Poached Eggs 3 Ways

People in San Francisco love brunch. They wait more than two hours sometimes to get a bite of brown sugar-glazed bacon or brioche french toast. I’ve never been a huge brunch-goer, but I have experienced some of San Francisco’s well-known spots (Zazie, Sweet Maple, Mission Beach Cafe) without the wait by going early.

One of my favorite brunch meals was spinach and mushroom eggs benedict, a vegetarian version of a typically meat-heavy dish. The poached egg was perfectly prepared and paired with delicious flavors like caramelized onions. The dish inspired me to try making poached eggs at home.

Poached eggs are no easy task, at least that’s what I’d heard, so I was prepared to fail a few times before successfully poaching an egg. I thoroughly researched tips and tricks, and to my pleasant surprise was successful on the first try.

The method I followed was as follows: Bring a saucepan with 1″-deep water to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat off and crack an egg into the water with care, so it doesn’t splash all around. Immediately cover with a lid. Poaching eggs is all about timing and being attentive. After four minutes, remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon. You may find you need to leave the egg in the water a little longer, so be prepared for a little trial and error if this is your first time.

Once you’ve figured out the right timing and mastered it once, poaching eggs is simple and fast. They’re a great way to add protein, richness and texture to breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.

Below are several of my favorites:

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Savory oatmeal with poached egg and walnuts

Make oatmeal on the stove, following the directions on the box. Add 1/2 cup kale and a pinch of salt once oatmeal is nearly cooked. Cook until kale is wilted. Serve savory oatmeal with poached egg and walnuts. Try this recipe with other veggies such as mushrooms, zucchini and tomatoes as well.

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Cauliflower rice and veggies with poached egg

Saute 1/2 cup cauliflower rice, 1 medium-sized zucchini cut into bite-size pieces and 1 cup sugar snap peas for 5 minutes. Serve with poached egg, and season with salt and pepper.

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Roasted veggies and chickpeas with poached egg

Roast fingerling potatoes, heriloom carrots and chickpeas seasoned with salt and pepper for 30 minutes at 400°F. Serve topped with poached egg.

How have you served poached eggs? Share your recipe in the comments section.

Mushroom-Lentil Bake with Egg

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Often we look at something, whether it be an object, place or relationship, and simply see it at surface level. We might see a worn book as tattered and not worthy of $10 instead of seeing it as a well-loved gem that many have read over and over again.

Last week I ate at a Vietnamese restaurant that had an outdated facade, but once I entered, I could tell it was a family-run place with authentic food, cooked with love. There was a long line of customers waiting to be seated, and while many might pass the restaurant since it doesn’t entice you in with this street-facing appearance, what really matters is how the food is cooked and tastes.

The mushroom-lentil bake recipe has similar qualities. From the outside, it looks like it’s simply mushrooms and lentils, but once you cut into it, you discover the egg hidden beneath the surface. More and more, I’ve been eating foods that look delicious from the outside, and then when I dig into the dish, there’s a pleasantly surprising ingredient inside. It’s a good reminder to not view things at surface value.

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Mushroom-Lentil Bake with Egg

Ingredients

> 1 cup green lentils
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (1/2 cup white button and 1/2 cup crimini)
> 2 carrots, chopped
>  1 onion, chopped
> 4 eggs
> salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 370°F. Boil the lentils for 15 minutes, strain very well and place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, boil two eggs.

Heat olive oil in a large pan and saute mushrooms, carrots and onion for about 10 minutes. Place them in the large bowl with the lentils. Add two eggs, salt and pepper to bowl. Whisk together.

Place half of the mixture in a greased bread pan or other pan. Add the peeled boiled eggs and cover with the other half of the mixture.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool before removing from pan.

Makes 3 servings.

Adapted from Gourmandelle.

 

Caprese and Beet-and-Chickpea Focaccia Pizza

Homemade pizza is a fun meal to make since everyone can customize their pizza as they please. Since I wasn’t in the mood to roll out pizza dough or make it from scratch, I decided to make an easy pizza alternative using focaccia bread. The same can be done with flatbread, pita or any other bread product that can support the weight of cheese and vegetables.

I made a caprese version and a beet and chickpea version. I preferred the latter since the chickpeas added a different texture. Feel free to experiment with the toppings!

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Ingredients:

> 1 package focaccia bread
> 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
> 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
> 3 small beets, sliced
> 8 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
> salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to broil. Slice focaccia bread in half and set with sliced half open.

