Savory Baked Eggs with Veggies

Sometimes in my quest for the occasional carb-free or very-low-carb meal, I make a delicious dish...that absolutely does not fill me up. I try to make sure that in cutting out the carbohydrates in one meal I don't deprive myself of healthy calories at the same time, but it doesn't always work. I don't put everything I eat into a recipe analysis, and I certainly don't do it before I eat the meal. This recipe for baked eggs is a perfect example of this. It was light and healthy, protein-and-vegetable-based, yet full of flavor and very satisfying to eat. It was a little saltier than I tend to like, but also vaguely sweet. But when I finished, I was still a little hungry, and although I didn't comment on it in my notes, I'd be willing to be a pretty hefty sum that means I went to dessert pretty early that night. And although I've also gotten better at healthier evening treats, I'm no saint, and there's really no point congratulating myself for a carb-free meal if I go and replace that whole grain slice of toast with a big slab of chocolate cake an hour later.

So, if you're interested in keeping this low carb, I would either up the veggies even more or serve it with a side salad. Otherwise, follow the original recipe's advice and stick a (preferably whole grain) half of an english muffin on the bottom of the casserole dish before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Either solution would be wonderful, and trust me, I in no way consider the addition of the carbohydrate to be a detraction in nutritional quality. I try to be careful when I talk about my low-carb meals - we all need carbs, and I know that. Carbs are our friends. Just, if you happen to be like me with borderline high triglycerides (that I'm still secretly hoping is a blood test fluke; yes, I am in denial), a meal that focuses on fresh (non-starchy) vegetables and high quality protein here and there can be a good thing.

So anyway, this meal is good. I overbaked it a little bit so the yolk set more than it should have, but it was still very tasty, and I will absolutely make it again. Feel free to sub in various vegetables, add in a flavoring like a tomato sauce or mustard - have fun with it. As usual with the recipes I share with you, treat it as a way of preparing a food rather than a recipe - a skeleton of deliciousness that can be modified based on what you like and have on hand.

Savory Baked Eggs with Veggies, adapted from Mother Rimmy
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, not packed in oil
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
3-4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
4 large eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

The Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and very lightly grease 4 ramekins (omit this if using the english muffin as a base*). Meanwhile, place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add in the onions. Saute until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, tomato, and time, cooking for another 5 minutes or so to soften the mushrooms. Add the spinach to the skillet until wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Divide the vegetable mixture among the 4 ramekins and make a well in the center of each. Crack the egg into the well, drizzle with 2 tablespoons egg whites each, and top with cheese and a grind of pepper. Bake the ramekins in the oven for 15-20 minutes to allow the egg to set while the yolk is still runny.

*If you'd like to try it with the english muffin, toast 1/2 muffin per serving, place one half in the bottom of each ramekin, and brush lightly with olive oil. Continue with the rest of the recipe as indicated.

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