Wheatless Wednesday – Baked Eggs in Kale Cups

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Move over eggs and toast, Baked Eggs in Kale Cups is more delicious, nutritious and way cuter!  With easy preparation and few ingredients, breakfast is on the table in 30 minutes or less. This is the perfect weekend treat! The kale is crispy on the sides but creamy and garlicky on the bottom, while the egg is perfectly set with hints of parmesan, red pepper flakes and fresh basil. Delish and easy!  Just pop them in the oven and enjoy a cup of coffee and the newspaper while they bake.  (It will only look like you worked so hard…)  These pretty baked eggs are a good source of protein to start your day and the KALE  adds vitamin B6, dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids phosphorus, more protein, folate, and niacin. Whew!  That is why kale is king…. These little beauties are also elegant enough to serve at a brunch or even as a quick and easy dinner. Serve with fresh fruit or a tossed green salad. For a hearty appetite, add roasted or baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.

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I spotted this recipe in the November, 2015 edition of Vegetarian Times and decided to make it for Sunday brunch using  eggs from the backyard chickens next door and fresh kale from my garden.  I have a great arrangement with my neighbor, Sandy.  I give her all of my cooking and vegetable garden scraps and she gives me beautiful organic eggs from happy chickens.  Look at the gorgeous orange of the yolks.  Darker yellow/orange yolks usually means the hen had a varied diet and the resulting egg is richer in Vitamins and micronutrients like vitamins A and E plus omega-3. as compared to the anemic pale yellow, less nutritious standard supermarket egg.  Did you know that egg yolks are one of the foods that naturally contain Vitamin D?  Another egg fact you may not know is that the color of the shell doesn’t indicate how nutritious it is, just the kind of chicken that the egg came from. My Mom raised a variety of chickens who laid eggs that ranged in color from off white to green, blue and brown – all equally nutritious because they were raised the same, happy and on the earth.

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However, if you aren’t lucky enough to have chickens like my brother, Tom, and his wife, Kelle, or have  a neighbor with chickens, try to buy eggs that are labelled “Pasture Raised”.  Other egg labels are often meaningless and lies misleading as producers try to capitalize on people’s desire to make more humane and nutritious choices.  Just because something is labelled ‘Organic’ or ‘Free Range’ doesn’t mean the chickens were given nutritious food or had a chance to go outside and peck at the ground.  There is little to no oversight so producers just decide for themselves what those terms mean. Outside might mean a tiny concrete enclosure that the chickens may not even know is there or have real access. For a breakdown on what egg labels are supposed to mean and what they really mean, click HERE to read an article by NPR.  And, FYI, chickens are NOT vegetarians…

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TIPS:  I used lacinato kale because that is what I had ready in my garden, but you can use any kind of kale you like.  Curly kale would make extra pretty ‘cups’ in this dish.  When forming the nests/cups, use more kale than you think and make sure the muffin tin is completely covered to prevent leakage and that the fronds stick up out of the muffin tin, as the kale shrinks quite a bit during baking.

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BAKED EGGS IN KALE CUPS

      2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
      1 12-oz. bunch kale, stems removed
      2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
      1-2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
      6 large eggs
      1 Tbsn fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat extra-large six-cup muffin pan with 1 Tbs. oil or cooking spray.

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  • Place kale leaves in large bowl, add remaining 1 Tbs. oil, cheese, and garlic. Massage kale until tender and glistening.

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  • Line prepared muffin cups with large kale leaves, covering whole muffin cup, and leaving some of leaf edges sticking up (smaller leaves can be layered in cup).

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  • Crack 1 egg into each kale nest, and season with salt and pepper, more red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

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  • Bake 17 to 25 minutes, or until egg yolk is set.

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  • Cool 5 minutes before removing kale nests from muffin cups.

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  • Using a large spoon or a knife edge, carefully release the sides from the cupcake tin and place on a platter to serve. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired.

