Bacon, Eggs (or Tofu) & Spinach Breakfast Pasta (Vegan or Not)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Breakfast pasta is something I discovered in the 80’s at Hugo’s.   It is best made with homemade pasta or the fresh pasta you can buy at the supermarket (though that pasta is not typically vegan).   I had leftover dry pasta – so I used that but fresh pasta is really key to the magic of this dish – as is Parmesan & parsley.

The important revelation here is – I made this version VEGAN – using my most exciting new find – homemade VEGAN BACON made from rice paper!  Check it out!

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I made that this morning & it was easy, fast & delicious!  You simply must try it!

I also used tofu & vegan Parmesan in this dish.

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This dish could be made using Follow Your Heart’s vegan egg – but I think it takes bizarrely long to congeal & it kinda freaks me out but, if you like it, knock yourself out.

If you are vegetarian – you could use real eggs & real Parmesan.

I added turmeric to my tofu to give it that yellow color of real scrambled eggs – but I don’t think I will in the future.  I only used a bit but the flavor was very present in this dish & not perfectly suited to it.  Scrambled tofu is exactly like scrambled egg whites & that is good enough here – unless you are trying to fool someone into thinking they are eating real, whole eggs.

Breakfast pasta is like an omelet – in that – you can add anything you want to it.  So – if you like tomatoes, American cheese (or vegan cheese) & garlic in your omelet – add them to the pasta dish…and so on & so on.  Anything goes.  Any meat (vegan or otherwise), any veggies & any cheeses (vegan or otherwise) that you love.

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Bacon, Eggs (or Tofu) & Spinach Breakfast Pasta (Vegan or Not)

Serves as any as you care to feed

INGREDIENTS

Fresh pasta, cooked pasta or leftover pasta – cooked

Bacon (this  homemade vegan one or your favorite kind) – cooked

Parmesan cheese to taste

1/4 to 1/2 block tofu per person or as many eggs per person (2 eggs per would be plenty) as you like

1 tsp turmeric (very optional & really only here for color) – or just enough to get that light yellow color (curry powder would work, too)

Spinach (a big handful per person) – chopped

S&P to taste

Chopped parsley (not just a garnish but a delightful flavor so I go heavy-handed with it)

Sliced avocado – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Make the bacon, if you are using the recipe I posted.

Make the pasta & drain.

In a saute pan, add some cooking spray or a bit of olive oil & add the tofu (and turmeric, if you are using it).  Combine & then add the spinach & pasta & Parmesan.  I added a bit of water because my pasta was cold (leftovers) and needed some steaming.  Your pasta might not need that (if you just cooked it).  Season with cheese and S&P.   Crumble some bacon on it & combine.

Once it is heated through, serve on plates with more crumbled bacon, lots of parsley & some avocado slices – and maybe more cheese.

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Vegan Ash Mash (Persian Mung Bean Soup) with Purple Kohlrabi & French Breakfast Radishes – for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I bought mung beans at my local Asian market with no idea what to make with them.  Having had such success this week with my Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce – for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top (seen just above) – I decided to make another slow cooker soup with them.  This soup has such simple ingredients it is hard to understand why it is so tasty – but it really IS!  I used purple kohlrabi because I could not resist buying these gorgeous things when I saw them at the store.

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They come in green, as well, and have a texture like the stem of broccoli – but also have something in common with radishes.  I saw lots of people suggesting to slice them thin & salt them & eat them raw.  I tried that – and liked it – but I was Hell bent on soup.  Because these reminded me of radishes – I decided to also use the French breakfast radishes you see in the enchilada soup photo.  The nice side benefit of using kohlrabi & radishes is that – once cooked – they seem like potato – but without that heaviness.  If you don’t like the sound of kohlrabi & radishes (which become creamy & mild in this soup) – use turnips – or even potato, instead.

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Lets talk about mung beans.  That bag had two cups of dry beans in it & I got it for $1.49.  That is CHEAP eating!    Here is some info from Dr. Axe on mung beans:

Mung beans — a type of small, green legume in the same plant family as peas and lentils — is a high source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Although in most parts of the world they’re less popular than other bean varieties, like chickpeas or black beans, mung beans have some huge health benefits to offer!

