A few weeks ago, I shared my typical quick breakfast: Spinach and Eggs with Sauerkraut. I’m one of those people who can eat the same thing over and over for months (or years). When I find something that works for me, I go with it. Since I have to be at work at 6 or 7 in the morning, it’s important to have a go-to healthy breakfast that I don’t have to think about.
But, last weekend, I was remembering this blue cheese and kimchi breakfast sandwich that Forge Baking Co. had on their menu when they first opened. My partner, Jes, and I used to go there every weekend to enjoy a blue cheese and kimchi breakfast sandwich and a Boston Magazine crossword. It was heavenly. (You’re a god, Brendan Emmett Quigley!)
One unsuspecting morning, we went to order our favorite sandwich and IT WAS GONE! (The horror!) They explained that they hadn’t been making their own kimchi, so they took it off the menu. As if I care where my kimchi comes from! (But I appreciate your integrity, Forge.) Jes and I continued to go there on the weekends, but the magic, along with the kimchi, was gone.
For those of you who don’t know, kimchi, like sauerkraut, is fermented cabbage. Where sauerkraut is Eastern European (what’s up, Poland!), kimchi originated in Korea. It’s red where sauerkraut is tan and it’s quite a bit spicier than sauerkraut. I find it to have a delicious, tangy kick.
Back to the narrative. Last weekend, I suddenly realized that I could replace the sauerkraut and shredded cheddar in my favorite convenient breakfast with kimchi and blue cheese crumbles! Mind blown! It’s taken me a few tries to get the perfect combo, but I’ve cracked the code for you.
I started with 1-2 fist-sized portions of baby spinach. (If you don’t understand why I’m using my hand to discuss portions, read my first Spinach and Eggs post.) After finding that a base of spinach and eggs alone didn’t satisfy my kimchi-blue cheese-lust, I threw a couple of handfuls of sliced baby bella mushrooms into the spinach. They added a little heft and texture and really brought out the pungency of the blue cheese. (Mold and fungus, together again!)
Then I cracked the eggs on top and threw it all in the microwave. Since there’s more food in the bowl with the added mushrooms, cooking takes a little longer. After about 2 minutes and 20 seconds, I broke the yolks and flipped everything over. The whites were still pretty runny, so it was more of a flip-stir combination. At first, like the cheddar cheese in the first version, I added the blue cheese after cooking, allowing the heat from the dish to melt the cheese. It turns out that blue cheese crumbles are thick and don’t melt as quickly as shredded cheddar, so now I add the blue cheese after stirring.
After cooking for another 45 seconds, I took the bowl out and did some very precise fork-poking to make sure the eggs were fully cooked. Time for the kimchi! In earlier versions, I’d been too dainty with my kimchi additions. Today, I heaped it on. It ended up being about a cupped handful worth of kimchi (no, this isn’t a carb, it just happened to portion out that way). It was definitely the right choice. The spinach, mushrooms, kimchi, blue cheese, and eggs were delightful. They were extremely flavorful and the dish left me feeling satisfied. Plus, because kimchi (like sauerkraut) is a fermented food, I got a good dose of probiotics with my breakfast.
“But where’s your dose of healthy carbs?” you might ask. Today, I had a cupped handful of clementines (sub any fruit you like) on the side. As I was cooking, however, I fantasized about what a handful of baked, chopped sweet potato might add to the mix. (In my imagination, it’s delicious. If I ever try it, I’ll let you all know.)
Voila! A delicious and nutritious breakfast!
Spinach and Eggs with Kimchi and Blue Cheese
Cooking spray or oil
1-2 fist-sized portions of spinach
½ fist-sized portion of sliced mushrooms, broken into pieces (I used baby bellas)
1-2 palm-sized portions of eggs
1-2 thumb-sized portions of blue cheese
1 cupped handful of kimchi
1-2 cupped handfuls of fruit
Spray or oil a medium-sized bowl. Add spinach, mushrooms, and eggs. Microwave on high for 2 - 2.5 minutes.
Remove bowl from microwave, break the yolks and stir. Top with blue cheese and microwave on high for another 45-60 seconds.
Remove bowl from microwave, top with kimchi.
Serve immediately with fruit on the side.