COLLARD GREENS & POACHED EGGS

COLLARD GREENS POACHED EGGS

Hearty stewed collard greens make a savory base for creamy poached eggs. Adding greens into any breakfast is an easy way to start the day out feeling great. Collard greens keep well for days and can handle some reheating. Poaching eggs avoids the fat or oil needed to fry or scramble an egg, keeping this meal lean.

Allergens and substitutions: To avoid eggs use a different recipe.

 

HEALING BENEFITS

Eggs are great for diabetics since they are affordable, easy to find and full of healthy nutrients. It is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which helps with our gene expression, metabolism, immunity and moods. The incredible, edible egg contains antioxidants for maintaining good eye health, something most diabetics need. Avoid Egg Beaters® at all costs, it is a heavily processed food-like item with low-quality ingredients by the mega food producer ConAgra. Take the extra 10 seconds to crack your own eggs, your body will thank you. Buy local, organic, pasture-raised eggs if you can afford it. These also taste better.

 

Collard greens are in the same family as cabbage and broccoli. This dark leafy green has impressive amounts of dietary fiber to support proper digestion and is high in vitamins A, B6 and C. Popular in southern cooking in the US and Brazilian cuisine, the collard green even has history of being grown in ancient Greek cultures. Studies have shown the collard green to be effective at lowering cholesterol and reducing some cancerous cells from growing.

 

Broth made from the bones of animals raised on a healthy diet provides deep rich flavor to recipes and countless nutritional benefits. Simmering the bones over low heat for hours brings out high amounts of rich collagen, providing for stronger bones, full-bodied hair and superior skin health. Store bought broth is much lower in nutrients compared to homemade broth. Save all your animal bones from past meals in your freezer and make a batch of bone broth every few weeks. Your body will thank you for it. Here’s our recipe for browned bone broth.

 

PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER

Follow the instructions below to make this savory breakfast. Since the collard greens get stewed for a while, using frozen diced onions, is an easy time saver. Substitute white vinegar if you do not have any apple cider vinegar on-hand. Kale or swiss chard can also be substituted for the collard greens or use a combination of any hearty leafy green.

It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.

COLLARD GREENS POACHED EGGS ingredients

The collard green is easy to master with some guidance. A paring knife can be used to cut the center rib out of the leaf. Discard that rib since it is only edible if you are a goat. Then cut the edible parts of the leaf in ~1″ strips. Toss these in a salad spinner with some cold, filtered water to rinse off any unwanted dirt or bugs. Kale or chard can be used in place of the collards. You really cannot go wrong, so long as you stick to the hearty greens (read: avoid spinach).

deveining collard greens on a cutting board

Bring a large stock pot up to a medium-low heat on your stove-top. Add the 2 tbsp of olive oil and allow to heat before adding the diced onions. Stir frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onions develop a dark brown color. This process is called “sweating the onions” since you are heating them up to release their internal moisture.

Browning Onions

Add the collard greens to the stock pot, then cover with the vinegar and broth. You will need to work in batches with the greens. They will wilt and reduce in size after a few minutes of braising. Finishing adding all the remaining collard greens and the red chili flakes. Stir to mix and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes. Do not worry about over-cooking these sturdy greens – some chefs slowly braise their collard greens for up to an hour.

Braised COLLARD GREENS

If you’re using homemade bone broth it will have more flavor than the store-bought variety. Always dilute your bone broth 1:1 since it is much more concentrated. Use 1 cup of bone broth and 1 cup of water in place of the 2 cups of store-bought broth.

The best store-bought broth at Trader Joe’s is the Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. The other selections contain some poor quality ingredients, such as dextrose, cane sugar, caramel color and yeast extract (read: MSG). Choose carefully since this food stuff can go from a healing food to a toxic one.

Now that the greens are on auto-braise-pilot, you can work on the poached eggs. One of the secrets to getting a nice poached egg is to use a fresh egg. Old eggs tend to fall apart the minute they hit the hot water. An easy way to tell if your egg is fresh or not is to float it in some cold water. In the picture below, the egg on the left will make a loose mess when dropped into water, while the egg on the right will hold together. As eggs get older they develop an air pocket inside that grows. This is why the egg on the left floats different than the one on the right in the picture below. Another secret of poaching eggs is the temperature of your egg. A room-temperature egg poaches the best. I like to pull eggs out a few hours before poaching or the night before. A good egg will not go rancid when left on the counter for 12 hours. Just keep it in the shade and away from sunlight.

