Recipe: How to poach eggs and Salmon Benedict

I had never poached eggs until this weekend and holy moly – it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be.

If we had to rank egg styles in order of what I think is easiest to hardest to prepare the list would go:

  1. Scrambled
  2. Frittata
  3. Over medium
  4. Over easy
  5. Sunny-side up
  6. Hardboiled
  7. Omelet
  8. Poached

I never seem to get the timing just right on hardboiled eggs and I’ve ripped a number of omelets in the flipping process – trust me, it wasn’t pretty.

On Saturday, JP and I went to BJ’s Wholesale for our biweekly grocery haul and I had decided to change up some of my fat sources as well as my vegetables. We typically get our vegetables and fruits based on what’s on sale, however, going to the wholesale club drastically decreases the cost of items like blueberries, avocados and bell peppers. We still try to be mindful of how much we’re investing into our groceries in cost as well as our taste buds – when you buy bulk you are dedicating many meals to these items.

This haul resulted in whole eggs, avocados and smoked salmon as new fat sources. Blueberries, potatoes, green beans and bananas as newer vegetable and fruit carbohydrate sources.

After I got the haul home, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with the parts I bought. Since I’ve changed my first rest day to Sunday, the first thing I thought about was breakfast and I got to searching.

First of all, I looked at a few different sites to poach an egg and I wish there had been more consistency because some were just awful. The first one resulted in an egg in the trash – so sad. Thankfully, after reading through more recipes I was able to get it right.

What You’ll Need for Poaching

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Whole eggs
  • Medium pot
  • Slotted spoon

Directions

  1. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and set to medium high heat. You want to get the pot to a low boil.
  2. Once, the water is at a boil, add 1 to 1 and a half tablespoons of white distilled vinegar.
  3. Crack an egg into a cup or small container that you can use to help slide the egg into the boiling water and turn the temperature down a little.
  4. Once the egg is in the water, set a timer for 2 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop the egg and shake off any water.

The vinegar helps prevent the egg whites from separating and as the water boils the whites start to cook into themselves and appear as though they were cooked in the shell of the egg. 

What You’ll Need for Hollandaise Sauce for 2

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of  butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Small pot
  • Whisk

Directions

  1. In a regular bowl (what I call a cereal bowl), beat egg yolks only with 1 tablespoon of water and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Mixture will be a bit fluffy and frothy.
  2. Transfer mixture into a small pot over medium heat. Allow pot to warm up and then start stirring or whisking. I have a small whisk, a traditional size whisk may be too big and you may want to use a fork.
  3. Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes or until yolk mixture has appear to slightly cooked. As your whisking, the mixture will become more fluffy and increase in volume. The coloring will also darken.
  4. Once it appears that is has cooked, remove from heat and mix in butter.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add cayenne for spice – JP tops his with hot pepper sauce instead.

Assembly

If you want to add a grain, I would recommend toasting it so that it’s sturdy. You could also eliminate the grain and add starch like a baked red potato or sweet potato. If you’re interested in keeping it lower carb you can have the egg without a grain or starch.

  1. Layer sliced salmon on top of toasted English muffin.
  2. Gently place poached egg.
  3. Finish off with a spoonful or two of Hollandaise sauce.

Notes:

Keto/Higher fat diets: for those who do follow a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet and are looking for healthy fats to incorporate into breakfast, the poached egg with smoked salmon may be a good option. The Hollandaise does also have yolks and butter, which do contain saturated fats so moderation should be practiced – this isn’t a meal I would necessarily recommend for every day, but if it’s balanced with other lean proteins and other unsaturated fats, I don’t think it’s a problem.

Paleo/Whole Foods approach: Eliminating the grain and substituting for a different base (if desired) could be a good approach. You can also change out the butter for a paleo/whole foods approach approved butter or ghee.


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Recipe: Banana Bread Protein Pancakes for 2

One of the most popular posts on this blog is my protein pancakes using Kodiak Cakes pancake mix. Their protein mix (Powercakes) released in 2013, well before I created my recipe in 2015, but it was before I could find the mix anywhere near me. My recipe is one of the simplest recipes I have on this blog.

Their mixes have gone through some changes over the past few years, allowing them to continue to be balanced and provide more volume.

Kodiak Cakes Powercakes are a staple in our house because of how easy they are and with their recipe changes to their mix, I don’t find myself often needing to use my higher protein recipe.

However, there are times when we run out of mix or we’re not home, like this weekend, but we want pancakes.

As I mentioned the other day, there were a few things we were bringing from our fridge to JP’s parents fridge because we didn’t want to come home to throwing out food. A banana is one of those items I put in our food bag for the weekend.

This morning we woke up at 6:30 am without an alarm. This is sleeping in for us. We went to bed early last night after pizza date night. We had content bellies then, but this morning I could hear JP’s growling.

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He asked what was for breakfast and my first response was “I don’t know, eggs? What are you in the mood for?” His response was usual – “I don’t care.” It doesn’t really answer the question, but it doesn’t ignore it either.

So as always, I looked at my Pinterest boards to see if there was anything I had pinned that I’ve wanted to try and then I searched for something new when I didn’t see anything I wanted to make.

I knew I had a banana and that’s about all I knew. Here’s the recipe that inspired mine.

And here’s the journey of my banana.

What You’ll Need

  • a medium sized banana (mine weighed 126g)
  • 1 egg
  • ~1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of milk (I used 2% because that was what was in the fridge)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 10g of protein powder (I used chocolate cupcake protein from PEScience)

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine a medium-sized banana and whole egg using. I used a whisk because the batter won’t be super thick, but may have banana chunks.

