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spicy kale and egg breakfast
To paraphrase a certain UK MasterChef presenter, ‘breakfast doesn’t get much healthier than this’ (one has to say this in a very earnest, growling South London accent, with a cheeky, gleaming smile). Or much odder. I mean, kale? With eggs?

No word of a lie this is a brilliant and filling breakfast. Top of the tree nutrition-wise, and taste-wise – if you like your dark leafy greens that is. I first made this a few weeks ago when there was a heck of a lot of my favourite leafy greens hogging shelf space in the fridge. I just looked at the freshly-laid eggs in my hand and over to the never-ending bag of kale and thought, why not? But while this was a healthy combo I did want to enliven it further, so briefly perused my ridiculously full sauce shelf and this little jar of Malay Taste Sambal Oelek sauce, with it’s eye-catching livery, caught my eye.

Yes, I know cereal is chock full of nutrients (usually added back in after they were taken out in the first place. Rude Health-type cereals excepted), and a no-brainer decision when you’ve got a pair of straighteners in one hand and a mewling toddler in the other (yikes!). But, if you have even a modicum of extra time, really an extra five minutes, please give this a try. And if you are having a love-in with your veggies just now – I am – live on the edge and whack some oil-slicked sweet cherry tomatoes into a hot oven for a delicious pop of colour and extra flavour.

I’ve bored for Britain on the benefits of kale, but in case you didn’t know, it is an excellent source of vitamins K, C, A and manganese; and a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It also has numerous, potent anti-cancer compounds. Read more about kale’s disease-preventing chemical cocktail (in a good way) in my Kale-Berry Smoothie recipe post.

And, as for eggs, not only have they lost their ‘bad for you’ tag (that was so unfair!) most of us would say that they are exceptionally nutritious. What about the cholesterol, you may ask? Yes, they do have rather a lot, about 212 mg in a large egg, but very little of this cholesterol, dietary cholesterol, gets into the bloodstream. It’s really saturated and nasty trans-fats that are the heart disease bad guys. In fact, eggs not only have the most digestible, highest-quality protein of any food – making it fantastic for both dieters and those who are unwell due to cancer treatment –  but they also have some helpful unsaturated fats, memory-enhancing choline, and the eye health phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin. And they even have all essential vitamins, except C. Yes, it even has the difficult to get D. So, what are you waiting for? Get cracking!

This is the first of a short series of easy, a bit off-the-wall breakfast ideas that I put out for your consideration. I will also give links to some really great breakfast ideas that have caught my attention recently. Some nearly as odd as mine.

To help me with my final breakfast post in this series, I want to know: What is your favourite breakfast? What is your best food-related time-saving tip in the morning? I would like to include the best tips and faves in my final breakfast post, so don’t be shy – I need you :D

spicy kale and egg breakfast
Spicy Kale and Egg Breakfast

Last Year: Brazilian-style Black Bean Salad

Miss R’s Track of the Week: Justin Nozuka’s “Golden Train” (ridiculously talented American-Canadian singer-songwriter) – at 3 minutes playing time, this could be your egg timer!

Three ingredients – two uber nutritious, and one that’s just tasty. That’s all. Or, get a jumpstart on your five+ a day by adding a handful of oven-roasted or pan-frazzled cherry tomatoes. Toast optional. And obviously not a vegetable! Here’s my favourite – and easist – bread recipe.

80g kale leaves OR a large cupped double handful 
1 large organic egg
1 tsp (+) bought sambal oelek sauce, or recipe to make your own

Wash and shred the kale into ribbons then chop. Let this sit for five minutes to allow the health-promoting phytochemicals to ‘develop’. Steam or boil until soft – five minutes for young kale, a bit longer for older stuff. To keep the colour some people boil in quite salty water, and then ‘shock’ the cooked greens with a plunge in ice water. I don’t bother with that, but do as you like. Drain well and then mix with a teaspoon or two of sambal oelek sauce. Or your favourite hot sauce, or even a garlic sauce. If you need to maintain or gain weight, stir in 2 teaspoons of best extra virgin olive oil to the kale.

Meantime, poach your egg as per your favoured method*. When ready, slide your egg onto the spicy kale and dig in, pronto. 

