ASD Recovery Recipe: Egg Poppers

What to do for quick breakfast before school when a bowl of cereal or a frozen waffle is not an option? That’s a question I get from a lot of parents who are trying to manage a restricted diet.

For some time, Martin consumed only bone broth for weekday breakfast. He was okay with that, and so was I. Bone broth is filling and has protein. As long as I sent a substantive morning snack to school, he was fine until lunchtime.

The past few months, Martin has wanted solid food for breakfast. He will eat turkey bacon, but I’ve taken that off the breakfast list; I have Martin down to one meat meal per day, and right now the meat meal is school lunch. For breakfast, I look for non-meat items, preferably that I can prepare in advance.

Along come egg poppers, which my mother made Martin Thanksgiving week when I was sick. Martin doesn’t like to eat eggs scrambled, boiled, or fried. For whatever reason, when I cook the eggs into these “poppers,” he’s game. The poppers have other advantages, too. I can make them in advance in reheat them in the oven while he’s waking, and like meatballs, the poppers are a convenient place to pack vegetables.

Here’s the procedure:

Spray a stainless-steel muffin tray, liberally, with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop vegetables. Chop whatever you have that might work well with eggs. In my experience, including at least some onion makes the poppers more appealing. Mince everything well; tiny pieces help the poppers hold together.

Fill the muffin tray with a mix of vegetables. I have found that, if you don’t pack the vegetables, you can fill the cups almost full without the finished poppers falling apart. In this example, I started with red bell peppers and then added shiitake mushrooms.

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Next came carrot greens. My chef friend turned me onto cooking with the greens from fresh carrots. They’re delicious. On top of the greens I added red onion.

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Usually I would have stopped there. In this example, not yet. I have added limited portions of quinoa to Martin’s GAPS diet. That’s been a challenge, because Martin doesn’t like quinoa, much. It happened that, the night before I made these egg poppers, I had served quinoa with scallions, parsley, and white mulberries. I decided to pile some of the leftover quinoa on top of the veggies. My filled cups looked like this:

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Once your cups are ready, whisk ten eggs with a half-cup of camel milk (or whatever milk your family uses), add salt and pepper, and pour this mixture over the vegetables.

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You’re ready to bake. Put the whole tray in the oven. Keep an eye on the poppers. After fifteen minutes or so, they will “poof” into domes. Let them cook for another five minutes or so after poofing. That’s it.

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In these pictures, I made a dozen poppers, because I served them also to Martin’s cousins, who have been visiting. Martin eats only one per morning, along with two zucchini muffins or slices of banana bread (recipe coming), so when I’m cooking just for Martin, I make only a few poppers, which I store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to heart.

Spoiled Husband

Last weekend we braved the Memorial Day congestion and traveled to my hometown, where we met my father for Sunday breakfast at an IHOP. (City dwellers, wandering in the wilderness, end up at IHOPs, apparently.) Adrian searched the menu for a healthy option, and settled on a spinach-and-mushroom omelet with Swiss cheese and hollandaise sauce—which he requested without the Swiss cheese or hollandaise sauce.

“I don’t know about these eggs,” Adrian said after a few bites. “They don’t taste like the ones you get.”

“You mean the IHOP didn’t go into Amish country to procure free-range green eggs with feathers still stuck to them?” I asked. “No, probably not.”

“And there’s something different about the oil. It’s heavy.”

“When I cook your omelets at home I spritz the pan with organic avocado oil, cold-pressed and unrefined. Most likely it’s not in use here.”

Adrian put down his fork. “Well, I don’t like it. The whole things tastes fried.”

My husband, food snob?

I admit that Adrian’s always been a wine snob; seven years ago he insisted that our wedding guests be served only bottles from two South American vineyards he selected. Nonetheless, I remember a time when he took a cheddar-tuna melt on white bread for culinary triumph. How did we move from there to a palate that distinguishes egg quality on first sample?

Martin, of course. Because of Martin’s needs our kitchen has been stripped of artificial ingredients and stocked with farm-fresh produce and other organics. It’s made us healthier as a family, and apparently Adrian’s got used to tasting quality.

If Adrian’s recent IHOP experience is indicative, a taste for quality might keep us all healthier even after Martin’s special diet ends.