When working with clients, one of the biggest hurdles for them when it comes to transitioning to real, whole, nutrient dense foods is figuring out the whole “breakfast thing”. Most of the foods that we’ve been programmed to consider breakfast foods, things like cereal, toast, pancakes and even fruit are lacking in two vital nutrients. Fats and Protein. Our (often heavily refined) carbohydrate heavy breakfasts are setting us up for a wild ride on the blood sugar rollercoaster. Needing to snack every few hours, getting jittery, irritable and hangry and feeling the need for a mid-afternoon siesta are all pretty good signs that you need better balance in your life. Each meal we eat should have a balance of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates (grains, vegetables, fruits), protein and healthy fats. The proper ratio of these nutrients will vary from person to person, depending on several factors including age, activity level and digestive health. Keeping a food and mood journal, tuning into how you are feeling and working with a nutritional therapist can help you identify any tweaks you can make in your ratios to best fuel your body and provide long lasting energy.
Have you ever considered having a big Cobb salad to start your day? How about some left over pot roast and sweet potatoes? Sound crazy? Creating a balanced breakfast is more of a mental game than anything else. It’s really just another meal! Your cells don’t care if it is 7am or 7pm, they just want food that is nourishing, provides them with the nutrients they need to do their jobs and gives them the energy to keep going until the next balanced meal. This mental shift can take some work, but luckily, there is a food that is kind of a “jack of all trades”at fitting in to any meal. The almighty egg! Using eggs as a base for a tasty breakfast dish can help you transition from those carbohydrate heavy breakfasts to a well balanced, energizing way to break your fast.
Enter the Egg Bake (or Crustless Quiche if you are feeling fancy)! This recipe has it all. It’s super easy to prepare, can be made ahead and supplies you with breakfasts throughout the week and is SUPER adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. It is the perfect “fridge foraging” recipe. You know when you have a lot of bits and pieces of stuff to use up – make an egg bake!
I’ll be honest. I’m a bit of a free-styler in the kitchen. I tend to go by feel, throwing a bit of this or that in and adjusting as I go. When my husband compliments me on a meal, I often joke that I’m glad he enjoyed it, because it’s unlikely to ever taste the same way twice! I come by it naturally, as my mom is much the same way. I have fond memories of her handing a tasting spoon to Dad and asking him if the sauce or chili needed anything else. More often than not, after some pensive consideration (and maybe another taste or two), he would pronounce it as being perfect. This, for those of you wondering, is the absolute CORRECT response when your significant other asks for your opinion on their cooking!
This way of cooking does create some issues when you want to share a recipe though. A pinch of this or a glug of that doesn’t really make for effective recipe blogging. So, when I set out to make this egg bake, I made sure to jot down measurements. That being said, this recipe is so versatile, you can feel free to change it up as you see fit! I kept the ingredients in this one pretty basic, mostly because we are in the midst of the whole “shelter in place” thingy and this is what I had to work with! Leftovers work really well here. Got some leftover taco meat? Make a southwestern version with some added peppers, cilantro and top with avocado before serving. Leftover bacon (is that even a thing?) combined with green pepper and onion – voila a Western omelet egg bake. Play around, improvise – food should be fun!
For this egg bake, I whisked 18 pasture raised eggs (I wanted roughly 3 eggs per serving) with coconut milk and salt and pepper. The milk can be omitted, but I find that it helps to lighten up the egg bake and make it a little fluffier.
Next, I diced up some leftover ham, evenly distributed it into a greased 9X13 baking dish and poured the egg mixture over top.
Lastly, I placed the sliced tomatoes in a single layer on top of the ham and eggs, sprinkled with the basil, a little extra salt and pepper and the nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a great source of Vitamin B12 and it adds a mild hint of cheesiness to dishes. Since I love dairy, but am sensitive to it, I use nutritional yeast to make me feel like there COULD be some form of cheesy goodness in there!
Finally, I popped it in a 350 F degree oven and let it bake for 45 minutes. And just like that, I have breakfasts (or lunches) for the week. This version is a little light on the veg (thanks, shelter in place), but pair it with a salad of mixed greens or some berries and you have a balanced meal that tastes great and supplies you with plenty of stable energy to keep you going until your next meal.