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In Search of a Healthy Meal ... Breakfast for Dinner!

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Over Easter school break, we took a family road trip vacation. We enjoyed the beautiful rolling countryside of the blue ridge mountains of Virginia and the verdant farms with healthy Black Angus and white faced Hereford cows munching on the new spring grass as they strolled along slowly in the warm spring sunlight! It was a natural living girl’s dream to see them free and happy! This place surely understood food. This place surely got that nature and farming and food and health were intertwined.


That was, until I got to the grocery store where I learned that this was not the case! Obviously, I was only there for a week, and it was early spring, so I didn’t have access to farmers markets, but the local Food Lion grocery store is where many in the community get most of their food supplies, and the products available were atrocious! Potted meat, country ham, and bacon filled with preservatives, little or no organic produce or even processed organic products, and in the dairy aisle, you couldn’t even get organic full fat yogurt!


The one little glimmer of hope though … tucked neatly into a far corner of the store (and believe me, all I did was walk the perimeter!) was a few boxes of local eggs from pastured nesting chickens. Since I had brought my own sourdough bread with me, and my own cultured butter, I grabbed two boxes of those golden brown gems and some thick bacon from a local farm that I was able to scrounge. I also found some organic greens and some early Vidalia seasonal onions … a plan was forming …


Bacon and Eggs with a Mess of Wilted Greens …
When I got back to the condo, I set the oven for 400 degrees and covered the bottom of the broiler pan with tin foil—I lay the bacon out on the broiler rack and placed it in the center of the oven for ten minutes—this is the best way to cook bacon if you don’t want to have it splattering on you and you want flat bacon that has crispy fat … after ten minutes I turned it because I like it crisp all the way through—then I checked it in ten more minutes until it was done … lay it out on paper towels and put it back into the warm oven to stay nice and toasty.


I poured off the bacon grease from the broiler pan into a frying pan and added …


1 chopped Vidalia onion
3–4 cloves garlic
1 chopped red pepper


Sauté on medium low until golden (add garlic last if you don’t like toasted garlic)


Turn the heat up a bit and add a bit more fat if necessary then put in about 3 cups or more of your greens and press down with a spatula …


I like to use one bitter green, like kale or arugula and one mild green like escarole (though, some find escarole bitter) … this time, all I had was romaine and green leaf lettuce—doesn’t sound like greens, sounds more like salad—but trust me! Clean them, rinse them, dry them and tear them into smaller pieces—you can cut out the stems, and put them into the pan along with the red pepper to make them softer, or just munch on them as you wilt the greens …


Turn the greens over and cover between stirring—turn the heat down and stir in a small pinch of sea salt, pepper and oregano to taste. When wilted and dark green, cover and take off the heat. Right before serving shake on some Parmesan cheese or hot sauce depending on your preference … this is a wonderfully healthy and mild mixed greens that taste amazing with the eggs and bacon …


While the kids were toasting up some sourdough bread and slathering on the butter, I heated up some butter in a pan and made quick fried eggs with just a touch of bacon grease—eggs cook best when not freezing cold, and using a low medium heat. When the whites are white on the bottom, flip the eggs and turn off the heat—this will give you a nice easy over egg with liquid yolk for “dippity dip” as my kids call it when they dip in their toast to the yolk. If you like your eggs harder—leave the heat on for a few minutes and then slide onto a plate.


My family loved breakfast for dinner, which is one of our secrets to eating healthy and moderately. I was pleased to find a hidden treasure in among all the foods that I felt I couldn’t serve my family. It shows that searching and being creative can make all the difference.

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