Friday, February 21, 2020

A Month-of-Medtierranean: Breakfast and Brunch

I realize the focus has been on dinners with some attention to lunch, but today will focus on breakfast/brunch ideas that are Mediterranean Diet-compatible, like this baked egg in a bell pepper half. You can bake eggs in about any vegetable with an indentation—mushroom, avocado, hollowed out tomato, or a nest made of chopped kale and sprinkled with curry powder.

Of course, you can always stick with eating whole grains like rolled oats or old-fashioned oatmeal (no instant stuff!) topped with honey, nuts, and fruit. Or try out other grains like quinoa, barley, or farro as a stand-in for oatmeal.

Or you might caramelize fresh figs and top with Greek yogurt. I sometimes eat a banana and peanut butter.

A breakfast board with fruits, whole grain toast, hummus, and a spread of vegetables and cheeses could be breakfast for you. Or you might make a caprese whole grain toast (mozzarella/tomatoes/fresh basil/balsamic vinegar) topped with avocado. M

But for a company breakfast or brunch, or just to treat yourself, you might try one of these.

Quinoa with Eggs and Other Good Stuff (serves 4)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup mushrooms, cut into chunks
3 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup tomatoes, chopped (or use sun-dried tomatoes)
1 large handful kale, chopped into chunks
8 eggs, sunny side up or soft-poached
4 tablespoons Asiago cheese

Rinse the quinoa per package instructions. [See NOTE; very important step]

Put rinsed quinoa in sauce pan with 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. It should be done in 15-20 minutes. When done, the quinoa will have a gelatinous look, like tiny eyeballs.

While quinoa is simmering, melt the butter in a skillet. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. and stir until tomatoes are softening and the mushrooms are tender. Immediately add the kale and mix together thoroughly.

Remove from heat and prepare the eggs the way you like them. We like them soft and runny, but if you’re a hard egg person, cook them that way.

When the eggs are almost done, stir veggies into the quinoa. Stir together. Put one cup (or so) of quinoa mixture on a plate or large flat bowl. Sprinkle on a tablespoon of cheese on each dish. Top with eggs and serve.

This goes great with corn muffins and a fruit salad.

NOTE: It is really important to rinse off the coating nature puts on quinoa before you cook it or you will end up with a bitter dish.

Or how about Eggy Taco Cups for a really hearty brunch meal? Yeah, it has bacon, but just one piece per person. And you could leave it out if you are really restricting processed meats.

Eggy Taco Cups (serves 2)

2 slices of bacon
2 corn tortillas, warmed
8-12 leaves fresh spinach
2 eggs
2 green onions, sliced
½ cup Mexican cheese, shredded; divided
4 cherry tomatoes
1 small avocado, diced
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook bacon and set aside. Crumble when cool. (I do mine in the oven)

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds to make them more pliable.

Place two oven-proof bowls (or large ramekins) on a cookie sheet. Spray the bowls with non-stick cooking spray. Then wrap a tortilla into each bowl, overlapping edges where necessary.

Put ½ of spinach into each taco bowl. Top with an egg.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of cheese on top of each egg.

Top each egg with onions. Add bacon to each taco cup. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes. Check eggs to see if you want them more done. (We like them soft, but not runny.) Bake in 5 minute increments to the doneness you want.

Top each eggy taco cup with tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and Greek yogurt. I didn’t have fresh cilantro, or I would have used it. Great served for dinner with black beans and corn.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
DH enjoys the occasional special breakfast or brunch even though he typically has cereal or toast with peanut butter and jelly. However, anytime we make one of these (or other) special meals, he is a clean plater.

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