Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Egg Muffins

You can only eat so many hard boiled eggs before you get bored. Egg muffins are a great portable breakfast idea. Seems like every Paleo blog has an egg muffin recipe, so I guess I should jump on the bandwagon, too. I realize the name "egg muffins" may be a bit misleading. These aren't like an egg mcmuffin, or any kind of bread-like muffin. It's more like mini frittatas with veggies in them. You'll see.

You can put anything you want in these muffins - they're so versatile. Just make sure you pre-cook any meat (e.g.bacon or sausage) and saute veggies in a pan until soft so you don't wind up with crunchy veggies in your eggs.
To balance out the flavors, I recommend you stick to the following mix of ingredients:
1. A nice salty meat (like bacon, sausage, or prosciutto)
2. Some sort of leafy green (like spinach, collard or kale)
3. Something flavorful with kick (red/yellow onion, shallot, or garlic, even hot peppers)
4. Something sweet (like tomato or sundried tomato)
5. Other good additions are mushrooms, olives, peppers, broccoli, ham, etc.

Unfortunately, the day I decided to whip these up my vegetable drawer was pretty bare so I scraped together a pretty eclectic mix of vegetables. In place of the usual leafy greens I keep around I wound up using beet greens off the tops of a few fresh beets I had laying in the fridge. Believe it or not, beet greens can be delicious and cooked quite similarly to spinach and kale. If you use beets, don't waste these nutritious tops! I was also completely out of fresh tomatoes but luckily had a container of sundried collecting dust in the back of the fridge. You'd be surprised what you can concoct from the crap laying around in your fridge!

So my muffin pan has 6 muffin cups; some pans have 12. You want to use 1 egg per muffin cup. If you don't want to fill the entire pan, make sure you fill any empty cups with water before putting it in the oven so it heats evenly. For the purpose of this recipe, I made 6 egg muffins, hence I used 6 eggs.

Here is my exact recipe, but do experiment on your own. I'll probably never make these the same way twice.

  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and diced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 a red onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes, finely diced
  • beet greens from 3 fresh beets, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook bacon in a non-stick frying pan. While the bacon is frying, prepare all your vegetables.
  3. After you pull the bacon out of the pan, dice it into small pieces and put it off to the side. Reserve a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease in the pan and saute the hardier vegetables, excluding your leafy greens, on medium heat until soft. Onions should be translucent, do not caramelize them. Add your chopped leafy greens to the pan and cook another minute until wilted.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix the veggies and bacon into the beaten egg. Sprinkle in a few pinches of salt, ground pepper, and a few shakes of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.
  5. Spray muffin pan with olive oil, or use paper muffin cups to line the pan. Use a spoon to evenly distribute the egg mixture into the cups. If you did it right, you'll have about 1/4" - 1/2" space between the mixture and the top of the muffin cup. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or desired doneness.
  6. You can eat these right away or store in a container or zipper bag in the fridge for consumption during the week. They travel very well!

Tips for Variations

1. Try using Adobo or Garlic Salt as your seasoning

2. You don't only have to use fresh raw ingredients, feel free to clean your fridge out of leftovers (e.g. leftover roast kale or sauteed spinach, sausage meat, etc.). Just add already-cooked food to your frying pan for the last minute or so of cooking to heat it back up. (Make sure you chop it up small first!)

3. If you do dairy, get crazy and sprinkle a little shredded grassfed, organic cheese on top.

4. Beat a few tablespoons of coconut milk into your eggs to add some more fat (for those of you trying to gain) and puff your eggs up.

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