working mom doing her best to eat well.  When we visited her a few weeks ago, I was immediately excited when she asked if we wanted “broccoli eggs” for breakfast.  “Whatever that is…YES,” I responded.  Here is my version of what she made for us that morning:

Broccoli Eggs (serves one)

  • One small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • Two eggs
  • Splash of almond (or other) milk
  • Roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese of your choosing (optional- I used goat cheese crumbles)
  1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil on medium.  Add broccoli- the finer you chop it, the more easily it will be incorporated into the scramble.  Stir until broccoli is tender (a few minutes).  Alternatively, you could throw a little water into the pan and cover it to let the broccoli steam.
  2. Beat your eggs with the splash of milk and add them to the pan.  Mix the eggs and the broccoli immediately and keep mixing as the eggs cook.  It should turn into a nice scramble.
  3. Once egg is distributed throughout the broccoli and has cooked thoroughly, add sunflower seeds, cheese, and salt and pepper.  Then EAT!

I realized after making this batch that I went a little crazy on the broccoli.  That head I used was probably two full servings.  If you’re down with that, then by all means, broccoli it up! But if that much broccoli feels a tad ambitious, then use less and it will be more like a typical scramble with veggies.

One way you could make this recipe much faster would be to chop and cook your broccoli ahead of time.  Steam a whole bunch at the beginning of the week, chop it up, and throw it in a tupperware in the fridge.  Then all you have to do is combine it with the eggs and throw it in a pan; it should heat up while the eggs cook.  On that note, don’t limit yourself to broccoli- kale and spinach make awesome egg partners, too!

So there you have it, veggies for breakfast.  At the end of the day when you’re counting your blessings and how many vegetables you ate (or is that just me?), you’ll be grateful that you started the day with a big ol’ handful. Tune in tomorrow for another vegged out breakfast- my current favorite, the Green Smoothie!