In our quest for health and our hunt for the hottest food trends, we often forget eggs and bacon are simple ingredients that can be as free-range and grass-fed as other meats and proteins out there. Eggs, in fact, are one of the world’s most perfect foods: They are packed with micronutrients and balanced with omega-3 fats and protein.Eggs are also versatile, fast to cook and inexpensive. Need we say more?
Bacon gets a bad rap because of its typical high-fat content. But it turns out that there are a few ways to cook it healthfully, and we all know eggs are better with bacon. Finally, there’s always the idea that good things can be enjoyed in moderation. So, how do you make a healthier bacon and eggs?
BACON + EGGS + THE MICROWAVE
First, eggs. Eggs, as you know, can be made in a variety of ways — fried, poached, baked, scrambled, 6-minute, hard-boiled and sunny side up. When you’re making a meal with eggs as the star of the show, the preparation matters. For salads and grain bowls, eggs with runny yolks — like the 6-minute egg, sunny side up, fried or poached — may be preferable so you get some of that yolk in as dressing and lube for your bowl.
If you’re short on a time, you don’t need more than 30 seconds to make a poached egg in the microwave. Yes, the microwave.
How to: Place 1 teaspoon of water and a single cracked egg in a small ramekin. Cover with a paper towel and microwave in 10–15 second bursts until your egg white is opaque. (We suggest doing short increments so your egg doesn’t explode all over your microwave.)
With bacon, we all know a greasy mess ensues when we cook it on the stove, however the microwave does a bang up job on bacon, too.
How to: To make crispy bacon in the microwave, place your bacon on a paper towel in a single layer, then cover with another paper towel. Microwave for 4 minutes on high or until the bacon is crisp to your liking. Be careful when you remove the plate from the oven as it will be super hot and coated with bacon grease, but you won’t have a greasy kitchen mess to clean up (just those paper towels), and you’ll have crispy bacon for crumbling in your dinner.
Now, to those dinner ideas!
EGGS-CEPTIONAL DINNER IDEAS
Some ideas for how to win at eggs and bacon for dinner …
- Grain bowl: Use those leftovers at the back of the fridge in a grain bowl: top with greens, chopped veggies, a poached or fried egg and a crumble of bacon.
- Pizza: Grill a pie, put an egg on it and sprinkle with crumbled, crunchy bacon.
- Traditional: Serve them up straight. Add some toast, and maybe a side salad.
- Salad: In a bowl, toss spinach or arugula with lemon and olive oil, add sliced avocado, chopped tomato, sliced cucumbers and fresh herbs. Top with a crumble of bacon, an egg prepared in your favorite way (again, we like runny yolks here!) and a small handful of toasted seeds.
- Or, really go for it with this egg and bacon pasta …
Broccoli Pesto Pasta With Bacon and Eggs
For the broccoli pesto
- 1/2 pound (450g) broccoli florets
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, green shoots removed
- 1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
- 1/3 cup (78ml) olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2–2 ounces (1/3–1/2 cup/30-50g) freshly grated Parmesan or a mixture of pecorino Romano and Parmesan, to taste
For the pasta
- 4 cups (80g) arugula, washed and trimmed
- 1 small yellow zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 small kohlrabi, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 16-ounce box of farfalle pasta, or your favorite pasta shape
- 4 eggs, fried or poached for 30 seconds (see instructions above)
- 8 pieces of bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled
- Olive oil
For the broccoli pesto
Steam the broccoli for 6 minutes, until very tender but still bright green. Remove from the heat, rinse and drain on paper towels.
Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. When the garlic is minced and sticks to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Add the broccoli and the basil and process. When contents are finely chopped, stop the machine and scrape the sides again. Turn on the machine and drizzle in the olive oil. Purée until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste, plus the grated cheese, and process until well blended. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
For the pasta
Boil the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan or frying pan over medium-high heat and sauté the zucchini in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. When it’s slightly brown, repeat with the kohlrabi. Transfer the zucchini and kohlrabi to a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
When the pasta is done, reserve 1/4–1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain — discard all but the reserved cooking water and return the pasta to the pot.
Toss the pesto with the pasta and the reserved cooking water until all the pasta is evenly coated. Divide the arugula, kohlrabi and zucchini evenly between four plates. Top with pasta, then top each plate of pasta with a poached egg. Finish with a sprinkle of bacon and enjoy!
Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 451; Total Fat: 17g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 10g; Cholesterol: 125mg; Sodium: 87mg; Carbohydrate: 61g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 15g