A trick to getting the freshest eggs is to look for the “egg birthday” in the grocery store. There’s a number on the side of the egg carton that ranges from 001 to 365. These numbers match to the calendar day when the egg was packaged and is called the “Julian date”. The number 001 means it was packed on January 1st, while 365 means the last day of the year. In some stores, the eggs can range up to 45 days since they were packed – and that’s an old egg by our standards. Try to pick eggs with the smallest difference between the packaged and current dates. And keep in mind that the numbers reset toward the end of the year.

Eggs Fresh and Old Water Test Check

Prep a cold bath for your poached eggs by filling a bowl with cold, filtered water and ice cubes. Place next to your pan for poaching.

Fill your deep skillet or medium-sized sauce pan with cold, filtered water or white wine and water. If you are just using water, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. A bottle of wine has enough acidity that it does not need vinegar. Bring the poaching liquid to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. If you have poaching pods, lubricate the insides with a light coating of olive oil. Spray olive oil works well for this application. Then crack an egg on your flat counter and drop one egg into each poaching pod. Place the egg and pod into the poaching liquid. Allow to cook on a low rolling boil for 5-6 minutes. Place into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

If you do not have poaching pods, do not fret. It’s easy to crack your eggs into a measuring cup before pouring into the poaching liquid. Give the eggs a fair amount of room from each other and only do two at a time. Pouring them in slowly makes for the tightest eggs. Remove with a slotted spoon after 5-6 minutes. Place into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

Poaching Eggs in Wine

Store one or two days worth of eggs in the cold bath. Microwave in 1 cup of water to reheat for about a minute. Reheat the collard greens in the microwave in a separate bowl or on the stove-top.

Microwave: The quickest and easiest way to poach an egg(s) is in the microwave. Use one microwaveable bowl per egg. Fill the bowl with 3/4 cup of water. Crack an egg on a flat counter surface then place into your bowl(s).  Cover the top of the bowl with a small plate. Place the bowl into your microwave for 45-90 seconds on high. Check the egg white at second 45 to see if it has firmed up. Since the power of microwaves varies greatly, it helps to check it then continue microwaving in 20 second increments. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and place into an ice bath for storage or eat it immediately. Never use any plastic in a microwave, even if it is labeled for microwave use. Only use glass or ceramic containers in the microwave.

Serving Size: To portion this recipe out, evenly divide the greens in 1/4’s or 1/3’s. The 1/4 portion is for the 1,500 calorie plan and the 1/3 portion is for the 2,000 calorie plan. Two eggs are for the 1,500 calorie plan and 3 eggs are for the 2,000 calorie plan. I prefer to reheat my greens while I poach my eggs fresh in the morning.

 

COLLARD GREENS & POACHED EGGS
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Hearty stewed collard greens make a savory base for these creamy poached eggs. Adding greens into any breakfast is an easy way to start the day out feeling great. Collard greens keep well for days and can handle some reheating. Poaching eggs avoids the fat or oil needed to fry or scramble an egg, keeping this meal lean.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Collard Greens, Sliced, 2X Bunches OR Kale, Swiss Chard
  • Eggs, Whole, 8X (1,500 cal) or 9X (2,000 cal)
  • Onions, Diced, ½X
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 tbsp
  • Olive Oil, 4 tbsp
  • Broth, Organic Free Range Chicken, 2 cups or Homemade Broth 1 cup
  • Red Chili Flakes, ½ tsp
Instructions
  1. A paring knife can be used to cut the center rib out of each leaf of the collard green. Discard that rib since it is only edible if you are a goat. Then cut the edible parts of the leaf in ~1″ strips. Toss these in a salad spinner with some cold, filtered water to rinse off any unwanted dirt or bugs.
  2. Bring a large stock pot up to a medium-low heat on your stove-top. Add the 4 tbsp of olive oil and allow to heat before adding the diced onions. Stir frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the onions develop a dark brown color.
  3. Add the collard greens to the stock pot, then cover with the vinegar and broth. You will need to work in batches with the greens. They will wilt and reduce in size after a few minutes of braising. Finishing adding all the remaining collard greens and the red chili flakes. Stir to mix and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes.
  4. Prep a cold bath for your poached eggs by filling a bowl with cold, filtered water and ice cubes. Place next to your pan for poaching.
  5. Fill your deep skillet or medium-sized sauce pan with cold, filtered water or white wine and water. If you are just using water, add ¼ cup of white vinegar. Bring the poaching liquid to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. If you have poaching pods, lubricate the insides with a light coating of olive oil. Spray olive oil works well for this application. Then crack an egg on your flat counter and drop one egg into each poaching pod. Place the egg and pod into the poaching liquid. Allow to cook on a low rolling boil for 5-6 minutes. Place into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

 

Photo by Whitney and Jay Davis and Fotolia.

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