Home Cooking: Avocado-egg-stravaganza
I believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for children and adults. If you begin the day with a healthy meal, you are less likely to spend the rest of the day raiding the kitchen or vending machine for cheap sugar satiation. You are less likely to over-indulge at lunch when you’re desperately hungry because you haven’t eaten for 12 hours and you are less inclined to eat a carbohydrate-laden dinner that may lead to strange dreams rather than restful sleep.
Now that I’ve convinced you to enjoy breakfast before heading out the door, allow me to entice you with two healthy options that are fast and easy for hectic weekday mornings, and two to inspire indulgent hours of conversation over weekend brunch.
Each of these four recipes include either avocado, egg or both. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, fiber and vitamins. Best of all, avocados taste luxurious and filling. Eggs provide healthy protein and can be prepared in each of these recipes according to your preference. In fact, if you’re really in a hurry, boil eggs the night before, put them in the fridge and add them the next morning. Both avocados and eggs will allow you to leave the house feeling happy, healthy and ready to take on the day with a spring in your step.
I love toast. What I love even more is toast spread with fresh avocado and a few delicious chunks of smoked salmon or hard-boiled egg. Do we even need a recipe? OK, here goes: Toast two slices of your favorite bread. Cut an avocado in half, scoop out the luscious green interior, mash, season with salt and pepper. Spread the mashed avocado on the toast, enjoy. Or if you’re feeling really indulgent, add chunks of smoked salmon. Ready in five minutes, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The perfect breakfast to grab on your way out the door.
Baked Avocado and Egg
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut an avocado in half, remove pit, crack an egg into the hollow of each avocado half, bake the avocado/egg until the egg has set to the doneness you prefer. Serve with dry toast, perfect for dipping into the runny yolks. Takes about 10 minutes to bake in the oven. Five minutes to sit down and enjoy.
The Modern Deconstructed Eggs Benedict
Although this is still easy to make, I suggest you save it for a leisurely weekend brunch where you can sit back and enjoy all the flavors at play. It’s no mistake that the picture of this dish resembles a painter’s palette. Here we have simple scrambled eggs, mashed avocados, luscious chunks of smoked salmon, toast and instead of a rich Hollandaise sauce, we’ve taken a log of goat cheese, thrown it into a food processor with fresh herbs, salt and ground pepper, processed with drizzles of extra virgin olive oil until it’s smooth and silky. This is a dish that cries out for your creativity: instead of toast, substitute in the traditional English muffin, instead of scrambled eggs, try your hand at poached eggs; instead of avocado try spinach quickly sautéed in olive oil. But I think you’ll want to keep the smoked salmon and the creamy goat cheese. They add depth and brightness to this dish. And I believe you’ll agree this is a breakfast you’ll want to linger over with a friend or two and a glass of Prosecco or an Aperol spritz. To be enjoyed during one of our last springtime snowstorms, with a gentle walk with the dog afterward.
The Green Monster Omelet
I’ll admit this omelet resembles a certain monster that loves to eat cookies, which might help you entice the youngsters to try a bite or two. It also happens to be easy to make and assemble despite the daunting reputation of most omelets. Break two eggs into a cup, add a splash of half-and-half or water. Into a small non-stick skillet, add a dollop of butter, allow it to melt over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and spread over the bottom of the skillet, pour in the egg mixture, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Allow the egg mixture to begin to cook. Use a rubber spatula to gently lift the outer edges of the omelet and let the egg liquid in the center to run over the cooked edges to be cooked in the skillet. Continue to lift the edges of the omelet. Gently flip the omelet over and cook the other side for 30 seconds and then slide the omelet onto a plate, flat. Add a small handful of your favorite greens, for instance, I used: arugula, avocado, feta cheese (or the creamy goat cheese created in the deconstructed eggs benedict recipe, above), a little sprinkle of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Flip one edge of the omelet over the greens to create the omelet. Add a toast of your choice, of course. I chose the delectable spongy crumpet, structurally engineered to capture butter. Once again, I suggest this for brunch, served with a crisp white wine, on the first day warm enough to eat outside, where you will discuss your plans for the garden. Follow with a leisurely walk downtown to window shop, with a stop for a shot of espresso at a little cafe on Main Street.
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