If it’s this healthy, how come it’s good?

January 20, 2015

On the left, with bacon; on the right, without.

On the left, with bacon; on the right, without.

For a long time, I had that attitude toward a lot of food. The things I liked were just, in general, not healthy foods. Potato chips…cheese dip…candy…ice cream….and on and on.

I still don’t hold myself up as any paragon of health. But I do consciously eat a lot less processed foods, and a lot less refined sugar (she typed as she crunched a Valentine’s conversation heart). I work on keeping my diet higher in complex carbs than simple ones. I’m fortunate that I have good genes and cholesterol that abides a fair amount fat in my diet, but I do try to cut back on that as well.

With that in mind, if you have a cholesterol or pancreas problem and have to have a low fat diet, just quit reading right now. Because this ain’t. But if you want an easy cook-once-eat-several-times breakfast, lunch or snack item that’s high in protein and low in carbs, this is for you.

Plus….it’s good. I mean — egg, avocado, bacon, cheese, roasted tomatoes. What’s not to like about that?

Gather you up:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 oz cheddar, grated
  • 2 oz monterey jack, grated
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 avocado, pitted and smushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 strips bacon, cut into half-inch pieces and fried
  • 1 cup roasted grape or cherry tomatoes (I do these in large quantity in the summer when I can get ’em at the Farmers’ Market, and freeze them in baggies.)

Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. (I find this stuff sticks, no matter how well you grease them.) Put some bacon and some tomatoes in the bottom of each tin. Beat the eggs, then stir in the cheeses and avocado and paprika. I don’t salt it because I find the cheeses have enough salt.

Spoon a little of the mixture into each tin, dividing it as equally as you can. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs are well set and starting to get just a little golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.

Yes, four eggs will stretch to 12 muffin tins — depending on what all you put in the tins for add-ins. I had figured it would do six, so I divided my bacon that way. I didn’t use all my tomatoes, so I had some of those to use when I went to the second pan of six. You may want to go to six eggs for 12 tins, depending on what all you plan to add.

Also, the egg/cheese mixture is really thick, so a lot of your filling doesn’t migrate upward like it does in a quiche. Doesn’t bother me any, but if it does you, you can take a spoon and give each tin a little stir to redistribute before you bake.

When these little babies are cool, you can put them in the fridge — generally I put mine all in one container, since I work at home and it’s easy enough for me to grab one when I want it, but you could put them one or two in a baggie and they’d be easy to grab on your way out the door.

When they’re cold, you can just nuke them long enough to take the chill off. One of ’em has about 8 grams of protein, so two makes a pretty nice breakfast portion of protein.  It has about six grams of fat, but fewer than two carbs apiece. (My Fitness Pal is a great site to look up the nutritional values of food.) Best of all — they’re only about 90 calories.

The really cool thing about these is that you can put whatever you want in them. Broccoli? Sure. Ham? Why not? Mushrooms? Yum!  You can use just about any veggie, or none; just about any meat, or none. You can also have one for lunch with a baked sweet potato (another 250 or so calories if you put a pat of butter on it, another 3 grams of protein and a nutritional powerhouse with all kinds of vitamins and good stuff) and have yourself a fine lunch.

I really do kinda scare myself with all this healthy stuff. Particularly when you consider that since last Thursday, I’ve had a total of three Diet Cokes, which is normally what I would have in one morning. I’ve quit keeping them at home, and will occasionally grab one while I’m out, since I’m incapable of having them at home and not drinking six or eight a day. And they’re NOT good for me, or for you you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em either. I’m drinking water, which is something I’ve never done enough of.

I guess this is sort of a next step in evolution of my eating habits that began five or six years ago, when I first began concentrating more on fresh produce and less processed foods. Along the way, I ditched fast foods, most of which taste like garbage anyway; I can’t tell you the last time I had a fast food burger. Then I went to grass-fed organic beef, along with farm-raised chicken and pork.  Can’t help but be beneficial, and it certainly tastes better.

Eating better makes me feel better (I remind myself of that periodically with things like a binge on Valentine’s conversation hearts), and hopefully, will make me last longer.

 

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