Eggs with Garlicky Spinach & Tomatoes

I try to eat some protein and a nutrient dense vegetable in the morning as often as I can.  One of the easiest and fastest breakfasts to prepare are my Eggs with Garlicky Spinach & Tomatoes. According to the CDC, spinach is one of the top 5 most nutrient dense vegetable and tomatoes are one of the top 3 most nutrient dense fruits: CDC Nutrient List of Nutrient Dense Fruits & Vegetables

Serving Size: 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small cloves or 1 large clove of garlic, peeled, smashed and rough chopped
  • 2 heaping cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional)

PREPPING IN ADVANCE:

To spare every precious minute in the morning, I prepare as much as possible the night before. I begin by washing and drying the spinach, tomatoes and lemon. I was taught by my wonderful home economics teacher, Mrs. Pfromm, to always wash the outside of all of my fruits before storing them in the refrigerator. I do this for citrus and apples but not berries. I only wash berries before I use them, otherwise the moisture will cause them to spoil faster.

Slice the tomatoes and lemon, then place them, along with the spinach, in a sealed plastic or glass container. Refrigerate overnight. In a small glass bowl, add smashed and rough chopped garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

DIRECTIONS:

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan over medium heat. Smash, then rough chop the garlic before adding it to the warm oil. Sauté the garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the spinach and tomatoes to the garlic and olive oil.  Toss together until the spinach starts to wilt.  Season with salt and pepper, then move the spinach, tomatoes and garlic to one side of the pan.

On the empty half of the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the eggs on that side of the pan. Then cover the eggs and spinach. The egg only needs 1 or 2 minutes to cook when covered. The eggs can be prepared sunny side up, over easy or you can even poach the eggs in a separate pot. Just before removing the eggs, squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over the spinach and tomatoes.

Serve the eggs either to the side or over a bed of spinach and tomatoes.  I like to add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the top of the eggs.  I learned this from my parents growing up and have always eaten my fried eggs with Worcestershire sauce.  Give it a try.  It’s delicious.

DSC_6886

DSC_6889

Pasta with Fresh Spinach and Tomatoes

My Pasta with Fresh Spinach and Tomatoes was inspired by my dear friend Kelly.   A cancer survivor, mom and 8 time Ironman triathlete, Kelly was a big inspiration at my most significant races: my first triathlon and my first Ironman triathlon.

I had butterflies in my stomach at these two races.  My mind was racing and rethinking everything (Do I have all my nutrition?  How much time do I have before my wave starts?  Did I lay out everything I need in transition?)  At my first triathlon, I spotted Kelly, laying on her back on the beach, in her wetsuit, with her legs crossed and her eyes closed.  She looked so peaceful.   I’ve got to learn how to relax like that before the start of a race!

295917_10150312075499757_1466433818_n

When it was time for us to start the race, Kelly offered to swim with me.  You see, Kelly races for the pure enjoyment of racing.  Of course I declined.  I wanted her to race her own race, but I will always remember her selfless gesture.

At my first Ironman, I was lucky to find Kelly before the start again.   She was my security blanket as we walked out to the beach.  Kelly then looked into my eyes and reminded me that “It’s just another training day.”   Exactly what I needed to hear.

This recipe is for Kelly.  She asked for spinach and tomatoes with her pasta.

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat or gluten-free pasta* (cooked al dente)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, largely diced (about 3/4 inch)
  • 6 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • a couple pinches of salt
  • a couple grinds freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional)

* Note: Nutritionists recommend a single serving size of pasta be no more than ½ cup or the size of a hockey puck.  This is much less than what is typically served at restaurants.  I simply add lots of vegetables to my 1/2 cup of pasta.  In addition, I eat a side salad with this meal.  My Orange, Fennel and Arugula Salad or a simple tossed salad pairs nicely with this dish.

Directions:

Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat.  Sauté  garlic in the olive oil for about a minute, then add spinach leaves and tomatoes.  Continue to sauté until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes starts to break down a little.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Add juice of half of a lemon and toss to combine.  Add to cooked pasta.

The pasta is flavorful as is however, grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese can be added just before serving.

DSC_6310

kellypimimcswim
Kelly and I, just before we walked onto the beach at Ironman Canada.