Monday, August 1, 2011

Herb-baked Eggs - Meatless Monday

Awhile back Jan posted that her family of 3 goes through approximately 4 dozen eggs per week. We are not quite the over-achievers that they are but we use what I consider a more than respectable amount of eggs, about 2-1/2 to 3 dozen for the 4 of us. One of Jan's points (and correct me if I'm wrong, Jan) in her post were that eggs get a bad rap. And, I couldn't agree more.  We love eggs and I cook them in about hundred different ways and add them to a ton of recipes. They are one of the most versatile protein sources around.

We buy our eggs from at the local farmers market. Sure, we pay more per dozen but the taste is so much better, they are typically bigger so you can use less and the chickens are not treated with antibiotics and hormones. They are raised in a pasture where they eat the things that chickens are supposed to eat; bugs, weeds and seeds. This is the same way that we raised our chickens when we raised chickens. I don't want to get all animals rights activist on all of you but factory farming anything, chickens, ducks, turkeys, beef, whatever, is BAD! It's bad for you, bad for the environment and bad for the animals. End.of.rant.

One of our favorite ways to have eggs is baked. JR likes them because they are flavorful. Me too but I also like them this way because they are easy and clean up is a breeze. Not that I do a lot of the clean up around our place. I cook, JR cleans. It's a deal we worked out long ago and I'm not upsetting that apple cart. 

Now to the recipe. I've adapted this from an Ina Garten cookbook but you can find it in any of a number of cookbooks. I mix up the herbs, I cook them on a bed of creamed spinach (I love me some creamed spinach. Yes Jan, I will still eat creamed spinach on a flip flop, that's how much I love it.), I will bake them on a layer of grilled peppers and onions with jack cheese and taco spices. So this is, once again, not really a recipe as a technique. You can change up any one of the ingredients to make it what you want to eat that day. Be creative! (yes, I once told a student to do that much to my chagrin later. I should really know better.)

Herb-baked Eggs

1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
6 eggs
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Pre-heat broiler for 5 minutes or so. Place oven rack approximately 6 inches below heat.

Combine herbs and garlic, Chop very fine. Add Parmesan cheese to this mixture. Set aside.
Crack 3 eggs into a small bowl. Repeat with the other 3 eggs. These are not the bowls that you will be cooking the eggs in. This just speeds the process of transferring the eggs into the baking dishes.  

Divide heavy cream and butter into two baking dishes*. Place under broiler until hot and bubbly. Carefully pour 3 of the eggs into one baking dish, sprinkle 1/2 of the herb-cheese mixture over the eggs, return to the oven. Do the same thing with the remaining 3 eggs and herb-cheese mixture.

Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes so that the whites are almost completely set. Move the dishes around to cook the eggs evenly if needed. Take out and let sit for a minute or two. The eggs will continue to cook. Serve in the dishes that you cooked them in. Just be careful that you don't burn yourself (why yes, I have done this before.)

* I've been known to cook the whole works in a medium sized cast iron pan, then serve it up with a big spoon. Hey, it may not be pretty but it tastes the same.

Want another baked egg recipe? Check out Jan's.

So the technique part of this is to
1. lay a bed of fat and flavor (the cream and butter, creamed spinach, grilled peppers and olive oil), 
2. warm it up, 
3. layer in the eggs, 
4. top with seasoning and cheese. 
5. Bake. 
6. Eat. 
7. Enjoy the flavor and the low-carb benefits. FYI, the toast in the picture was for JR.

As you all know I'm doing a low-carb vegetarian thing in order to bring down my A1c hemoglobin numbers. I'd like to report that it is working. Where I was 6.2; .2 away from being consider a diabetic, I am now at 5.6, which is within the standard range. Losing weight was just a bonus. I've even splurged on some pasta and pizza every now and again but I have a couple of rules about this. I can only have off limit items when; 
1. I haven't had very many carbs for the day. 
2. only when it is really good home-made pasta and gourmet pizza, because why bother if it's not? 
3. I limit my serving size of the bad stuff and fill up with extra helpings of good stuff.

Try baking your eggs for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think you'll love them. Have you got a go-to egg recipe?


PS: the photo was taken straight out of the camera because the laptop that my photo editing software is on died.I'm bummed. It has been feeling sick lately but I'd been babying it along. This week it breathed its last. So I'm on the hunt for another one. This little mini just doesn't cut it.


  1. One of the reasons we eat so many eggs is because the three of us eat them every day, in some form, for breakfast - right there is half a dozen a day. And if I'm making something for dinner that The Young One just will NOT touch, he will have eggs (he seriously would not object to some kind of breakfast for dinner every night; it's his favorite meal).

    You know, it's funny but I got a comment on my post about the benefits of pastured eggs from some woman who just had to let me know how WRONG I was. Turns out, her husband has some sort of PhD in poultry and formulates commercial chicken feed. Ah, Big Ag and their propaganda...

    OH - and I am SO going to make baked eggs with taco spices. Just the thought made me drool.

  2. It's funny but JR doesn't really like breakfast for dinner. I think of it as a treat.

  3. We are slowly working our way to pastured eggs. Switched to organic milk a couple of weeks ago and already loving that, but I buy it at Costco so I do save a little. Costco is now encorporating pastured eggs so hopefully that will bring down the price some. We go through about 3 dozen in two weeks' time, or less depending on how much we use it.

  4. Last year eggs were on a hit list for cholesterol at the top of it. Next was the skin of chicken.
    But this year eating eggs is grand ta-ever-so-much, no bother at all, eat all you want of the things. What the frack did the hens do between this and last year.

  5. SK: Costco is carrying more and more organic and pastured products. I hope it will make it cheaper.

    Vince: That is a very good question.

  6. Sounds very yummy .... I'll have o share with you the baked egg recipe Possum was taught in Food Tech class last year. She hates eggs, but she will happily cook it for the rest of us who do.

  7. Ohhhhhh those sound (and look) delicious! Princess Nagger and I think breakfast for dinner is a treat, too. I think even PN would like your baked eggs - she loves my scrambled eggs I make with fat-free french vanilla creamer instead of milk, cinnamon and summer savory. She gobbles them right up! ;)

  8. I'm gonna try those for my son. I don't like eggs, but he sure does!

  9. wow! This is the first time I have heard of herb-baked eggs. The pic looks yummy and also the recipe seems healthier than fried eggs. Will try out this recipe. Thanks.