*Me? Well, I crack one of ‘my girls’ eggs into a shallow teacup and slide it into a pan of just simmering water to which I have added 1 tsp of vinegar. As soon as the egg is submerged I start my pre-set timer. When the egg is ready, I scoop it carefully with a slotted spoon and pop onto a folded paper towel, then onto toast or, in this case, kale. Time: 2 ½ minutes – 3 ½  minutes. Each batch of eggs can be very different so I go with the shorter time and then, when I lift one out, I give it a wobble and, if it seems barely holding together, I pop it straight back for another minute with the heat off. It’s not rocket science but it can take a little practise to get it how you want it. Delia Smith suggests that one pops the egg into water that is barely bubbling for one minute and then killing the heat and allowing the egg to cook in the residual heat for a further 10 minutes. I’m too impatient to even try this! Those on chemotherapy, or with compromised immune function, should hard cook their eggs – boil, scramble or ‘steam-fry’ until the yolk is completely cooked. 

The biggest tip is to use the freshest eggs available to you, ideally no more than five days old. Look for the packing date on your carton as this will also be the laying date for the most part. Or, better yet, get your own henny pennies – they are tremendous fun and about as useful a pet as you can have. Check the British Welfare Hens Trust (UK) and Rehoming Battery Hens dotcom (US), or your own country’s national websites for information on how you can give a a loving home to rescue/ex-battery/ex-farm hens. We in the UK are leading the way in hen welfare by early adoption of EU cage-free hen legislation (which Britain pushed for), but there is still some way to go before all hens on commercial farms have a ‘good life’ (in relative terms, of course). Mr A, Miss R and I have a mix of hand-reared and ex-commercial free range hens, and we are looking to adopt some ex-organically-reared hens too. I hope the ‘posh birds’ get on with our old girls!spicy kale and egg breakfast
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40 thoughts on “Spicy Kale and Egg Breakfast

  1. I would love to tuck into that for brekkie (or lunch, yum).
    The inner Viking in me appears at breakfast as I like sweet cured herring on biona rye bread – no cooking involved so very lazy an idea here, sorry!

    1. It’s not lazy at all! Your Viking breakfast sounds an astoundingly Omega 3 packed brekkie. I sometimes eat fish for breakfast too. I’ll use an extra salmon fillet from dinner the previous night and eat it flaked up with cucumber, tomato, whatever herb is around and something hot like sriracha, or sour like umeboshi.

  2. shuhan says:

    YUM. I love poached eggs. love that you added sambal to this. it’s a must-have in my kitchen. I make a large batch and freeze (:

    hmm cereals are not healthy for you, really, whole foods like this are so much more nourishing for your body. also, traditional chinese medicine believes that you should always be eating something warm to ease your digestion, so cereals with a cold splosh of milk isn’t the best thing in the morning! the easiest time-saving breakfast to make is porridge, in the slow cooker (: you only need to scoop it out the next morning. I like it with coconut milk, it’s so deliciously creamy and apparently great for the metabolism. sometimes I do congee instead too, like this , but overnight in a slow cooker.

    looking forward to the rest of the series!

    1. I agree with you Shuhan about something warm in the morning although sometimes for me that might be a cup of hot tea. Does that count? Deb at eastofeden also does her porridge in a slow cooker, so you two are inspiring me to try the same. I bet it is extra luscious and creamy, especially with coconut milk. Almost like a dessert, but much healthier. Thanks for sharing the link, and for commenting and sharing your breakfast and time-saving tip

  3. Desi Chick says:

    I’ve had a lot of spinach for breakfast but not yet Kale. Lovely post and looks delish! One of my time saving breakfasts are spinach, basil and egg roll ups in whole wheat tortillas, a wonderful breakfast burrito that freezes really well. I usually wrap them in parchment and then foil before freezing. In the morning when pressed for time I take off the foil layer and microwave the parchment wrapped burrito for a minute and I have a great breakfast to go.