While mung beans may be new to most people in the U.S, they’ve been a part of traditional Ayurvedic diets in India for thousands of years. Mung beans are considered  “one of the most cherished foods” in the ancient Indian practice that’s been a traditional form of medicine since roughly 1,500 B.C.

These days, mung beans are beginning to pop up in protein powders, canned soups and in restaurant dishes state-side. So here’s what you need to know about mung beans:

  • Mung beans are a high source of nutrients including: manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins.
  • They are also a very filling food, high in protein, resistant starch and dietary fiber.
  • You can find mung beans in dried powder form, as whole uncooked beans, “split-peeled” form (just like you’d find split green peas), as bean noodles, and also assprouted seeds (which are the kind you’d see used on sandwiches or salads).
  • Their dried seeds may be eaten raw, cooked (whole or split), fermented, or milled and ground into flour.
  • Because of their high nutrient density, mung beans are considered useful in defending against several chronic, age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Clinical evidence continues to show that plant-derived foods have various potential health benefits, including lowering inflammation. Health experts recommend that plant-based foods make up a large portion of every person’s diet, and many worldwide health organizations have recommended an increase in the intake of plant-derived foods to improve health status and to prevent chronic diseases. Among plant-based sources of protein and nutrients, mung beans are one of the foods gathering the most attention.

As you’ll come to learn, mung beans are one of the healthiest sources of plant protein there is when you consider how many other nutrients they contain in addition to amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). As the Journal of Chemistry Central puts it, “mung beans have biological activities including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive and antitumor effects.” (1)


Mung Beans Nutrition Facts

One cup of cooked mung beans contains the following (percentages based on the RDAs for the average adult female): (2)

  •  212 calories
  • 14 grams of protein
  • 15 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 4 grams of sugar
  • 321 micrograms of folate (100%)
  • 97 milligrams of magnesium (36%)
  • 0.33 milligrams of vitamin b1 thiamine (36%)
  • 0.6 milligrams of manganese (33%)
  • 7 milligrams of zinc (24%)
  • 0.8 milligrams of vitamin B5 pantothenic acid (8%)
  • 0.13 milligrams of vitamin B6 (11%)
  • 55 milligrams of calcium (5%)

If you choose to sprout mung beans and eat them raw, each cup will only have about 31 calories and will provide about three grams of protein and two grams of fiber.

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And from GreenMungBeans.com:

Green Mung Bean Nutritional Information
• High in Protein
• High in Fiber
• Low in Fat
• Low in Calories

Nutritional Facts: 1 oz (28 grams) of dried Green Mung Beans:
• 100 Calories
• 0g Fat
• 5g Fiber
• 7g Protein (Protein equivalent to 1 hardboiled egg or 1 oz of chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.)

Green Mung Beans are Nutritional Powerhouses
• Good source of protein
• Good source of dietary fiber (helps to lower cholesterol, prevents constipation and keeps you feeling full)
• Low in sodium
• Low in cholesterol
• Vitamins: A, B Vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid) Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin K.
• Minerals: Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
• Sprouted Green Mung Beans produce live enzymes
• Mung Beans are low on the glycemic index at 25 and have a low glycemic load of 4 making them a smart food choice for diabetics. Diabetics can safely eat Green Mung Beans. The low glycemic index, fiber and protein help to regulate blood sugar.
• They also contain skin anti-aging properties that stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin, all essential to younger healthier skin.

Eating Green Mung Beans is Ideal for those with Digestive Issues and Sensitive Stomachs

Green Mung Beans Are:
•Easily digestible
•Anti-inflammatory (can reduce inflammation)
•Containing oligosaccharides to prevent gas and bloating, unlike other beans
•Containing high amounts of fiber, thereby preventing constipation
•One of the few tridoshic foods in Ayurvedic diets that can be eaten to balance all three dosha’s (energetic forces) in the body

Green Mung Beans Exhibit Powerful Antioxidant Properties that can Help Fight Disease as well as Protect the Body.