2. Add all-purpose flour leveled in measuring cup. I had started with a 1/4 cup and then went back to add an additional tablespoon. Using a full 1/3 cup would be completely appropriate.

3. Add a splash of vanilla. This is really about taste. You could also add some cinnamon if you wanted to as well.

4.  Add 1/4 tsp of baking powder.

5. While the banana is sweet, the pancake batter is really plain without a sweetener of some kind. I used a teaspoon of brown sugar, but you could use honey, maple syrup or an alternative like Splenda/Truvia. Just be mindful different kinds of sugar have different levels of sweetness so you may not need as much.

6. This step really is optional, but if it’s left out then these aren’t really protein-y pancakes. Protein powder. I used 10g, which is about 1/3 of a scoop of protein for PEScience. This adds about 4g of protein per serving, so 8g for all of the batter.

* For rough estimate, I divided the batter in half and called it good enough.

7. Heat a medium or large skillet to medium or medium/high heat. I used a little cooking spray on the pan, you don’t need a lot and depending on the pan you may not need to spray in between cakes. Pour batter to pre-heated skillet and cook on each side for just over a minute. This is relative to your pan and how it contains heat.

8. (optional) Top with chopped pecans or walnuts.

Nutrition for just the pancakes: 3.7F/35.3C/11.2P

 

❤ Cristina

Recipe: Egg Stuffed Red Onion

Eggs and egg whites are a staple in our house. We eat them a ton of different ways, although it’s fair to say scrambles and omelettes are the easiest and most often form they’re consumed in.

AS we packed up to head to JP’s parents house for the weekend…and decided to bring a few things with us that we didn’t want to have to throw out when we returned, I found myself with two bowl-like pieces of red onion. The first thing I thought was “I could cook an egg in there.”

I’m pretty sure not many would think of that, but I did.

A few years ago, I shared a recipe for egg stuffed tomatoes – something I still make, but not as often. While that recipe is easy and a favorite of mine, it leaves you with soft almost fully cooked yolks. It also involved a bit more time and an oven.

What You’ll Need

  • red onion bowls or thick red onion rings
  • eggs – 1:1 egg per onion piece
  • cooking spray
  • shredded cheese (optional)

Directions

1. If you have a whole onion, cut thick slices about half an inch to an inch thick. Separate the rings and utilize the largest rings. If you have an end piece of an onion like I did, cut the bottom of the onion out like pictured below.

2. Using cooking spray, lightly coat a skillet and place onion rings or bowls in the pan. Cover with a lid for a minute or two so that steam can help soften the onions. Flip onions and recover for another minute.

3. Crack a whole egg in the middle of the onion bowl or ring. Allow for the bottom to cook before recovering pan with lid. You shouldn’t need any more cooking spray than the initial amount used in the beginning when the onion was added to the pan.

4. Uncover the pan after a minute to determine doneness. If you like your yolks runny, cooking may only take a minute or two. If you prefer a more cooked or soft yolk, allow egg to cook covered for about 3 or 4 minutes.

5. Garnish with shredded cheese. I choose mozzarella and used about half a serving per egg. This step is optional and so is the amount. If you like cheese or have more room for higher fat in your diet then go to town!

6. Plate a serve. We had our with fresh heirloom tomatoes and toast.

Notes: I wish I had Everything but the Bagel seasoning with me because I think those flavors would’ve been great with onion and the yolk. I choose red onions because I prefer the spicy flavor they have after cooking, but you could use any onion type. Just be mindful of cooking. I find that yellow onion cook down faster.

Nutrition for just the egg stuffed red onion: ~7F/4C/9P

 

❤ Cristina

Recipe: Banana Peanut Butter French Toast

We’ve been having a little fun with some food, while being mindful to not be too big of assholes. I still enjoy eating healthy, but we’re being a little more flexible with our breakfasts and making them a little bigger…especially on lab days where I can’t bring food into the room because #dissection.

What You’ll Need

  • Bread – your choice, I used Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Raisin
  • Egg whites
  • Peanut Butter – your choice, I used Jif
  • Half a banana
  • medium sized skillet

Directions

  1. On both sides of the bread spread your peanut butter. I used a full serving for my sandwich so I divided it evenly on both sides. I know someone is thinking, but the fat! Yes, I know, but trust me it’s worth it.
  2. Slice your banana into pieces about a centimeter thick. I used about half a banana for my toast – so a whole banana for both our sandwiches.
  3. Put slices onto one side of the bread and close with the other side. Yep, directions for a 5-year-old. This is where the full serving of peanut butter becomes more than tasty and is useful. It holds the sandwich together because bananas are slippery.
  4. Preheat skillet so it’s hot for when you place your sandwich on it.
  5. Place your sandwich in a shallow bowl and pour egg whites over. We eat half a cup of egg whites regularly, so I measured a half cup and poured that over. By pouring the egg whites over the sandwich you ensure that it gets covered and is less likely to fall apart.
  6. Immediately after covering your sandwich in egg whites, bring it over to your skillet and cook for one to two minutes before flipping. You may need to use your hand to hold the sandwich together during flipping just because it’s heavy.
  7. If you feel that it needs a little more cooking time that’s completely fine, bread thickness and amount of egg white absorbed will change cooking time slightly.

 

The macros for my sandwich and toppings – left over egg whites not used on sandwich eaten on the side – were: 11F/48.5C/20P

All the items I used to make my sandwich were found at my local grocery store. They’re not fancy and in many cases people view them as bad foods. I’ll preach moderation because it’s true.

I’m interested to know if you try different nut butters and breads and how your sandwich turns out. If you make this, send me an email and let me know how it was!

❤ Cristina