For a little over a year now, I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect poached egg. Well, I’m no where near perfection yet but I’ve certainly enjoyed hundreds of trial eggs in the process. If you’ve only eaten poached eggs at a restaurant I adjure you to give them a try at home. It’s wild to watch the mess in your saucepan turn into a beautifully cooked egg. Okay, and sometimes not so beautiful. Then there’s the “ahhhh” moment when you first slide your fork into the center of the egg and watch the yolk cascade out. Can anyone relate to me here??
I love my eggs slathered in Hollandaise sauce and on top an English muffin as much as the next person but I needed to make a healthier everyday way to eat my eggs while on my perfect-poached-egg odyssey. Poached eggs over a slice of whole wheat toast is awesome and easy to do, but I’ve opted for quinoa. It’s a whole grain, unprocessed, full of protein, and easy to cook and store. Most of the time, I just eat my eggs over quinoa alone with some salt and pepper. I wanted to ante up for this post and create a more robust dish that you could share with others though you’d be bolder than me to make poached eggs for a crowd. But as my obsession with poaching eggs grows, I’m growing more fond of the idea.
Here are all the reasons I love this poached egg quinoa breakfast casserole: First, it’s super healthy, made with all-natural (or what I call God-made) ingredients. There’s nothing processed here. Four out of five of the food groups are in this single dish (avocados are technically a fruit). Serve with a glass of milk and you have them all covered. Going along with that, I feel full. But not like the full I feel after eating a double-fudge brownie ice cream sundae. Eat a hearty serving of this for breakfast and you’ll be good to go for lunch. Also, this is a great dish for multi-tasking. While the quinoa is in the oven, you’re poaching the eggs. Plus you can cook the quinoa ahead of time, refrigerate it, and then you could knock the rest out in under 30 minutes. Third, you can totally eat this for lunch. Or dinner. I’ve done both. Last, poaching is definitely the most fun way to cook an egg. It’s a science and an art. If I’m cooking, I might as well be entertained.
So you might be wondering how to poach an egg. For that, I’m going to send you on over to smitten kitchen. Here’s why: 1) I do the exact same thing described there. 2) I don’t get nearly enough light in my kitchen in the morning to take good stovetop pictures. Hence, the weird one above. 3) A lot of you probably already know how to poach eggs (and very likely better than me!) and don’t need the tutorial. 4) I’ve already written a book for this post and you just want to get to the recipe already.
Poached Egg Quinoa Breakfast Casserole
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
½ bunch asparagus, roughly chopped
1 avocado, sliced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook the quinoa like usual; here’s what I do: In a small saucepan, add quinoa and water and a little olive oil if desired. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa has soaked up all of the water.
Transfer the cooked quinoa to a casserole dish and mix in the asparagus. Add some salt and pepper here, if desired. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, stirring once half way through the baking. The quinoa should be golden brown and a little crunchy and the asparagus should be thoroughly cooked.
While the quinoa is in the oven, poach your eggs and set aside on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Top the quinoa-asparagus mixture with poached eggs and avocado. Crack salt and pepper over top of everything and serve warm.
I’ve said it before: tomatoes and strawberries are quintessential to summer. So why not combine them together on top of some crusty bread? Sounds good to me! I think this heirloom tomato and strawberry bruschetta is the absolute perfect thing to bring to a summer party. Ridiculously simple to make and yet so appetizing and tasty. It looks pretty darn impressive for something that takes all of 15 minutes to put together.
I am going to start by declaring that Honey Bunches of Oats is the best cereal in the world. And it only gets better with almonds. All agreed? Good, now we can move on.
You know you have a problem if You know you’re a foodie if you think back to a meal you had several years ago and dream about recreating it. When we were dating, Dave and I ate at a fabulous hipster restaurant in Denver called Jelly. Though they’re famous for their jelly-filled donuts, I thought their Cornflake-crusted French toast was the real winner. I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since.
SUMMER!!!! It’s finally here! But Gretchen, you say, you’re a little late on this one, we’re practically half way through summer. Technically it’s been summer for a week now. Not for this one. My calendar says summer starts today as I’m finally done with school! And I’m celebrating with popsicles!
Growing up summer was synonymous with popsicles, ice cream trucks, and green hair from spending to much time in the pool. I’ve lost the blond in my hair and most ice cream trucks these days are pretty creepy (were they always like that??) but my love for popsicles still remains. But now that I’m grown up, let’s make some popsicles grown-up style…
They say bacon goes with everything…or bacon makes everything better…or something like that. I guess I wouldn’t really know. What I do know is that this chocolate bark is fabulous with or without the bacon and, given that half of America seems ready to trade their pinky finger for a lifetime supply of candied bacon anything, it’s a pretty safe bet that the bacon only makes it better. But don’t just take the vegetarian’s word for it, this bacon pretzel chocolate bark got rave reviews from everyone who tried it.
Cauliflower crust pizzas were first introduced to me by my dear friend Wendy, who is both gluten free and a terrific cook. I’m anything but gluten free so the reason I love this pizza isn’t because of the absence of gluten though I suppose that’s an added bonus for many. In truth, the reason I love this cauliflower crust veggie pizza because I can feel good about piling on the cheese since the whole pizza is just one big vegetable.
Grating a whole head of cauliflower takes a bit of time, but once you get into a rhythm, it goes pretty quick.
The pizza crust pre-baking…
…and post baking.
Heat up the grill! Summer is here! Well, I still have a week and a half left of school but with these grilled pineapple veggie burgers on the grill, I can at least pretend I’m on summer vacation.
I think I might be a coconut kick for awhile, friends. I kind of forgot about the whole you-can-substitute-coconut-oil-for-almost-anything thing. So when it came time to make yet another batch of granola, I figured I’d go for it. If you haven’t noticed, I have a pretty staple “base” for my granola and then tweak it here and there. I quadrupled the amount of coconut in this one, doubled the almonds, cut down on the sugar some and hoped it would turn out. It’s not quite as sweet as my standard granola, but this coconut almond granola is fabulous with some vanilla soy milk and sprinkled with fresh blueberries. Easily my healthiest granola yet.
“But isn’t coconut full of fat?” I hear that a lot. Yes! And that’s a good thing! Your body needs good fats in addition to carbohydrates, protein, etc. It’s all about where it comes from. No one ever got fat from coconut.
I acquired some grapefruit last week, yes acquired, that’s the word I’ll use…not exactly purchased or gifted to me…but acquired nonetheless and had to put them to good use. Truth be told, I don’t really like grapefruit and never saw the point of pouring heaps of granulated sugar on top of it in order to do so. Okay, I suppose that’s exactly what I did here but it’s in tart form so it’s justified. Rather than your traditional pie crust, I swapped out phyllo dough to make these mini lemon grapefruit phyllo tarts.
I found the big guy on the right squashed between the branches of the tree, hence, gnarly scar. Dave ate this one and said it tasted like wood. The rest were significantly better!
I hope everyone had a fun and restful Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you to all of our troops who have served for our country. It’s been a busy week for me, hence no post. I took my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students camping in Joshua Tree National Park last week then turned right around to meet some college friends for the long weekend in Palm Springs. It’s been a blast!