Consuming Green Mung Beans Have Been Studied to Treat the Following Medical Conditions:
•Diabetes
•Heart Disease
•Cancer
•Celiac Disease/Gluten Free Diets
•Anemia
•Osteoporosis
•Digestion
•Inflammation

Green Mung Beans Contain Phytoestrogens Contributing to Anti-Aging Benefits
Benefits of Phytoestrogens:
•Produce Collagen, Elastin, and Hyaluronic acid, All Three of which are Essential to Acquiring Younger and Healthier skin
•Can Regulate Hormones after Menopause, Relieve Hot Flashes, and Prevent Osteoporosis

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So – as you can see – there are lots of reasons to track down & chow down some green mung beans!  When you add all the benefits of turmeric & the fact that the rice makes this soup a complete protein – you are hard-pressed to make a more robustly healthy soup.   If you cannot find mung beans locally (in health or Asian food stores) – try here on AMAZON.    Another great thing about this soup is how economical it is.  Some cheap beans, some rice, a few cheap veggies & some stock.   I bet this vast quantity of soup cost me less than $20.  With some crusty bread, you could feed a very large group of folks.

This recipe makes A LOT of soup but this is a very protein rich vegan soup & great for cold weather and we are nowhere near the end of winter.  I have not yet frozen any but I certainly will be.  I imagine it will freeze well – so make the vat of it & freeze a bunch for lazy days.

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Vegan Ash Mash (Persian Mung Bean Soup) with Purple Kohlrabi & French Breakfast Radishes

Serves a boatload of people as it fills a 7 quart slow cooker.

INGREDIENTS

 1 cup dry green mung beans

1 cup long grain Basmati (or other) rice

2 (15 oz) cans white beans – drained

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (very optional)

1 onion – diced

1 TBS turmeric

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp pepper

16 cups vegetable stock (try to use a low sodium one)

5 kohlrabi – cubed

10 French breakfast radishes – cubed

GARNISH – vegan sour cream

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DIRECTIONS

for the slow cooker

Heat the olive oil in a pan & saute the onion & jalapenos (if using) until soft.

I boiled the stock before putting it in the slow cooker because I was unfamiliar with the cooking time of the mung beans.  I left the slow cooker on high for 5 hours – and everything was very soft – so – the boiling of the stock might not be necessary but – if you need to serve this at a 5 hour deadline – maybe boil the stock, too.  Otherwise – if time is not an issue – you needn’t.

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Now – just put everything into the slow cooker – on high – for 5 hours.  I imagine low for 8 hours would work, too, but I ain’t tried that.   When it is done – you can choose to garnish with sour cream – but it doesn’t really need it.

for the stove top

Heat the olive oil in a pan that will be large enough to hold the entire recipe & saute the onion & jalapenos (if using) until soft.  Add everything else & bring to a boil.  Simmer until the rice & beans are soft – 30 minutes to an hour.  When it is done – you can choose to garnish with sour cream – but it doesn’t really need it.

And – now your house smells all homey & yummy & you have 30+cups of protein-packed, healing soup!  Invite the villagers in & impress them with your skills & generosity.

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Vegan Beef & Sausage Breakfast Hash

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is a very easy & very forgiving recipe.  I used what I had around – but you can add or subtract things as you wish.  It is basically a breakfast stir fry.  If you eat eggs, a poached egg would be lovely on top.  Or serve this alongside a tofu scramble – or wrap it all up in a tortilla.  Easy & yummy!

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Vegan Beef & Sausage Breakfast Hash

Serves 4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS

5 red potatoes – cut into 1/2″ small cubes

Olive oil

1/2 onion – diced

1/2 bell pepper – diced

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

2 (or more) sausage patties (I used Morning Star sausage patties – which I just discovered on 10/30/15 – are NOT vegan – see ingredients list in the COMMENTS below.)

1 cup (or more) beef crumbles (I used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 TBS dry parsley

S&P

Fresh parsley as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a saute pan.  On high – cook the potatoes until they are softening & about 1/2 browned.  Add everything else (except the fresh parsley) & saute until the onions & bell pepper are soft & browning.  Season with S&P.

Serve with fresh parsley.

