Breakfast and Beyond
Breakfast, sweet and savory….what’s not to love? The morning meal can feel more like a pit-stop for those of us with a rushed routine. Brunch with friends can round out the other extreme, as calories from Bloody Marys and stuffed French Toast add up. I think it’s time we gave breakfast a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T and egg-plored its full potential. Indulging in a fancy-looking breakfast does not have to cost a day’s worth of calories. If you don’t have time to make breakfast feel special in the morning, try serving up these omelets for dinner. With a little practice, you can wow your family, surprise your roommates, or just impress yourself with your omeletting prowess.
As commissioner Gordon says in the Lego Batman movie, “It takes a village, not a Batman”. I cannot in good conscience dub any food a ‘super food’, but I fully admit that eggs are pretty great. As are Egghead references. Let’s start with the obvious: Eggs are egg-ceptionally delicious. They also happen to be packed with lots of things that are super good for you. Eggs are an egg-cellent source of protein, choline, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin. They are also rich in the essential amino acid leucine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis. This is good news for those of us who exercise regularly. So, where’s the catch? The yolk contains the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals found in eggs. It also contains all of an egg’s fat. Over the years, I’ve seen conflicting advice eat and not to eat egg yolks. I recommend that egg yolks be enjoyed in moderation.
On a fluffier note, a large egg white has just 17 calories and 3.6 grams of protein (approximately). That’s a pretty fantastic nutritional bargain if you ask me! My omelet makeover recipe is a product of experimenting I’ve done over the past few years, searching for the perfect egg-quation to capitalize on the flavor/texture/nutrition triad of egg-cellence. It includes a smidge of yolk, and a lot of fluffy whites. The result is a fluffy omelet that is firm enough to plate, but tender enough to feel like it was prepared with love. But…You don’t have to take my word for it. Give it a go, and let me know if you find it egg-squisite.
A Healthier, Fluffier Omelet: A Recipe Make Over
Yield: 2 Huge Omelets
½ TBSP Lighthouse Freeze-Dried Parsley
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ tsp freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 oz Cheese
1 Green Bell Pepper
½ Sweet Onion
4 Cups Baby Spinach
1 oz Cheese (I went with Trader Joe’s Lite Feta, and Brian opted for Colby Jack)
Non-Stick Spray (Butter Flavor Recommended)
A Non-Stick Skillet
A 2nd Skillet (Cast Iron Recommended)
A Lid that fits your skillets (Glass Recommended)
A Non-Scratch Flipping Utensil
- Crack and separate 1 Egg (both yolk and white) between your two bowls. I suggest doing this first, as it is the most challenging bit.
- Crack and separate the remaining 8 eggs, adding 4 whites to each bowl. The yolks can be discarded or saved for another recipe.
- Divide the peeper, garlic and parsley between both bowls and whisk each bowl a few times with your fork.
- Slice or dice the pepper and ½ onion depending on your preference. Omelets are allowed to be both rustic and refined in my opinion. Bring your cast iron or other 2nd skillet to medium heat and add the peppers and onions. Stir frequently to evenly sauté. When the veggies are almost done, add the spinach and cover the skillet. Kill the heat and allow the spinach to wilt for a few minutes. (Feel free to substitute 1-2 cups of your favorite veggies. Reheated leftover fare can work great here.)
- Turn on the burner under your non-stick skillet to medium-high heat.
- As the pan is heating, beat one of the egg bowls with the fork. Tilting the bowl slightly in one hand, use the fork to beat air into the egg mixture by making a motion like you’re rapidly winding up a jack-in-the-box 12-16 times.
- Keep an eye on the skillet and make sure it hasn’t start to smoke while you’ve been playing with your food. You’ll know it’s ready when it passes the ‘few drops of water’ dance test. At this point spray the skillet. (If the skillet started to smoke, shut the burner off for 30 seconds. Spray the pan one more time before you turn it on, and proceed to step 8. Don’t fret, your omelets can still be beautiful…you haven’t scorched anything but the pan and your pride. I’ve done the same more than once.)
- Pour the fluffed egg mixture into non-stick skillet, and tip the skillet if necessary so that you have a lovely even circle of eggy delight. Evenly spread or crumble your cheese on the 1/2 of your omelet that seems to be cooking faster. Add ½ of the cooked veggie mixture on top of the cheese and add an additional dash of garlic, parsley and/or pepper if you desire.
- If one side of the omelet is indeed cooking faster, rotate the pan so that the other side gets a bit more love. Turn the heat down just below medium and cover the pan with the lid. In 30-45 seconds the egg should look barely done and tacky. Use the spatula to gently ‘close’ the omelet. Shut off the heat, and return the lid to the pan. Let the omelet sit for 15 to 20 more seconds. This allows the omelet to stick to itself a little bit more, giving it the best chance to beautifully side smooth as a salamander onto your plate. J
- Set a plate near your cooking station. Unlid the omelet pan, and bring it a couple inches above the plate. Ideally you want your Omelet positioned perpendicular to the skillet handle. Holding the pan handle in one hand, grab the non-scratch flipper with your other hand. ‘Slow and Gentle’ is the name of the game here. Gently slide the flipper under the end of the omelet nearest to the plate, and slowly begin tipping the skillet down. Guide your beautiful omelet to rest on one side of the plate.
- If you got this on the first try, give yourself a physical high-five! You’ve reached omelette rock-star chef status. I certainly didn’t get this work on the first try.
- Enjoy your labor of love alone or with friends. Feel free to top your creation with your favorite hot sauce or Sir Kensington Ketchup. We paired ours with Trader Joe’s Turkey Bacon, Counter Culture coffee and ½ of a sliced orange.