The egg is incredible. It’s the one food I could never give up to become vegan. Not that I ever wanted to become vegan, but I came close whenever I chose to forgo dairy so the question was always there.
The egg is so many things. In the kitchen it is indispensable. It acts as an emulsifier and as a leavener. Its whites become glaze, its yolks become soufflé. They make pasta, hollandaise and mayo. In desserts they provide moisture and structure. (Which is what makes vegan baking so challenging and fun!) Yes, the egg is talented.
Eggs are also full of wisdom. Some say they are perfectly shaped and sized. In that little shell you’ll get about 6 grams of protein, the highest biological value of any food.¹ Being that our human structure is built on protein, this comes in handy. While I was in my first trimester, eggs were the only thing I could stomach as far as protein was concerned. (As far as a lot was concerned actually!) I ate them a lot, all the time. While I was a bit worried with overdosing on eggs, my midwife was more than happy that I could keep them down and actually enjoyed them. Now I know why. Eggs are wonderful sources of choline. First off, a deficiency in choline could lead to a deficiency in folic acid; a super NO-NO for pregnant mamas. Choline is also an essential part of “fat-containing structures in cell membranes, whose flexibility and integrity depend on adequate supplies of choline”.² There are 2 fat-like molecules in the brain which make up a lot of its mass, so choline is pretty important for brain function and health…not to mention the brain you’re growing when pregnant! Lastly, it’s a component of acetylcholine, the primary chemical means of sending messages between your nerves and muscles.² Pretty heavy stuff for a little, fragile egg. Oh, and choline is also anti-inflammatory!
As if this weren’t enough to make it stellar, here’s another tidbit. The yolk which is high in protein and fat also contains iron, vitamins A, E and D. Yet another reason egg yolks are a great food for babies…and everyone! A note to my vegetarian friends: The Vitamin B12 found in eggs could potentially keep you from taking it in supplement form. Hello healthy metabolism and happy central nervous system…naturally! Of course, the egg eaten whole (yolk and white) is best! (I just discovered the “skinny egg” which is just egg whites…bleh!)
Please click here for a guide on how to choose truly healthy eggs. All the terms stamped on cartons are confusing and often misleading.
Now let’s get to some egg cracking!
3 T Extra virgin olive oil
2 small red potatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
2 handfuls baby spinach, (about 2 cups – not packed)
Fresh mozzarella, sliced (optional-I got a little excited about the mozzarella because it’s been almost 9 months since I’ve had any, but I’ve been making this without cheese and it’s delicious still!)
A small bunch of basil leaves, chiffonade
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a stainless steel sauté pan, add 1 T olive oil, sliced potatoes and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat. Flip potatoes over so they are well cooked on both sides. They may get a bit browned, but this is up to you. Set aside.
2. Caramelize the onions in the same sauté pan with another T of olive oil. Set aside.
3. Sauté the spinach in the same pan until just wilted. Set aside.
4. Whisk the eggs gently and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the sauté pan over low-medium heat and add eggs. Using a spatula, scrape in the edges of the eggs as they cook allowing the runny part on top to fill the gap. Keep doing this all around until the top isn’t so runny (but still wet).
5. Add your toppings. I did potatoes then onions then spinach and cheese last.
6. Place the sauté pan under the broiler on low, and in the center of your oven, for about 5-7 minutes to cook the top and set the toppings.
7. Garnish with threads of basil leaves.
8. Enjoy! (We usually do a green salad on the side…yumma!)