At our house, we decided to improve our diet in the new year. The program we’re following is called the Whole30. It’s described in detail in the book It Starts with Food, by Melissa Hartwig. In a nutsell, it calls for unprocessed foods, lots of vegetables, no refined sugar, no dairy, and limited fruit. While not for everyone because it’s exacting and requires considerable motivation, many people have reported lasting diet change and health benefits.
The program allows good amounts of food, including protein, fats, and vegetables. On this challenge as well as on Weight Watchers, which I followed in the past, a good breakfast is a big help in staying with the plan. For a satisfying grab-and-go breakfast that incorporates vegetables, baked eggs prepared ahead in muffin tins have been perfect.
However, you don’t need to be on a special program to enjoy these baked eggs! For an appealing brunch presentation, the eggs can be baked in ramekins using fewer eggs, more spinach per egg, and one-half strip bacon per egg.
On the Whole30 plan, sugar-free bacon is allowed in moderation. If you like, substitute crumbled turkey sausage, or omit the meat. In the version of the recipe shown here we used side pork, which is uncured bacon. Some people on the program buy Grassland Sugar Free Pork Bacon, and some home-cure side pork or pork belly. But I think the side pork is fine —I just sprinkle on a little salt when cooking it.
|Baked Eggs With Spinach and Bacon||
- Oil or bacon grease
- 1 9-ounce package frozen cut spinach, thawed, drained and most of water pressed out
- 6 strips bacon, cut into halves (or the same amount of side pork)
- Italian seasoning, nutmeg or other herbs of choice
- 12 large eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook bacon (or side pork) crisp on broiler pan in oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or cook in pan on stove.
- Thoroughly brush oil or bacon grease all over muffin tin using a brush or paper towel. (Oil spray doesn’t prevent sticking nearly as well as a good quarter to half teaspoon brushed-on oil per muffin cup. Also coat the top surface. This generous coating of oil will save you a lot of scrubbing.)
- Distribute thawed, drained, and pressed spinach between muffin cups—about 1 tablespoon per cup, patting lightly into an even layer, or “bed.” Sprinkle a little seasoning of choice on each spinach bed. Crack eggs, one by one, into a small container. Allow to slide from container onto spinach beds, taking care not to break yolks. Broken yolks are OK but will cook faster than unbroken ones.
- Crumble one-half strip of bacon at a time. Sprinkle onto the white of each egg. Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are mostly thickened. (The shorter time is for runnier yolks. Take the pan out of the oven when the eggs are a little underdone because the eggs will continue to cook, and if you re-warm them later, of course they’ll cook a little more.)
- Cool a few minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge of each muffin cup to loosen the eggs, or if baked in ramekins, serve immediately in the ramekins if desired. To store, place in covered containers and refrigerate. Eat cold or reheat briefly in microwave for 5 minutes or in 300°F oven or toaster oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Use within 3 to 4 days.
- Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
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- Wheat-Free Fare Wheat-Free Wednesday
- Poor and Gluten-Free Waste Not Want Not Wednesday