    1. I like spinach for breakfast too – glad I’m not the only one. Your breakfast and time-saving idea of a veggie breakfast roll-up sounds really good. Must try that! Thanks so much for sharing Desi :D

  4. luv4wickless says:

    Yum, this sounds good! Thank you for sharing, I might have to try it out sometime! :]

    1. Thanks! Write back with your own favourite breakfast. I would love to hear what you like

  5. thespicyrd says:

    Love your chickies, and what a fabulous recipe. That sambal oelek sounds divine! I try and mix it up here for b-fasts, even on school days. Two of my easy faves are my breakfast bananas foster {recipe on my blog}, and good old fashioned scrambled eggs with sauteed onion, spinach, and a little feta on top. Oh, and I absolutely crave my kale banana smoothies: vanilla soy or almond milk, 1 banana, 1-2 cups kale, cinnamon, ice-blend away and enjoy!

    1. Thank you EA. You could use your beloved sriracha instead of the sambal oelek though; quite similar. I know your bananas foster breakfast reciep from a wee while back and, like Desi at kolpona, you and I like our spinach first thing. I don’t think I have the muscles that eating so much spinach and green stuff might imply. I bet you are getting there with your new crazy workout though! And snap with the kale smoothie.I blogged about mine a couple of months ago and haven’t had it in awhile but I think I will add a banana and make your version. I’m not a banana fan and I am trying to love them a little more. Love all your ideas. Thanks for sharing them here :D

  6. eastofedencook says:

    Our go to breakfast is steel cut oats. I have gone so far as to take a small crock pot/slow cooker on vacation so we can start the oats soaking the night before. Then first thing in the morning we turn the cooker on and have a warm breakfast within thirty minutes without using a stove.

    1. well, I thought I’d heard about some interesting things to take on holiday, but a crock pot! That’s porridge-love for sure! I take my stove top Italian coffee pot as I can’t stand instant (I’d rather go thirsty) and I am very particular about brand of the real stuff (Illy decaf, please. With a dash of semi-skimmed evap for Vitamin D). I admire your dedication to a decent breakfast as I am sure it keeps you in good stead for the rest of the day. Thanks for sharing, Deb.

  7. Lori says:

    Oh yes, that looks like my kind of breakfast.

    1. Thanks so much Lori. What is your favourite breakfast or time-saving breakfast tip?

      1. Lori says:

        I’ve been know to use the microwave to cook a quick poached egg. Not as good as the stove top method, but it works in a pinch. And the fresh organic egg is a must. We used to have our own free range chickens… best eggs in the world! We are looking into getting more chickens. Thanks for the website for rehoming hens. What a great idea!

      2. I don’t have a microwave (no room, really) but that sounds a great, no guessing way to poach – once you get the time right. No vinegar taint either. Quite often I don’t do vinegar, just swirl the water a bit first, but vinegar seems to pretty much guarantee a solid, non-strandy white. I’d be interested to hear how many folk do eggs in a microwave oven, whether as poached or scrambled. Hmmm

  8. A breakfast favorite: roasted sweet potatoes with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

    1. Is that leftover roast sweet potatoes, or from scratch in the morning? Regardless, it sounds yummy. Truly!

  9. Gorgeous and nutritious as usual!

    1. Thank you sweetie. What do you like for yourself?

  10. leroywatson4 says:

    Eggs are Sunday morning treat here at the Beach House. On warm toasted oat bread with some homemade tomato beans and a large mug of tea. Kale optional, but welcomed. Bu the eggs have got to be great, super fresh and happy, happy hens. Your yolks look radiant! Thanks for sharing, Lee http://www.thebeachhousekitchen.wordpress.com
    PS – I slowly poach my eggs in just boiling water and use my hen’s eye to judge runniness. I always add a little vinegar to the water, a trick an old German chef taught me once (don’t know if it makes a great deal of difference, but I think of him each time I poach an egg. Happy blogging).

    1. Hi Leroy. I sometimes add vinegar but usually with my just-laid eggs they stay together just fine. But for commercial eggs, yes, I agree it is a necessary step (and nice if it brings back happy memories). Thanks for the yolk compliment – no photoshop, all natural. My girls eat mango, fresh corn, coriander, kale and other lutein-containing foods to not only keep them happy but help make vivid, tasty eggs. Thank you for commenting. `say hello to ‘your girls’ from me :D

  11. Kale and EGGS! Yes I get it Kellie! I love spinach and eggs, so Kale is not a problem for me…..and I am SO amazed that your three hens are nearly the exactly the same colour combination as mine! I have posh birds with ex-batts and they all get on just fine….a LOVELY sunny and colourful breakkie. Karen

    1. Thanks Karen. The kale is a bit different to spinach, more ‘iron-y’, which may be a step too worthy for some but a great morning boost for those who are receptive to its not very obvious charms as a breakfast food. And thanks for hen reassurance. Our girls have impeccable manners so I shouldn’t worry.