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Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I will confess – I am a recovering tofu bigot.  I gave up meat in the eighties – way before there were ANY vegetarian faux meats and even using the word “vegan” was a decade away for me.  The only fake meat out there was stuff like Bacos – that were accidentally vegan.  OK – fine – they had seitan in health food stores but it was bland & unconvincing & I was not yet skilled enough to make it really work.  So – tofu emerged as potentially the most versatile vegetarian meat substitute.  I experimented a bunch but the results were always iffy and, frankly, the taste & texture of tofu sorta bummed me out & seemed not worth the calories involved.  The only tofu things that were any good were deep fried appetizers doused in rich peanut sauces at Asian restaurants.  So – I kinda let tofu go.

When you are a vegetarian as long as I have been – you quickly grow increasing annoyed by the question, “Do you eat a lot of tofu, then?” and “Where do you get your protein?”

Fuck tofu!  Being vegetarian doesn’t mean I live on tofu.  And I have NEVER made any effort to increase protein in my diet.  Vegetables & beans & nuts etc all have protein but I never bought into the whole protein myth.  Look at some of the largest mammals on earth – gorillas, elephants, rhinos, hippos, cows, horses, bison, giraffes and some whales – all vegetarian or vegan.  So fuck protein &  fuck tofu.

Then, my vegan friend asked if I had a vegan scramble recipe & I did not.  Eh – fine.  I will scramble some fucking gross tofu for the hippies out there.   Tofu scramble?  Blech!  Slimy & wet – tasting all tofooey.  Ugh.  But – for the sake of this blog – I did it.  I made Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below – and they were a revelation!

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Emboldened – I get more and more adventurous with scrambling tofu until I got to the point where I would scramble some with spinach and S&P and wrap it in a tortilla & eat it with salsa every morning before work.   Scrambled tofu really is almost indistinguishable from scrambled egg whites but without all the cruelty involved.

As to this breakfast burrito – I added the things I did because I had them.  You can make yours with any of your favorite omelette ingredients.   A little turmeric makes the tofu yellow & becomes even more visually convincing that you are not eating tofu – but eggs.  I recommend trying it at least once!  You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Sorry, tofu!  I had you all wrong!

Also – I used Daiya shredded mozzarella in this.  In some photos – you can see the gooey melted cheese in the burrito.  The Daiya shreds melt very well when used like this.  The taste is distinctly NOT mozzarella but it is not unpleasant.  You can use your favorite brand – or skip cheese altogether.

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Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese

Makes 2 burritos

INGREDIENTS

2 large tortillas

1/2 block of firm tofu

4 mushrooms – diced

1 tomato – diced

2 handfuls of spinach

Shredded cheese

fresh or pickled jalapeno – diced (quantity to suite your taste)

2 TBS chia seeds (optional)

1 pinch each of: ground cumin, turmeric, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper

Sliced Avocado

Cilantro

Garnish with salsa

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DIRECTIONS

In a nonstick pan, or a pan sprayed with cooking oil, heat everything up (except avocado & cilantro – if using) – mashing the tofu into everything.  Really – that’s it.  Once the spinach wilts & the tofu is heated through – adjust seasonings and wrap that shit up in your tortillas with some avocado & cilantro.  Serve with some salsa!  YUMMY!

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Breakfast Tacos

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Like lots of my “recipes” – this is more just a suggestion.  You can fill your breakfast tacos with any combination of ingredients you prefer.  I know this recipe will bum out the vegans out there but the eggs I used here were given to me by a person who raises chickens for eggs.  Locally sourced & cruelty-free as it can get for eggs.  You vegans can scramble some tofu instead.

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Here is what I used for two tacos:

2 corn tortillas – warmed on the burners of my stove until they charred just a bit

2 eggs

Olive oil

Red bell pepper – diced

Red onion – diced

Purple cabbage – diced

Cilantro

Avocado – sliced

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Here is what I did:

I scrambled the eggs with some S&P.

I heated some olive oil in a pan & sauteed the onion & red pepper with a pinch of ground cumin until the vegetables were soft.  I added the eggs & cooked to the point I like eggs cooked & simply built the tacos by adding the eggs & then garnishing with more chopped red pepper, purple cabbage, cilantro & avocado.  Ole!

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast Cupcakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – I have tried these several times in different ways with different levels of success.  These are still imperfect but I am going to post them because, if I don’t, I am gonna keep trying to perfect them & I just don’t want to be eating so many eggs & biscuits.

