By Melissa d’Arabian, Associated Press
I am a morning person (by choice, not nature, but that’s a story for another time) and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
Strong coffee and a hearty morning meal make me feel like I’m on vacation, luxuriating in hashed-brown-and-bacon heaven, without a health or calorie care in the world. Breakfast menus at truck stops and diners have incredible appeal to a closeted lumberjack like me, with words like grand-slam and breakfast skillet promising a meal that will fill me up for most of the day.
But, eating like a lumberjack when you have a desk job makes no sense, unless you really are on vacation. For a more quotidian option, try my Country-Style Skillet Breakfast.
I use just a few strips of real pork bacon to keep things feeling authentically diner-ish. Onions, sweet yellow peppers, spinach and garlic all add a ton of flavor (and nutrients) but hardly any calories. The real nutrient and calorie-saving workhorse of this recipe, though, is: cauliflower.
I swap out the breakfast-skillet staple hashed browns for riced cauliflower. It works beautifully, and not only do you save the calories of the potatoes, but all the extra fat you need to make those hashed browns crispy and tasty.
You can find riced cauliflower in most neighborhood grocery stores these days, either in the packaged produce aisle or the freezer. Or, simply pulse up a bunch of cauliflower florets in a food processor until it is cut into rice-sized pieces. The cauliflower is just bland enough that it takes on the flavors of the rest of the ingredients and provides enough heft to house eggs broken right into the skillet. The result is rustic, gorgeous, and filling. Yet another reason to celebrate our country’s current obsession with cauliflower.
COUNTRY-STYLE CAULIFLOWER BREAKFAST SKILLET
Start to finish: 25 minutes
3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 yellow or sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried herbes de provence (or dried oregano or thyme)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cup cauliflower rice (raw)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
10 ounce frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess moisture gently squeezed out
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
4 eggs, cracked into 4 small ramekins or bowls
Preheat oven to 350 F. In large oven-safe skillet, cook bacon over medium low heat until starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic, herbs, and smoked paprika and stir.
Add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lemon juice, stir, and then the spinach, and stir until well-combined. Remove from heat and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mixture. Gently make four wells in the mixture with a wooden spoon. Spray each well with nonstick spray. Pour one egg into each well. Bake until eggs are done, about 7-8 minutes for runny yolk, longer for firmer yolk. Sprinkle with black pepper, more salt if needed, parsley and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 219 calories; 117 calories from fat; 13 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 235 mg cholesterol; 804 mg sodium; 11 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 15 g protein.