june 13, 2018
A friend recently consulted a nutritionist who advised her to eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner. I get it—we really should start our day with a hearty meal and end the day lightly to promote restful sleep and sensible habits. Can’t say I always eat a light dinner unless I’m dining at home because evenings out are my favorite type of entertainment and I want a little of everything! Small plates rule, I say. But let’s not examine my habits too closely unless we’re talking about breakfast. Big breakfasts are my thing, whether we’re serving breakfast tostadas or a breakfast salad or a loaded smoothie bowl. No sweet pastry for me. For weekend breakfast, the heartier the better, and what better way to say so long to spring than with local strawberries and asparagus in this quinoa bowl with jammy eggs. The six and a half minute egg is touted as perfectly cooked with a firm white and creamy yolk, but I give mine an extra 15 seconds of simmer because this perfect technique has occasionally yielded a stringy, gelatinous white which will not fly on my plate. No. So the six and three quarters egg is it for me! Use my described technique or use the best one which gives eggs to your liking. For superior flavor and freshness, local eggs are your friend. Sometimes they’re so fresh the shell adheres to the cooked egg, so I find a dash of cider vinegar in the simmering water helps creates a nice air pocket for better peeling.
Another trick, to save time and washing pots : after the quinoa has finished cooking, I toss the asparagus bits into that pot and cover, so they are steamed just right. This is not a make-ahead dish because the salsa will not age well in the fridge and the eggs must be warm for serving. No worries, because the parts come together pretty quickly. And you get a colorful Big Breakfast with protein, veggies and fruits, all in one bowl and not a pastry in sight.
Spring Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes two servings
one cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons minced sweet onion
one half or whole jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (whole for hotter)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
juice of one half lime
pinch fine sea salt
½ cup dry quinoa
1 cup sliced asparagus
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large eggs, preferably local
dash of pure apple cider vinegar
two handfuls of arugula
coarse salt for seasoning
optional garnish : cilantro stems, extra lime for squeezing
- For salsa, gently mix together strawberries, onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice with pinch of salt in small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In small heavy saucepan, mix quinoa with scant cup of water and a pinch of kosher salt; bring to boil, stir, then simmer over very low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid, toss in asparagus, then replace lid and steam asparagus and quinoa off heat for 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, coat the asparagus with olive oil (there will be bits of quinoa stuck to the asparagus).
- In heavy two quart saucepan, bring several inches of water to boil with a dash of cider vinegar, gently lower in eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon and keep eggs and water at a gentle but steady boil for either six and a half minutes (perfection according to popular technique) or six and three quarters minutes (set at timer – this technique gives me a slightly firmer white).
- Pour out hot water and run cold water over the eggs and let them sit in the cool water while bowls are being assembled.
- Divide arugula between two large shallow bowls, top with quinoa, asparagus and strawberry salsa, then peel and cut the eggs horizontally, placing them over the rest and sprinkling with coarse salt if desired.
- Garnish with extra cilantro if you like and pass cut lime for squeezing atop the bowl.