BOR-ING. That's me, about breakfast. Day in, day out, I could eat the same thing for breakfast. At school, the morning ritual was an English muffin with peanut butter. (Who else adores how salty peanut butter oozes into the little holes of a just-toasted English muffin?) Then came a cup of yogurt, handy for catching the bus to work. Then for y-e-a-r-s, I stirred peanut butter into oatmeal. (Hmm, is it the warm peanut butter? Maybe!) In last years, it's been another oatmeal porridge, half old-fashioned and half steel-cut, cooked in milk.
But the men I live with (that'd be Jerry and my almost 91-year old father who lives with us) get bored by breakfast repetition. So I'm always on the hunt for quick and healthy breakfasts, high protein and low carb, that can be cooked with a minimum of prep and cleanup for an early-morning, not-yet-fully-caffeinated brain.
This one's a winner, it has three fans in this household. One of us (one guess?) could eat it every day, it's that magical combination of bitter greens and runny eggs – check the list of recipes below for more spinach-egg combos.
RECIPE for SPIN DIP BAKED EGGS
Time to table: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a small onion, diced small
1/2 red pepper, diced small (set aside a few pieces for garnish)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
16 ounces (454g) frozen leaf spinach, thawed
4 ounces (113g) low-fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
1 cup 2% milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Up to 6 large eggs
Set oven to 500F/260C, here, that's the "broil" function. Place a rack in the center position.
In a large, oven-safe non-stick skillet with a cover, heat oil on medium heat. Stir in onion and pepper as they're prepped, cook just until beginning to soften. Stir in garlic and cumin, let cook for 1 minute. Stir in spinach and heat through, let cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until well distributed, then slowly add milk, a tablespoon or two at a time at first. Bring almost to a boil but do not allow to boil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
With the back of a spoon, create depressions for the eggs, crack an egg into each one. Sprinkle the eggs with a little salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 5 - 10 minutes, until the eggs cook to the desired consistency.
MAKE-AHEAD The spinach mixture could easily be made ahead of time and then brought back to temperature before adding the eggs.
LEFTOVERS The spinach leftovers warm up beautifully in the microwave. Once or twice, I've rewarmed leftover spinach in the microwave, then topped it with a fried egg – or stirred in a little cottage cheese for a quick lunch.
VARIATIONS "Spin Dip" often includes chopped artichoke, I think you could easily add a canful. Recently, a weekend guest made a cheesy artichoke dip for an impromptu dinner, combining canned artichoke hearts and marinated artichoke hearts about 2:1. When I remade her dip later, I compared the taste of Trader Joe's marinated artichokes to Mario's marinated artichokes. Hands down, Mario's won.
ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
FROZEN SPINACH It surprises me, how long thawed frozen spinach keeps in the fridge. I'm always worried about using it up within a day or two of thawing. Instead? I put it in a quart mason jar and it keeps a good week. Anybody else do this?
GARLIC POWDER vs GRANULATED GARLIC I've long kept garlic powder in the spice cupboard, right next to the onion powder and celery salt. But granulated garlic? That was a new seasoning to me, until one St. Louis chef after another called for it in recipes for my column in the local newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Both products are slow-dried garlic, garlic powder is ground quite fine where granulated garlic is slightly coarse. To my taste, the granulated form is slightly more garlic-y.
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CREAMY EGGS & "BITTER" SPINACH: A MAGICAL MARRIAGE~ Baked Eggs in Cream with Spinach ~
~ Easy Spinach Nests ~
~ How to Make a Spinach Omelet ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing ~
~ Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ~
~ Bacon & Egg Breakfast Bake ~
~ more spinach recipes ~
~ more egg recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
SEASONAL EATING: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARSNo Waste Leek Stock Turnip Potato Purée Orzo with Spinach Yummy Snack Cake Pasta with Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Olives & Bacon Browned Cabbage with Mustard & Horseradish Green Envy Noodles Homemade Guacamole with Tomatillos (< this week's favorite!) Finn Crisp with Laughing Cow & Radishes Four Ways to Cut Brussels Sprouts Tofu Pudding - Blackberry, Mango and Pumpkin How to Roast Vegetables Two-Can Ten-Minute Homemade Tomato Soup Easy-Easy Barely Roasted Zucchini & Yellow Squash Beefy Tomatillo Chili
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
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