If breakfast is before 10am, I’m not interested. However, on mornings I hike the Fair Hill trails or volunteer at Fair Weather Farm breakfast is an absolute must. The best way to ensure I am responsible in the morning is for me to make breakfast in bulk on the weekends so all I have to do is pop it in the microwave right before I finally scoot out the door at the last possible second. One of my favorite make ahead breakfasts is egg muffins, especially when I’ve got scrumptious farm fresh eggs to work with, like the ones sold by FWFF. Since I had fresh organic spinach and Golden Frills mustard greens on hand (also courtesy of FWFF) that’s the flavor profile I went with this go around, but this recipe can be altered in any fashion that best suites your diet and personal tastes. I do love my bacon and sausages at breakfast, but for health and environmental reasons I reserve those tasty treats for special occasions. To help quite that Texas carnivore inside me tho, I added toasted fennel seed to this batch of egg muffins. Adding fennel seed to dishes is one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian tricks. Fennel is one of the more prominent flavors in breakfast and Italian sausages and the seeds alone can add that satisfying, meaty flavor to all sorts of dishes. So, if you are trying to adhere to a Meatless Monday type of routine but still have hangry cravings for meat, add a bit of toasted fennel seed to your next dish and let me know what you think.
Egg Muffins with Spinach and Toasted Fennel
(for a dozen muffins)
10 farm fresh Eggs
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh Spinach
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped Golden Frills mustard greens
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar, optional
1 silicone muffin pan, highly recommended
Coconut Oil Non-Stick Spray, or oil of choice
1 to 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garnish: sliced tomato
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, toast the fennel seeds until just fragrant. Remove seeds from the skillet and gently crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle or alternately, add them to a ziplock bag and crush with a heavy spoon. Set aside. Spray a small amount of the Coconut Oil on the muffin pan then place the pan on top of a baking tray. To the muffin pan, add the chopped spinach, Golden Frills, cheddar, and half of the toasted fennel seed. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl crack the 10 eggs, add a tablespoon or so of water, the garlic and smoked paprika powder, salt and pepper, and whip the eggs with a fork until well combined. Carefully pour the whipped eggs into the muffin pan, leaving a bit of space at the top of each section. Top with sliced tomato, if using, and additional fennel seed, if desired. Bake in the oven until the eggs are set, about 20 to 30 minutes. The eggs will have puffed up significantly by the end of their cooking time but will collapse again as they cool. Remove from the oven and allow the eggs to rest for at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a quick, protein packed breakfast throughout the week.