These could be made with any variety of these bready roll things.  You can scramble the eggs before putting them into the cupcake pan or just carefully break an egg in there in tact.  I used vegetarian sausage patties which look so tasty here all hard & freezer burned, don’t they?

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I also used this Tillamook cheese but any cheese you like will do.

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I also used these eggs here –

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and while it is hard to make out – they are not just free range – they are PASTURED – which means they really are free range and not just in a huge hanger with a million other desperate chickens.    Watch this video of some rescued free range chickens & see if you do not agree that – if you are gonna use eggs – it is worth finding & paying for pastured ones.

 

That said – these are really just omelettes in a cupcake pan with a little biscuit underneath.   I would suggest – however – that if you have a cupcake pan that makes 12 or 18 cupcakes – use one like that and space these bad boys out in the pan so they do not bleed together like this:

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Baked Egg & Sausage & Cheese & Buttermilk Biscuit Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

Buttermilk biscuit dough (or other variety)

Pastured eggs

Cheese

Sausage (I used veggie ones) – cooked

S&P

Parsley – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Cook the sausage & chop it up.

Grease a cupcake pan.   Press some biscuit dough into each – spacing them apart from each other, if you can.   Press the dough in so it reached up the sides of the cupcake pan.  I haven’t tried this with cupcake liners but I cannot imagine they would be a bad idea.

Add crumbled sausage & grated or chopped cheese & then either carefully crack an egg in each or scramble some eggs & pour a bit in each.  Cook for about 25 minutes (which should cook the scrambled egg & cook a whole egg while still leaving the yolk runny) – or cook it until the eggs are done to your satisfaction.

Let rest a few minutes & then carefully run a knife around each cupcake & remove them.  Add S&P & some chopped parsley & eat’m up!

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Breakfast or Brunch Pizza with Egg, Provolone & Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Every time I buy eggs that are not pastured (meaning the chickens really DO live outside & run around happy) I feel so evil & guilty.  And sometimes, I really think about that runny yolk & I cannot believe we all generally agree (excepting vegans) that eating it as acceptable.  It is really fucking gross if you think about what you are actually eating.  Sometimes, back when I ate shrimp, I’d think similar thoughts & I’d wonder why most people would shudder at the idea of eating a huge, grilled grub – but salivate over grilled shrimp.  Aren’t shrimp really just the giant grubs of the sea?  They look similar & must have the same texture but we shove them in our face without a second thought.

Anyway, I guess it was all the photographing of this pizza that made me think about the egg on it.  And I was really grossed out.

And then I ate it & it was glorious.

What a hideous hypocrite I am.

But, hey!  I wrote a novel & all the early word on the street is that it is exactly as hilarious as I promised it would be & it is full of all kinds of indulgent & hypocritical behavior as I outlined above – but FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY!  I promise!  www.BathingBook.com

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So – this isn’t really a recipe.  It is just a suggestion.  You could add cooked bacon or sausage or scramble the egg first or use a different cheese.  The only real secret to this pizza is that the egg needs about 5 minutes in the oven at the end of the cooking process to be cooked but runny.  One cool thing is that the scallion I used was one I regrew myself from the throw away bit of another one.  Check out how (and which other veggies & herbs can be reused like this) – HERE.

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Breakfast or Brunch Pizza with Egg, Provolone & Arugula

Pizza dough – I used THIS

Slices of provolone

eggs

Arugula

Olive oil

Fresh basil – chopped

Fresh thyme

Scallions – chopped

Tomato – diced

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to a full 450.

Roll out the dough.  Drizzle a little olive oil on it & sprinkle with thyme.  Add the provolone.  Cook about 5-18 minutes (depending on how thick your dough is etc) or until it seems ALMOST done.  Then carefully drop an egg onto the hot crust & add some tomato bits.

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Cook another five minutes – more if you like the egg cooked more thoroughly/

Garnish with S&P, basil, scallions & the arugula.  Drizzle with olive oil, if you like.  Crack open the champagne & don’t go fucking it up with orange juice.

Eat your damned pizza & drink that champagne!  Oh – and READ MY BOOK!  🙂

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