  12. Bizarre as this sounds, my favorite breakfast is roasted cauliflower. I’ve been known to stick a batch of it in the oven within minutes of waking, though it is just as good heated up from the night before. I also like a roasted combination of red peppers, sweet potatoes and onions in the morning. (This ought to dovetail with your vegetable love-in, if nothing else. ;-) ) The best time-saving breakfast tip, at our house, is to make plenty the night before. Often the best breakfast starts with leftovers…..

    1. That doesn’t sound bizarre in the least, to me anyway. I haven’t woken up and started roasting the cauliflower but I have revived it plenty of times! There is absolutely no reason other than cultural norm not to have vegetables in the morning. Greeks, Lebanese and plenty of other countries start their day with cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, cheese, bread. Maybe we should up sticks and move there :D And, of course leftovers make it all a whole lot easier. Thanks Kelli

  13. Holy YUM! How simple but delicious. Three of my favorite ingredients – this is going on my must – make – for – breakfast – ASAP – list!

    1. Thanks so much. Unbelievably my family love it too , & even request it. I think the sauce (even Sriracha is good too) performs some kind of alchemy with the iron-rich kale. Lots of culinary permutations & add ons possible: shiitake, tofu, leftover roast squash…

  14. Looks absolutely delicous- I love poached eggs but my breakfasts always lean towards sweeter/fruity meals. My all-time favorite is one I grew up with- I cook porridge (1/2 cup oats : 1 cup water) with a handful of raisins and half a banana on the hob (+ pinch of salt, cinnamon, vanilla) until thick, then stir in some low-fat Greek yogurt (Quark is a great cheap alternative with great nutritional stats) and then put it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, voila- breakfast is ready! Often add in frozen blueberries when at the end of cooking or any fruits lying around. Almond butter makes a great topping :) I like them cold but often zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds before eating to soften a little…canned pumpkin is another great mix-in.

    Another go-to breakfast is muffins I bake at weekends- freeze individually then just take one out of the freezer in the evening. I usually bake wholewheat pumpkin or coconut cornmeal- can hunt out the recipes if you’d like….buried on computer somewhere!) then crumble over yogurt with banana. I make muffins small because I ue them more as a topping than by themselves but they also make great gab-and-go snacks :)

    1. Great ideas Ellie – thanks so much! You mention some of my favourite healthy add-ins : almond butter (fantastic stirred in to rice pudding),oats, Quark, blueberries. And a super idea for making breakfast ahead of time too. Will feature this and the muffins. Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much Emma for sharing your link. Post coming soon with yours and the rest.

  15. vintageamanda says:

    Funny, after decades of eating a sweet breakfast I’m now 100% into the greens and eggs! I do poached eggs and kale too (and occasionally some sourdough or rye toast) – yum.

    1. It seems like there’s a lot more goodwill towards greens at breakfast than I would ever have thought. Sourdough is an awesome accompaniment.

  16. sasha black says:

    made this today in Austraila, with kale from my garden, popped onions and coriander on it too-yum

    1. Those extras sound delicious! So glad you made it. It’s just a simple thing that lends itself to as many permutations as one’s imagination and cupboards permit. Thanks for commenting Sasha :D

  17. laura_howtocook says:

    How fantastic.Kale I just adore but I am terrible in the morning and only ever have time to eat a bowl of cereal. I could eat this dish happily at any time of the day and I do think that it would fill me up and satisfy me for longer if I did make dishes such as this for breakfast. I did make your granola with my daughter and we all loved it!

    1. It is truly one of my favourite breakfasts. I prefer savoury brekkies mainly (but may change my mind if you wave a ‘proper’ croissant at me) so I when I have time I like play around with the boundary between breakfast and brunch. A recipe in this same vein coming soon. PS I’m glad you liked the granola. I’ve got a more ‘normal’ one in the Index that I make every few weeks and pop into its canister for the family. Granola is certainly easy to customise and keep healthy. Unlike shop bought. Thanks for commenting, Laura.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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