Instant pot egg bites

As we enter the season of fall baking (planning on baking pumpkin-chocolate mini-muffins later today, for Anand’s birthday party), I keep thinking about how we show love with food. The kids are so delighted when they come home and find surprise apple-cheddar crescent rolls; it’s very clearly a sign of love. And that’s fine, but at the same time, my family doesn’t do great, health-wise, if we have a ton of starches around (sweet or otherwise) — it’s so easy to reach for the easy carbs.

For the family, we try to always have fruit on hand; I just picked up a double-decker fruit basket, so we can fit even more out on the island. When the kids were younger, I did a lot of cutting up fruit for them, and I still do sometimes, to encourage them to eat it, but at this point, they’ve learned to like it enough that they just grab it and either bite into it, or cut it up themselves.

I haven’t quite gotten them to liking hummus yet (must work on that again), but sometimes when they come home from school, it’s a plate of veggies with ranch that’s waiting for them, and they’ll happily snack on that if it’s out. The specific veggies the kids like does vary over time, which is a little frustrating! But thankfully, they are consistently fans of bell pepper, so there’s at least one raw veg. I can count on them eating. They also like cooked broccoli. Bell pepper and broccoli are on a very steady rotation around here. Yes, it’s boring, but needs must.

For myself, I’m trying really hard to prep more healthy options on the weekend, to make busy weeks easier. This weekend, I grilled Sri Lankan-style shrimp (recipe soon), to toss in a Caesar salad, or with quinoa and tangerine dressing, or just nibble straight up when I want a bite. Better I reach for one of those, instead of a scone. I made two batches of soup on Sunday (chicken and tortellini for the kids, Vietnamese chicken soup for me and Kev — same base, divide into two pots, season and add veggies, etc. appropriately), and Kevin grilled some chicken breast for Kavi’s Caesar salads. Of course, I’m traveling at least one weekend out of four, and I’m not always as organized or energetic as I was this weekend. But still, something to aim towards.

Pictured, a batch of mushroom-swiss egg bites, in the new silicone egg cooker — I did these in the Instant Pot, and I have to say, it was easier than doing them in the sous vide, and I’ll probably take this option going forward. I think you could also just do them on the stovetop, with a steamer tray, if you took a little care with temps.

The kids and Kevin don’t like mushrooms, so this batch is just for me, but I think I’ll try cheddar bites next time, and then if they’ll eat that (they do like scrambled eggs, but this form is going to look weird to them), maybe cheddar-broccoli? For me (and maybe Kev), Sri Lankan green-chili & onion bites will be appealing, but it may take a while to get the kids on board with that. I’m not sure they’ll ever greet them with the excitement of a batch of muffins or scones, but I think I can be okay with that.

And it’s not like the easy carbs are going away entirely — I’m still going to bake! But I guess this is a reminder to myself, more than anything else — there are lots of ways to show love with food.

Here, have something delicious and also healthy, because I want to make it easy for you to take better care of yourself. Let’s make sure we have plenty of fruit and veg and lean protein in the shopping cart this week. I love you.

Sri Lankan-Style Green Chili & Onion Egg Bites

Sri Lankan-style egg bites, done in the sous vide — delicious. it was very satisfying finding a way to make my favorite egg breakfast in egg bite form.  The sweetness of the onion, the flavorful heat of the green chilies, all wrapped in unctuous egg and creamy cheese — perfection!

10 minutes active cooking time, serves 7.

1 T ghee or butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1-2 green chilies, chopped fine
8 eggs
3 oz. cream cheese
1 t. salt
1 t black pepper
extra equipment: 7 4 oz. / 125 ml canning jars with 2-part screw on lids

1. Fill sous vide cooker with water and set to 172 F.

2. Sauté onion and green chili in ghee until golden.

3. In a blender, combine eggs, cream cheese, salt, and pepper until smooth.

4. Distribute onion-chili mixture evenly among seven canning jars, and follow with evenly distributed egg mixture.

5. Attach lids and close to fingertip tightness — do not over-tighten.

6. Once closed, submerge jars in water bath and set timer for 1 hr.

Serve warm — I eat them straight from the jar, generally, but you can also slide a butter knife around the jar, invert onto a plate, and broil or sear with a torch for color if you’d like a fancier presentation. They reheat easily in the microwave (no lid!) for about a minute on low heat. Enjoy!

Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese Egg Bites

I can’t take credit for this recipe — I pretty much followed the instructions on the Anovo website for egg bites, using leeks instead of scallions, because I happened to have them on hand. But I’ll say that it was yum.

Very delicate, roasting the peppers — honestly, I think I’d be fine with using raw peppers in this, for more of a fresh bite. And I’d probably use a little more cheese, a bit more black pepper, for some more oomph. But the general concept, good.

Nice to take fifteen minutes on the weekend to prep, one hour in the sous vide, and then have six warm eggy breakfasts for the week to come, that you can just grab and eat with a spoon, or decant (maybe over some fresh spring greens, lightly dressed) for a slightly fancier presentation.

In general, I’m trying to do more weekend prep to make healthy meals easy during the week. Egg bites, white wine-poached chicken, grilled shrimp, etc. It’s a bit of a process, adapting, but I think it’ll make my life easier during the semester.

    

Broccoli-Cheddar Sous Vide Egg Bites

Another sous vide egg bite experiment, pretty good. This was mostly using up farm share stuff in the fridge — garlic scapes, zucchini, broccoli, plus eggs and cheddar. Could’ve used a little more zing, maybe more black pepper, though Kat recommended just eating it with hot sauce. Maybe a little cream cheese too, so it sets a little fluffier.
 
But good, will likely make again, next time in 4 oz., straight-sided canning jars so that I can un-mold them easily and have it pre-portioned to an amount I’m likely to want to eat. Thought eating it with a spoon wasn’t hard, and you could just stick it back in the fridge for a day without any negative consequences, I think.

Sri Lankan Spinach-Egg Sous Vide, take one

First try at a Sri Lankan-style sous vide egg dish was not fabulous. Spinach, scallions, cumin and mustard seed, chili powder and salt, sautéed in a little ghee. I tried to make it lactose-free / paleo vegetarian, but without cheese or heavy cream, the eggs set a little hard — I mean, they’re fine, but they don’t have the delectable fluffiness that I want for sous vide eggs. If you’re avoiding dairy, I’m not sure what you should add to get that texture — coconut cream might be your best bet? I’m not sure.
 
Next time I try it, though, I’m going to just add some heavy cream, which I’m pretty sure is how many restaurants get such delectable saag paneer. 🙂 Also, more salt (without the cheese, I under-salted this), and maybe ground cumin and mustard instead of seeds, to maximize the creamy texture. I have a lot of eggs cooked right now, so it might be a week or two before I get back to this…  

Sous Vide Ham-and-Cheese Eggs

A is for Anovo sous vide eggs. This worked really well.  Make as if for omelette, put in canning jar, submerge and cook @ 172F for one hour.

 

Yum — this is a straight ham-and-cheddar that I’m hoping the kids will like. Didn’t really measure!

 

Made three other varieties too. I think this is going to become a weekend staple, prepping for the week; have ordered some 4 oz. jars because the assortment I had on hand were all bigger.  I’m going to work on developing a Sri Lankan-ish recipe for it.

This is a good base recipe, if you want an actual recipe.