Since going meatless January 1, I’ve made a lot of vegetarian meals. We’ve had salads and grilled cheese, roasted root vegetables, fish tacos, soups, packaged veggie burgers and Silly Goose takeout. It all turned out pretty well, but everything was based on my regular culinary repertoire, or it was made for us. As I noted in the last post, I want to use this month not so much to focus on avoiding meat, but to really explore other kinds of cuisine that don’t focus on meat, in an effort to expand my own culinary horizons.
I used my Magazines.com gift card from the amazing Food Blog Forum goodie bags (I wrote about the event here) last October for a subscription to “Everyday Food” magazine. I love that little pub, but it’d been awhile since I’d subscribed. I found a recipe for Denver Omelet Cups in the January issue that I tore out, so I tried a variation of it for dinner last night. What a treat! It was easy, tasty, relatively healthy and meatless. Plus, it’s unusual “cup” shape on the plate is impressive for a weeknight meal.
Next time I’d use slightly less shredded potatoes as there was barely enough room in the “cup” to hold everything and I’d prefer more sauteed veggies than potatoes. The eggs in the photo at left are about to run out of the cups, but amazingly there was just enough space. I’d also use my own shredded potatoes instead of the frozen kind (which I had on-hand) so I could leave the skins on for more nutrients. This recipe comes together really fast – you pre-bake the potato “cups” for 15 minutes, so while those are cooking you can saute the veggies and grate the cheese. After they finished baking, they popped right out of the pan without any trouble at all.
Alongside these eggy delights I served a grapefruit, orange, avocado, green onion salad over arugula and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. This also came from “Everyday Food, and the recipe is just as simple as it sounds. The flavors didn’t quite go with the egg cups by traditional rules (citrus and eggs doesn’t really do anything for me) but I liked the brightness of both dishes’ flavors. Plus it was light and nutritious for a cold winter night.
Breakfast-For-Dinner Omelet Cups
Yield: 6 "cups"
Total Time: 30 min
This recipe would be great really anytime of day, though it's hearty enough for dinner. It makes six "cups," and two for dinner was plenty. I reheated a leftover for breakfast the next morning in the toaster oven and it was delish! The original recipe called for ham steak - I omitted that and added spinach. This recipe is easily customizable to your tastes and preferences.
nonstick cooking spray
4 cups frozen hash browns (1 pound), thawed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced small
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced small
6 ounces fresh spinach
3 ounces shredded or crumbled cheese (I used feta)
8 large eggs
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Coat 6 nonstick muffin cups with cooking spray or rub with oil. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt 4 teaspoons butter. Add hash browns and 2 egg whites; season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Place 1/2 cup mixture into each muffin cup, firmly pressing into bottom and up side of each cup with a spoon or your fingers. Bake 15 minutes; potato "cups" will be beginning to brown around the edges.
Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add red onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add spinach. Cover until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide vegetable mixture evenly among cups and top with cheese. Bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven and crack 1 egg into each cup. Season with salt and pepper and bake until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 8 minutes was just enough time. With a small offset spatula, remove cups from pan and serve immediately.
Everyday Food, January/February 2012 http://www.marthastewart.com/872743/denver-omelet-cups