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.

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Baked eggs with spinach and ham

Early morning workouts are a part of my Ironman training schedule.  I typically swim in the mornings however the past 2 weeks have been extremely challenging.  We have been experiencing unseasonably cold temperatures here in Northern California.  I woke up to a balmy 36F.  After a swim, I am cold and starved.  I typically enjoy steel cut oatmeal with almonds and blueberries but today I was craving something more comforting.  Baked eggs with spinach and ham was a satisfying post swim breakfast that warmed my belly up quite nicely.

I avoided eggs for many years due to a family history of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Fortunately it was determined that I had high levels of HDL “good” cholesterol.  Still I try to maintain a low cholesterol, low fat diet.  I typically use Eggland’s Best Eggs which boasts less fat and cholesterol and more nutrients than regular eggs.  These “engineered” eggs are created by controlling the chicken’s diet.  For more on eggs, here’s a good article:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/eggs-friend-or-foe.

The latest science seems to suggest that eggs are not as bad for you as once thought.  I’m happy to be reunited with eggs again.  I’m fond of everything made with eggs.

Serving size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon grated Gruyere and Swiss cheese (cheddar or parmesan works well too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cooked ham (I had frozen ham left over from a dinner party)
  • 2 tablespoon thawed frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375F.  Coat a medium ramekin (the size you’d use for creme brulee) with olive oil.  Sprinkle even coating of cheese to the bottom of the ramekin.  Crack both eggs into ramekin, being careful not to break the yolk.  Sprinkle ham, spinach and parsley around the yolk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes depending on how well you like your yolks done.

In case you are interested in seeing the episode of Julia Child’s show that inspired me to cook, here it is: