Is it me or do poached eggs always seem like a bit of a delicacy? Whenever I’m out for brekkie I’ll indulge myself with an Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine dish, as the allure of a perfectly cooked poachie (that’s what I’m calling them now) atop a toasted muffin and smothered in hollandaise sauce just seems like such a rare treat.
The Pro-Cook Gourmet Egg Poacher is ridiculously easy to use, and after a few teething problems with the first batch (it helps to slightly grease the egg holders beforehand to make sure the eggs come out with a plop) I had poached eggs, that even Delia would be proud of, mastered. All you do is fill the saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to the boil, before cracking your eggs into the plastic cups and popping them into the pan tray. Put the lid on and wait until the eggs are cooked to your desire. (I’m sure there is an exact timing you are supposed to follow but I tended to just wait until they’d gone fully white and give them a little prod to make sure they weren’t still too wobbly – precise I know!)
So as my eyes were opened with this nifty device, so to were my cooking opportunities and suddenly that rare delicacy of a poached egg became a totally do-able (and quick) meal reality. So much so, that when I sat down to think about what kind of poached egg masterpiece I’d create with my device, I was somewhat dumbfounded. My first question being; How much can you really do with an egg? One quick scan of Pinterest later and the answer to that question was starkly obvious; a heck of a lot!
And so onto my second dilemma, as I mentioned last week I’m on a bit of a health kick to try and clear up an infection and detox my way back to feeling good again, and while I know eggs in themselves are not unhealthy, the items they usually get paired with (greasy bacon, white flour fuelled bread and muffins, hollandaise sauce) are, making most well known egg related dishes pretty gluttonous. As that Sunday morning breakfast approached all I could think about was lashings of bacon and BBQ sauce. Add to that a hungry boyfriend who’d just come in from a run and was demanding fuel of the big breakfast kind and I had my work cut out for me.
But, with a little more Pinterest delving and a touch of experimentation I think I might just have come up three poached egg recipes that will satisfy the hungry need for a proper meal, while still being healthy-er than your average greasy spoon. All it takes is to switch up a few of the ingredients, and alter how you satisfy those cravings. Here goes…
You’re craving – Eggs Benedict
Try Instead – Poached Eggs and Avocado on Soda/ Rye bread
Ok, so I’ll start with the obvious as I can’t really claim that eggs on toast are anything new and we all know the merits of avocado on toast, but the two together make a pretty hearty brekkie which isn’t nearly as rich or heavy as some of its egg and toast counterparts. I swapped the regular bread for soda bread, which is slightly dryer to eat but isn’t as heavy on the stomach as it’s made with bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast, and with the mushiness of the avocado to moisten it plus the runny yolk of the egg (top tip – don’t let your boyfriend distract you from your food photography for too long or else you’ll end up with hard boiled) it’s pretty darn tasty.
Bacon is one of those peskily more-ish foods. It’s salty nature definitely induces cravings in most of us and I am often lured by the thought of a cheesy bacony baguetty thing when it comes to weekend lunches. The great thing about this salad is that ingredients wise (bacon, egg, tomato) it has all the makings of a great fry up so you won’t feel like you’re eating rabbit food, but is significantly lighter. Just fill a plate with some fresh salad leaves (I chose watercress – yummy), chop up some sweet cherry tomatoes (and any other veg you feel like adding), toss on some fried pancetta (all the bacony goodness just in smaller portions) and then slap your poached egg on top and let the yolk run out. Easy!
I’ve said light dinner here, as I’m not claiming that this will fill you up entirely, but for a quick bite you may be surprised. I wanted to give this a go after seeing a few different variations on Pinterest and the great thing about this option is that you can add anything to it (easy way to use up leftovers or odds and ends in the fridge). GB and I always have a few wraps kicking about in the cupboard (usually leftover from a fajita dinner – why are there always 8 in a pack? No one can ever eat 8!) and they always end up going to waste so this is a quick and easy way to use them. Just lay one out on a baking tray, add the ingredients of your choice (I went for a base of tomato salsa with some sweetcorn, peppers, cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of cheese and a bit more of that pancetta) and chuck in the oven (or grill, or probably even frying pan, quesadilla style) for about five minutes. Have your poached egg ready to go as it comes out and dollop on top. This was probably my favourite dish of the three – it was super tasty and I’m looking forward to experimenting again with different ingredients. Maybe BBQ sauce on the bottom?
So there you have it, three healthy(ish) egg dishes that will satisfy both a hungry post run boyfriend and a health conscious girlfriend. Turns out eggs are most certainly not just for breakfast.
To see more recipe ideas, check out my food board on Pinterest. Are you a fan of poached eggs? What’s your favourite way to eat them?