love eggs: my baked eggs recipe (and a note on 'free range')

I do love eggs, I do I do. In fact, I love ‘em so much I want to clear up a few things:

via kidspot
  1. You don’t need to avoid eggs to avoid high cholesterol. That old medical decree is just that... old and outdated. Although eggs do contain cholesterol, this cholesterol won’t have a significant effect on you if your diet is full of healthy foods like vegetables, quality proteins, nuts etc. If your diet is full of processed crap, sugar and trans fats... well, it’s probably not the eggs that’ll do it to ya. You can safely gobble up to 6 eggs a week without any problems. 
  2. Eggs are perfect little protein bombs. The protein in eggs is very bio-available, which is technical babble for ‘your body can use this protein to build stuff it needs more effectively than protein from most other sources’. They’re also full of vitamin B12, which can be a tricky one to get if you’re not eating meat. In fact, an egg contains the same amount of B12 as a roast chicken breast.  This is why they make the perfect snack
  3. Eggs are super good for fertility. See my post on which foods to eat for fertility
  4. Buy eggs from pastured chickens – they produce much healthier eggs than chooks that have been fed grain or have lived under stressful conditions. Which brings me to...
One final note: please please please be sure you’re buying truly free range eggs. Since there are no legally enforceable guidelines around the use of the term ‘free range’ in Australia, farms can use the ‘free range’ label yet stock chickens at a rate much higher than any conscious consumer would deem acceptable (like, up to 25,000 chickens). Most ethical free range farmers won’t stock more than 1,000 chickens. I know one farmer who refuses to stock more than 750, because he knows this is a sustainable number, both for the chickens and the land they peck off. You can learn more about the truth in labelling woes here. I buy my eggs off a lovely elderly couple at the farmers’ market, but for other venues this free range chicken and egg guide is handy.

Alrighty, enough of that. On to the recipe:

Spanish baked eggs with garden greens and goat’s curd

my spanish eggs!

This recipe is per person

you’ll need:
1 small earthenware or cast iron dish, fancily called a cocotte
olive oil
handful of garden greens (anything you have, incl. beetroot tops, silverbeet, chard, spinach, warrigal greens, kale...)
salt, to taste
2 pastured eggs (free range or organic)
1 tsp spanish smoked paprika
goat’s curd (ethically farmed, like Meredith’s or Holy Goat)
pinch of lemon zest

what to do:
Pre heat your oven to 200C, or whack the grill on. Place the dish in the oven to heat up.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté your greens until just wilted, adding salt to taste.

Wearing oven mitts, take the heated dish out of the oven, drizzle the base with olive oil and add the sautéed greens. Crack the eggs over the top, careful not to break the yolks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with dollops of goat’s curd and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Top with lemon zest. Give it another drizzle of olive oil for good measure and pop it in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until eggs are just set.

You can adapt this recipe to suit your taste and use whatever goodies you have in the fridge. Smoked trout is good. Pastured bacon is always super. Preserved lemon is bloody brilliant.

What’s your favourite way to eat eggs? Feel free to share ideas and recipes below!


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