As you can imagine, sometimes my quest for using up food makes for an unusual diet.
For example, I started last Sunday’s dinner with a kale and fruit smoothie, followed by grilled steak with chimichurri sauce, and topped off with bacon peanut butter cookies for dessert. Yep, you read that correctly.
Of course, I can explain: Awhile back I had preserved leftover kale by freezing it in an ice cube tray, and I still hadn’t used it up. I added frozen berries, banana, nonfat greek yogurt, and honey for my appetizer drink. I made chimichurri again because I had made cubes of leftover parsley and cilantro leaves in olive oil also saved in the freezer.
As for the cookies….well, somehow my package of bacon wasn’t being used enough. And I had come across the recipe again from Joy the Baker. I was curious. How were they? All I can say is WOW.
Let’s talk about something that makes sense together: eggs and greens.
I’ll be experiencing an influx of greens in the coming weeks, so I’ll be sneaking them in wherever I can. This is a good thing, because it adds nutrition that I have probably been lacking lately. Can we agree for a minute that bacon, in moderation, fits into a healthy lifestyle too? This is another easy and adaptable recipe.
Baked Eggs with Southern-Style Greens and Polenta
adapted from a Whole Foods online recipe
1/4 cup uncooked grits or polenta (coarse cornmeal)
3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 slices bacon
1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and roughly chopped
Stemming the greens is probably the most tedious part of this process. Here’s a quick hint to save time: fold the leaf in half over the stem so you only need to make one slice to remove it!
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange 2 large ramekins (at least 5 ounces) on a baking sheet, grease, and set aside.
I used the remains of a package of instant polenta, which requires only five minutes of stirring. If using packaged polenta, follow the package directions. All methods start with boiling the water and salt, whisking in the grains, and reducing the heat to low. If using cornmeal or grits, you’ll be stirring often for 10-15 minutes until thick and creamy.
Remove pan from stovetop. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper. This is the step where I could definitely see something like shredded cheddar cheese added, if you’re into that sort of thing 🙂
Divide grits among prepared ramekins.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until just crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Roughly chop.
Pour most of the bacon grease out of the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add greens to skillet and cook, tossing often, until wilted and just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in bacon and season with salt and pepper. Arrange greens on top of grits in ramekins.
Crack an egg into the center of each ramekin and bake until whites are almost set, 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them or you’ll be sad like me and miss out on a runny yolk! Set aside to let cool briefly then serve.
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