Baked EggS in Kale Cups

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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        2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
        1 12-oz. bunch curly kale, stems removed
        2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
        1-2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
        6 large eggs
        1 Tbsn fresh basil, chopped (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat extra-large six-cup muffin pan with 1 Tbs. oil or cooking spray.
  • Place kale leaves in large bowl, add remaining 1 Tbs. oil, cheese, and garlic. Massage kale until tender and glistening.
  • Line prepared muffin cups with large kale leaves, covering whole muffin cup, and leaving some of leaf edges sticking up (smaller leaves can be layered in cup).
  • Crack 1 egg into each kale nest, and season with salt and pepper, more red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.
  • Bake 17 to 25 minutes, or until egg yolk is set.
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing kale nests from muffin cups.
  • Using a large spoon or a knife edge, carefully release the sides from the cupcake tin and place on a platter to serve. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired

Meatless Monday – Eggs Baked in Avocado Cups

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Ever feel like you’re running a Bed & Breakfast?  That was me this past weekend, which was a whirlwind of my adult kids and various friends visiting from Maine.  It was so much fun but that many people around means that the kitchen is always hoppin’.  Saturday night I came home to  this gorgeous bowl of eggs sitting by my front door. I have an arrangement with my next door neighbor, Sandy.  I give her all of my kitchen scraps for her chickens who magically turn them into eggs.  What a deal!  Happy chickens and happy neighbors! These colorful eggs also bring back memories.  My Mom raised chickens when I was a kid, so I grew up on multi-colored beautiful eggs like these from chickens who get to run around outside in the sunshine.  So now, even though I don’t have my own chickens, I do have a ‘chicken bucket’ for my scraps.  I’m sure this photo will make my Mom smile…

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Sunday morning rolled around and I decided to make Eggs Baked in Avocado ‘Cups’.  Fresh eggs from happy chickens + perfectly ripe avocado =heavenly.  As is my usual way, I looked around the kitchen to see how I could snazz them up and spied a yellow bell pepper and a zucchini, which I quickly chopped into small pieces to make what I always call vegetable ‘confetti’.  Throw on some fresh parmesan, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and a handful of freshly chopped parsley, yum!  I served this as a breakfast buffet for my guests who got up at various times but it would also make a great dinner served with a fresh green salad.  The beauty is that it doesn’t have to be served piping hot.  It is just as good warm or at room temperature.  You can also vary toppings based on personal tastes or what you have on hand.

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TIPS:  The larger the avocado, the better.  Or perhaps the reverse is true as well, the smaller the egg, the better.  Most eggs won’t fit inside a regular Hass avocado, so I scooped out a bit of the avocado to make a larger opening for the egg.  Then I used the avocado I scooped out to make Avocado Mango Smoothies for all of us to sip on while we waited for the eggs to bake.  I like these so much that I now stock frozen mango chunks.  You can substitute the yogurt for a banana for a non-dairy, vegan smoothie.    Recipe HERE for Avocado Mango Smoothie

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EGGS BAKED IN AVOCADO ‘CUPS’

4 fresh pasture raised eggs (if available)
2 ripe but firm avocados
1/2 yellow, red or green bell pepper (optional)
1/2 zucchini (optional
1/4 cup shaved or grated parmesan (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

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  • Halve each avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out some of the flesh to enlarge the hole to make room for the egg.

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  • Place avocados in a small baking dish cut side up. If they are wobbly, place them snuggly in a smaller pan to prop each other up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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  • Crack one egg at a time into the holes of each avocado.

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  • If you are using vegetable ‘confetti, finely dice pepper and zucchini (or any other veggie you prefer) and saute for a few minutes in butter or oil until slightly softened.

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  • Sprinkle confetti over eggs. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and top with parmesan, if using.

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  • Bake at 400°F for 15 to 25 minutes, or until your egg whites are set and the yolks are to your liking. (If you don’t like a runny yolk, you can slightly beat the egg before adding them to the avocado.)

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  • To serve, top with freshly chopped parsley and a side of Sriracha.

Eggs Baked in Avocado Cups

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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4 fresh pasture raised eggs (if available)
2 ripe but firm avocados
1/2 yellow, red or green bell pepper (optional)
1/2 zucchini (optional
1/4 cup shaved or grated parmesan (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

 

  • Halve each avocado and remove the pit. Scoop out some of the flesh to enlarge the hole to make room for the egg.
  • Place avocados in a small baking dish cut side up. They will stand up better if you place them snuggly in the pan to prop each other up.
  • Crack one egg at a time into the holes of each avocado.
  • If you are using vegetable ‘confetti, finely dice pepper and zucchini (or any other veggie you prefer) and saute for a few minutes in butter or oil until slightly softened.
  • Sprinkle confetti over eggs.
  • Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and top with parmesan, if using.
  • Bake at 400°F for 15 to 25 minutes, or until your egg whites are set and the yolks are to your liking. (If you don’t like a runny yolk, you can slightly beat the egg before adding them to the avocado.)
  • To serve, top with freshly chopped parsley and a side of Sriracha.