Growing up, I was never much of an egg eater. Or perhaps my mother wasn’t much of an egg cooker. And, of course, as a child, I had typical, rational worries about consuming incipient baby chicks. I am embarrassed to admit I was in my thirties before I discovered this was a warrantless concern.
These days, I eat a lot of eggs. Particularly fried eggs. They make my bunless burgers so much more fun. One of my favorite dinners involves a great burger on a bed of lightly dressed greens, cheese, a fried egg, and bacon. Because, well, bacon. It’s my version of a breakfast burger, and it is so good.
Here are some great egg ideas that are perfect for a gluten-free breakfast — and most are simple enough to make before you’ve had your first cup of coffee. Or lunches. Or dinners. They range from five-minute dishes to thirty-minute dishes. Many of these dishes can incorporate leftover meats and veggies as well.
- Scrambled Eggs: After my husband had ACL surgery, I made him a lot of scrambled eggs before I left for work. I figured he needed the protein to heal, and, frankly, the eggs only took a few more minutes than the oatmeal he would have microwaved for himself. Plus, I’m convinced they tasted better than the oatmeal! Ingredients are eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and butter for the pan. If you want to spice them up bit, add red pepper flakes.
- Fried Eggs: As mentioned, I make a lot of fried eggs, and they’re great on their own, over a hash (try them with a sweet potato hash!), or as part of a bigger dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, make a breakfast sandwich using a gluten-free English muffin, some Canadian bacon or ham (or whatever meat you enjoy), a tangy sour cream or Greek yogurt sauce, and a fried egg.
- Poached Eggs: I was once terrified by the thought of poaching an egg. To my mind, everything could go wrong and nothing could go right. Then I discovered how easy it was. While I love to serve poached eggs over asparagus, they’re fantastic over a potato-and-meat hash as well. Just bring water to a boil, then reduce the heat back to a slow simmer. Add a bit of white vinegar to the water. Then, crack your egg into a small bowl or cup; slip the egg into the simmering water slowly so the yolk doesn’t break. Cook for about four minutes and carefully remove the egg using a slotted spoon. Yes, it’s that easy!
- Huevos Rancheros: Fried or scrambled eggs, a quickly fried corn tortilla or two (fry these first and keep them warm in the oven while the rest of the meal is coming together), refried beans, salsa or chile sauce. Add cheese or avocado if you like, and if you’d rather try a black bean and quinoa cake instead of a tortilla, I won’t tell. I love these and should make them more often than I do.
- Omelettes: Omelettes are basically scrambled eggs without the scrambling, and mine are pretty simple, at least as compared to Julia Child’s. Pour the thin egg batter into a hot pan (if you make your omelette too thick, the outside gets too cooked and rubbery while the inside doesn’t quite set), stir quickly until curds form, then cook without flipping for a few minutes. If you have runny egg on the top, tilt the pan so the liquid egg flows over the edges. Add cheese or other fillings — make sure they’re cooked, warm, or at room temperature as they won’t cook much in the pan — after the initial stir. Fold the omelette in half or in third. Garnish as you wish.
- Frittatas: Frittatas are like egg pies filled with delicious stuff. You can incorporate leftover meats and vegetables or start with fresh veggies. Add some cheese if you like (I love goat cheese for this dish). Let the frittata bake in the oven for about ten minutes or until the eggs are set, and you’re ready to go. As a bonus, frittatas are great cold, making them a great dish to bring to brunch.
- Baked Eggs: This simple dish can bake while you’re showering. Break an egg into a oiled ramekin, top with a little salt and pepper, and bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes, or until the whites are set. The yolk will still be soft and maybe a bit runny. You can spoon a bit of milk or cream over the eggs if you want to them to be moist on top. Also, feel free to incorporate chopped tomatoes, cheese, meats, herbs, or other ingredients. See the photo accompanying this post for another take on baked eggs (in a hash brown basket!)
- Breakfast Fried Rice: Okay, this isn’t really an egg dish as much as it is a rice dish, but I love fried rice for breakfast. Use leftover white or brown rice, shred some spinach, kale, or chard, season with gluten-free soy sauce, a little fish sauce or rice vinegar, cook over high heat, push the rice and veggies to the side, and scramble the eggs in the wok before incorporating into the rice and veggies. Add crumbled sausage if you need more protein.
If you like bacon with your eggs, the best way I’ve found to make it is to cook a few strips in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels or lay out the strips of bacon on a wire rack when cooking. Trust me when I say you will have perfect bacon every time…and no grease splatters to clean up!
What are your favorite easy egg dishes?
Tip of the Week
Generally, if you consume your eggs by the “use by” date noted on the carton, the eggs will be fresh enough to consume. To test freshness of questionable eggs, place the egg in a bowl of of water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s still fresh. If it sits upright in the water, cook it immediately; this is a great time to make a hard-boiled egg. If the egg floats, it should be discarded. Do not consume eggs that float!
Gluten-Free Meal of the Week
I love frittatas because they are so easy and so flexible, plus they can be served hot or cold (which makes them a great gluten-free option for brunches; if you’re bringing for an office party, just make the frittata the night before). Mix up the ingredients to suit what you have available: artichoke hearts, asparagus, sausage, potatoes, spinach, kale…the list goes on! Cut into wedges for serving.
If you’re serving frittatas for breakfast, they’re great with a potato hash and meat. If it’s lunch, some fruit will round out the dish. If it’s frittatas for dinner, add a green salad and meat. I like a light chicken sausage in this scenario.