Growing up, poached eggs were (and still are), my dad’s specialty. He’d put them on everything, from traditional toast or English muffin, to pancakes and oatmeal (eeek!) Although I never took him up on his offers to make the latter two options, I have gotten a little more creative with my uses for poached eggs – I’ll often put them on top of roasted veggies (typically sweet potato or cauliflower), or I’ll top my salad off with an egg for some extra protein.
Being able to poach an egg is a good skill to have as a university student – eggs cooked this way are versatile, quick to make, and delicious! Poaching your eggs is also a healthy way to consume eggs, as poaching does not require the addition of fats or oils. Recipes featuring poached eggs will definitely appear on my blog in the future, so I figured it was best to start off with a little lesson on how to successfully prepare your eggs this way. Below I have included a recipe for a salad I eat frequently for lunch. This salad allows me to get some green veggies into my diet, while the sweet potato provides a source of carbohydrates, healthy fat comes from the avocado, and a poached egg on top provides protein. The recipe below includes step-by-step poaching instructions. I have also included instructions to make a simple dressing with balsamic vinegar; however, I often just have this salad dressed with apple cider vinegar.
One thing to note: some instructions for poached eggs suggest adding a splash of vinegar to the water you cook the eggs in, the reason being that the vinegar causes the egg whites to firm up faster, preventing them from spreading around in the water. Because I didn’t have any vinegar in my house when I first started poaching eggs, I’ve just been using boiling water, and my eggs generally turn out very well.
Sweet Potato and Green Salad w/Poached Egg
This is the perfect salad to have as a balanced lunch, allowing you to get some extra servings of veggies into your diet!
Peel a sweet potato and chop into small cubes. Toss in cooking oil and sprinkle with salt (or garlic salt if you have it). Using a toaster oven or conventional oven, bake sweet potato at 400ºF for 25 minutes.
While sweet potato is cooking, tear lettuce and place in a medium-sized bowl.
Dice cucumber and slice celery stalks. Add on top of the lettuce.
Carve avocado into small pieces and add to the top of the salad.
Mix dressing: add ingredients for dressing to a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
When the sweet potato is cooked, remove from oven and add to top of salad. I usually flatten out the layer of sweet potato to create a bed to set the poached egg on. Add dressing to salad, and then cook egg using the method described below.
How to Poach an Egg
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, so the water is simmering.
Crack an egg into a small bowl, being careful to keep the yolk intact (if the yolk breaks you can save it in the fridge and use it in an omelette or scrambled egg another day).
When your water is simmering, use a spoon and stir the water quickly to create a “whirlpool” in the centre of the pot.
Then, putting the bowl close to the water, pour the egg into the centre of the whirlpool. The egg will spin a bit before settling on the bottom of the pot.
Set a timer for 3.5 minutes if you want your yolk to be runny, and increase the time if you want a firmer yolk.
After 3.5 minutes have elapsed, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the pot and place the egg on the salad, on top of the sweet potato.
This quick breakfast requires only a few ingredients and is perfect for busy school mornings. Your basic oatmeal is supplemented with almond butter, which adds protein and healthy fats to keep you full until lunch. The addition of mixed berries makes breakfast time a little sweeter!I have a mild peanut allergy, so I never got to experience the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But this peanut-free oatmeal version of the classic childhood sandwich is so satisfying that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much. Instead of jelly, which adds a lot of refined sugar to your meal, frozen mixed berries and honey provide some sweetness.
Almond butter and mixed berries pack a micronutrient punch:
- Almond butter – contains calcium, iron, vitamin E, magnesium, and copper (source). It is also high in fibre, which aids in digestion and lowers cholesterol. But consume in moderation – it is very calorically dense.
- Berries – berries contain a number of antioxidants, and micronutrients that help to reduce inflammation. They also have a positive impact on cardiovascular health (source) and have been found to have cancer-preventing properties (source).
Today I enjoyed this delicious bowl of oatmeal before I headed to class. See the bottom of the post for the recipe for Almond Butter and “Jelly” Oatmeal.
For lunch I had this delicious salad (recipe to follow in the next post):For snack I enjoyed some celery and chipotle hummus. I always find I need a snack around 3pm to get me through until dinner, so I try to wash and cut vegetables beforehand. That way, when I feel like nibbling on something, I have convenient access to something healthy.I finished off my day with a chicken taco bowl. This is another recipe I will post in the future, once I’ve perfected it! “Bowls” of any variety are one of my favourite meals – it’s so easy to mix them up with different combinations of ingredients and dressings. These recipes will definitely be appearing on the blog as I create them.I had class and meetings until 9:30 today, and I didn’t have time in the morning, so I stopped by the gym briefly in the afternoon (and was a little sweaty for my last meeting of the day). I spent 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, followed a quick circuit that had a focus on upper body and core, in order to exercise my whole body. Then, after a couple hours of school work, I went back to the gym for my intramural basketball game!
Here is the recipe for Almond Butter and “Jelly” oatmeal, which provided a hearty start to my busy day.
Almond Butter and "Jelly" Oatmeal
Place oats in a small bowl and add boiling water (enough to submerge the oats). Stir and wait for oats to absorb water, adding more boiling water to achieve the desired consistency.
In another small bowl, microwave the frozen berries until just defrosted (30 seconds - 1 minute depending on the power of your microwave).
Add honey to berries, and stir to coat.
Spoon the berries and honey mixture on top of oatmeal.
Drizzle almond butter over top of oatmeal.
Optional: Add a pinch of salt on top of the almond butter (I like to do this to achieve a mild sweet-and-salty flavour). If you want a little extra sweetness, you can always add a bit more honey on top of the oatmeal.