For the caprese version, place mozzarella then tomatoes on top of focaccia. For the beet and chickpea version, place mozzarella, then beets and chickpeas on top of focaccia. Be sure to not pile too high with cheese and veggies.

Place in oven to broil for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Makes 2 servings.

Inspired by Fitness Magazine.

Zucchini Noodles

In health magazines I often read about the healthy versions of comfort foods. While I’ve never been a huge spaghetti person, I’ve always wanted to try making veggie pasta. It looks so simple, refreshing and flavorful.

In the past I’ve made veggie pasta that doesn’t require a spiralizer such as raw zucchini lasagna, but last month I bought a basic spiralizer to experiment with new dishes. This recipe is a very basic recipe that relies on few spices and highlights the flavors of the homegrown veggies.

Zucchini Noodles

Ingredients:

> 2 medium zucchini
> 2 small heirloom carrots
> 4 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
> cilantro for garnish
> salt and pepper

Instructions:

Feed zucchini through spiralizer (I chose the Veggetti). Then feed the carrot through the spiralizer. Steam over boiling water for 2 minutes. Serve topped with cheese and cilantro and season with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 servings.

Original recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower Steak with Quinoa

Vegetarians rejoice because you can have steak too — it’s just a different kind of steak. I’ve often read cauliflower steak recipes and thought It sounds so simple, yet the presentation is of restaurant caliber. This rendition uses all parts of the cauliflower to make a cauliflower puree that’s simple yet elegant.

Cauliflower Steak with Quinoa

Ingredients:

> 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch thick “steaks”
> 2 tablespoons olive oil
> salt and pepper
> 1 cup quinoa
> 1 leek, rinsed and sliced
> 1 clove garlic, chopped

Instructions:

Cook the quinoa in 2 cups water over simmering water, until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan and roast the steaks on each side until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the cauliflower puree, cut the remaining cauliflower ends including the stalks into small florets and blanch until tender. Preheat oven to 350°F and spread florets on a baking sheet. Cook for about 15 minutes.

In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute the leek and garlic. Add the cauliflower florets and season with salt and pepper. Cook until cauliflower is tender. Puree mixture in a blender until smooth.

To assemble the dish, fold together quinoa and 1 cup cauliflower puree in a medium bowl. Place a bed of the quinoa mixture and top with a cauliflower steak on each plate. Garnish with roasted vegetables.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from The Wall Street Journal.

Caprese Quinoa Bake

While I love the flavors of pizza and pasta, I’m not always in the mood to eat that many white carbs or order an entire serving. Plus, Italians love their large pasta dishes and “single-serve” pizzas are often more appropriate for two. This recipe brings Italian flavors to a dish with whole grains and less cheese than your classic pizza or pasta. It’s easy to cook and makes great leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.

Caprese Quinoa Bake

Ingredients:

> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 15-ounce tomato sauce
> 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
> 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
> 1/2 teaspoon oregano
> salt and pepper
> 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
> 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
> 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Instructions:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic salt and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa and cheese.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly coat a 8×8-inch pan with olive oil. Add quinoa mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake about 10 minutes. Top with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from NatureBox.

Portobello Mushroom Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese

Portobello mushrooms aren’t a crowd pleaser by any means. In fact, many people can’t think about choosing that over steak (often the two choices at formal events). But for those of us who prefer portobellos over a piece of meat, it’s refreshing to find a recipe that truly plays to a portobello mushrooms strengths and brings out all the right flavors and textures. This recipe, which features several components that pair well together, is simple in execution, yet complex in flavor.

Portobello Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

> 2 tablespoons walnuts
> 1/4 cup fresh parsley, leaves separated from stems
> 8 ounces goat cheese
> 1 clove garlic
> 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, canned in water
> 1/4 cup jarred roasted red pepper
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 4 portobello mushrooms
> salt and pepper
> 3 cups baby arugula
> 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Process the walnuts and parsley leaves in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the goat cheese and a dash of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

Smash and mince the garlic. Finely chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan and add garlic, artichoke hearts and red peppers. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and brush each mushroom with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet in oven. Roast about 15 minutes. Let the mushroom caps cool for about 5 minutes.

Place baby arugula and lemon juice in large mixing bowl and toss to combine.

Divide the goat cheese and walnut mixture among mushroom caps, spreading on the gill side of each mushroom. Top with a scoop of roasted red pepper and artichoke mixture. Finish with a handful of dressed arugula.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from Self.