One of the hardest hurdles when transitioning to healthier eating, at least for the majority of people, is eating leafy greens. We all know that leafy greens are the healthiest things out there. They contain tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They cost us next to zero calories to consume. Greens are full of digestible and indigestible fiber to keep your digestive system strong and healthy.
So why do they taste so bad?
Foods which to us taste bitter have an array of compounds in them that naturally protect the delicate leaves from insects who would love to snack at the salad bar of nature. It is these compounds which tend to be so beneficial for our health. Unfortunately, humans usually dislike the bitter taste at first. Fortunately, you can re-train your taste buds to enjoy bitter, and there are many cooking techniques to make bitter foods more palatable.
Adding small amounts of high quality fat like olive oil, or a sour taste like vinegar or lemon juice, can help temper the bitterness of greens. Sea salt or other salty sources like hard cheeses also helps mask the harsher flavors and draw out the sweeter notes. My recipe for simply sauteed power greens uses these techniques to create a delicious side dish that even most greens-haters can enjoy.
In this simple breakfast recipe, I combine those techniques with fresh eggs for a superstar breakfast that is ready in under 10 minutes, packed with vitamins and nutrients and protein, and will keep you happy and full all morning long. Enjoy over some brown rice or with whole wheat toast for a well rounded meal.
- 1-2 fresh organic eggs, if possible
- 1 large bunch greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, etc) or a mixture of greens to make about 1 – 1 1/2 cups
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp hard, salty cheese such as Parmesan
- Optional: 1-2 slices wheat bread or 1/2 cup brown rice
Step 1: Rinse your greens to remove any dirt, and slice into thin strips or shred by hand. Add the oil to the pan, then the greens, and drizzle with lemon juice. Cover with a lid, and steam the greens for 5-7 minutes. Optional: you can add a chopped clove or two of garlic
Step 2: Mix the greens, they should be bright and slightly wilted now. Use a spoon or spatula to make a small indent in the pile of greens, and crack an egg into the hole. Cover again, and steam for another 5-7 minutes. The longer you cook the egg, the more well-done the yolk becomes. 5-7 minutes will leave it slightly runny, as in above photo.
Once the egg is cooked to your desired done-ness, remove to a plate and serve! I sprinkled a little hard cheese over the egg, which gives it the perfect salty balance to the tart & bitter greens. You can also use sea salt for the same effect.
You can easily increase this recipe to feed several more people, simply increase the volume of greens and crack in one to two eggs per person. This is delightful plain with toast, or you could serve with black beans, salsa, hot sauce, relish… whatever floats your culinary boat.