Baked eggs in Tomato Sauce with Matcha

Baked eggs in Tomato Sauce with MatchaWhen you say tea, I say sweet. Mmmm, I’m especially fond of sipping it with  pineapple mint while I’m working in my garden. Here in the south it’s an icon, and country music lyrics like I’ll be your sweet iced tea, and kisses sweeter than iced tea are  a testament to the fact that  Southerners like it really, really sweet!  But have you ever considered tea a cooking ingredient? Well today, that’s just what the Recipe Redux is  challenging:

Tea cups around the world are bubbling up with bold new flavors: From cardamom chai and sencha green to bubble teas and veggie teas. We wish we could attend the World Tea Expo the end of this month – but in lieu of a plane ticket, we’ll be cooking and baking and stirring up tea-inspired healthy dishes.

I first read about this trend in  Janet Helm’s (Nutrition Unplugged) blog post back in November. And sure enough, I am seeing all sorts of culinary creations using tea from entrees like Tea-Smoked Chicken to desserts like Green Tea Cheesecake.  In Janet’s post she also noted that  Matcha, green tea extract from Japan, was “hot, hot, hot”.

So out of sheer curiousity, I purchased Matcha and went back to my kitchen to experiment.  But before I started, I surfed the web to see what other food bloggers had done with it. Whoa, the list was long including adding it to: muffin batters, cookie doughs, smoothies, salad dressings! Not sure where to start I decided to pick something on my recipes I want to try list. And there is was, baked eggs in tomato-paprika sauce, a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. Now, I had to consider whether I thought green tea would taste good with eggs? Yes, I think so. So I went about making my version. The result is a delicious, healthy brunch for two or a simple weeknight meal. It’s a good high quality protein source, full of lycopene (from the canned tomatoes) and of course gets a BIG boost of antioxiants from the Matcha used to season the tops of the eggs. (One glass of Matcha is said to be the equivalent of  10 glasses of green tea).

Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more creative ways to get culinary with tea.

Baked eggs in Tomato Sauce with Matcha

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Matcha

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of a lime
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoe with juices, tomatoes lightly crushed by hand
  • 4 eggs
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsely leaves for garnish
  • Matcha green tea and salt blend to taste

for Matcha green tea and sea salt blend

  • 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil.

3 . Add onion and cook stirring occasssionally until softened.

4. Add garlic and cook stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

5. Add tomatoes, lime juice, white wine and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

7.Using the back of a spoon, create a pocket for each egg in the tomato sauce. Crack one egg into each pocket.

8.Transfer skillet to oven and bake until egg whites are just set and the yolks are still runny, about 8 minutes.

9. Season eggs with Matcha green tea and sea salt blend, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsely leaves. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

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There’s something about …..red produce

Yes, there is something about red produce!!!  In my opinion it’s the phytonutrients, lycopene and anthocyanin. These  phytonutrients are the pigments responsible for  giving red produce its’ vibrant color. They are also associated with the many health benefits red fruits and vegetables have to offer; beyond the fact that they are low in calories, high in fiber and bursting with vitamins and minerals. This post is about  one familiar red veggie and one not so familiar red fruit –  today’s hottest super fruit. Read on to discover why you should include them in your diet.

There's something about .....red produceThe familiar; tomatoes and tomato products have an abundance of  the carotenoid, lycopene.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant with  health-protective properties.  Studies have shown that increased levels of  lycopene in the bloodstream and regular consumption of tomatoes and tomato products are associated with  lower rates of cardiovascular disease.  Research has also shown lycopene to have protective qualities against  some cancers, particularly prostate cancer.   More than 80% of the lycopene in the American diet is attributed to tomato products. Benefits may be from as little as a single serving of processed tomato products. Yes, “fresh” is often desirable, but not in this case;  processing results in greater absorption of lycopene. Here are some tips for getting a daily serving of processed tomatoes:

• Use canned tomatoes in chili, soups and stews.

• Enjoy salsa on baked potatoes, eggs, tacos and enchiladas.

• Drink tomato juice or use it as a base to  make soup.

• Make tomato sauce to serve over pasta or spread it on whole wheat English muffins topped with low fat cheese for a quick lunch.

• Make a side dish using canned tomatoes and top with fresh  basil, panko, and olive oil before baking.

Click photo for photo credit

Today’s hottest super fruit; tart cherries, are high in the antioxidants, anthocyanins 1 and 2, which give cherries their vibrant color and are responsible for their anti-inflammatory properties linking them to numerous health benefits. These benefits include promoting cardiovascular health, reducing pain from gout and arthritis and minimize post-exercise muscle pain.  Tart cherries are available year round as dried , frozen, and juice. How much do you need to reap the health benefits of tart cherries? One to two servings. One serving is equivalent to:

1/2 cup dried, 1 cup frozen, 1 cup juice or 2 T juice concentrate.

Tips for adding a serving of tart cherries to your daily diet:

• Make trail mix with tart cherries, almonds and cold cereal for a to-go snack.

• Add dried tart cherries to oatmeal or Greek yogurt for a quick breakfast.

• Add 2 T juice concentrate to your favorite smoothie or add 1 cup frozen tart cherries to nonfat yogurt and skim milk for a refreshing recovery drink.

• Add 2 T juice concentrate to ice cold sparkling water for a fun beverage with fizz!

Lycopene and anthocyanin  are just a few of the many phytonutrients present in fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Optimizing the health benefits from your food is as simple as  choosing from a broad spectrum of foods, and varying daily. Don’t forget…. there’s something about red!

Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.N.D.

www.capefearnutrition.com

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