Just coming at you from under 10″ of un-forecasted snow. NBD. Ben’s had to dig us out twice since Tuesday, and came in after the second time with a reminder that at this time last year we were enjoying random 80 degree days, and the trees were even starting to bud. BUDDING TREES! Were art thou now?
Ah well, such is life in the Midwest. Our Fall is really great!
Anyways, I’ve been in somewhat of a recipe rut lately so I took the time spent stuck indoors to do some recipe brainstorming using the ingredients I already had on hand. I actually love doing this little “exercise” as it forces you to get creative with your meals AND uses up food you already have in the house. Here’s what I found in my kitchen:
Bacon. Obviously. Whole Foods’ uncured smokehouse center-cut bacon is a staple in this household. It’s got the perfect bacon flavor, and is nice and thick. Diner bacon, if you will!
Eggs. I don’t post a lot of egg recipes here on IGE, but Ben and I love egg-based dishes like 5 minute Egg Drop Soup and scrambled eggs and avocados. Eggs are fast, filling, and inexpensive, so we always keep a fresh dozen in the fridge.
Sharp Cheddar. There is always, always, always a big block of sharp cheddar cheese holding rank in our cheese drawer. I keep it on hand to slice and serve with apples or crackers (does a better snack exist?) shred and add into sauces, and well, look pretty. We love cheese.
Cauliflower. While Ben prefers his veggies steamed, I love mine tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then roasted until golden brown in a hot oven – especially cauliflower. It is so, SO good! I also like grating it up and using it in place of rice or potatoes in dishes like Maple Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice, and Low-Carb Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder.
After peeking and poking around for a few more ingredients, I decided to mix and mash all my findings to create a Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet. I could not be more happy with how it turned out!
Fresh cauliflower is grated then sauteed until golden brown to mimic the texture and flavor of hash browns (seriously – you will be shocked at how similar they taste!) Fresh eggs, crumbled bacon, chopped green onion, shredded cheddar cheese and seasonings are mixed then poured on top and then broiled until golden brown. This is an egg UN-casserole, if you will, and super light yet filling.
The best part is that you can refrigerate the leftovers then reheat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the next day. Low-carb, and make-ahead. What more could ya’ ask for?
Start by fitting a food processor with a grating disc. If you don’t have one of these then a box grater will work JUST as well! If you don’t have a box grater then just chop the cauliflower up as small as you can.
Cut a small head of cauliflower in half, then grate it into shreds. You’ll need 2 cups grated cauliflower total.
Next heat a medium-sized, oven-proof skillet over medium heat then melt 1 Tablespoon butter with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the grated cauliflower then saute for 5-7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown (mine got a bit uh, burnt, when I wasn’t looking. You’ll want to avoid that!) Season with lots of salt & pepper here too!
As I mentioned above, grated cauliflower is a GREAT substitution for hash browns if you’re watching your carb intake. It doesn’t have the same creamy mouth-feel but it’s definitely the best “healthy” swap I’ve found for really anything, unlike spaghetti squash for spaghetti. (You’re not fooling anyone, spaghetti squash!)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all those refrigerator finds, including 2 whole eggs, 4 egg whites, and 3 chopped green onions.
In goes 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar and 3 strips cooked & crumbled bacon (I used the microwave method to cook them.)
Finally add salt & pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce, if you dare. I add hot sauce to all my egg dishes, actually. A few dashes doesn’t make them hot, just taste really good. Descriptive!
Mix it all up with a fork to combine.
K! Once the cauliflower is golden brown, spread it into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet then pour the egg mixture on top and then smooth. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the sides are set, running a spatula around the outsides a few times to make sure it’s not sticking.
Top with 1/2 cup more shredded cheddar cheese, then broil for 3-4 more minutes, or until the top is set, and cheese is melted.
Let the skillet cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve. (Oh, and make sure to use a hot pad when removing the skillet from the oven – that baby gets HOT!)
Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet
2 cups grated cauliflower (about 1/2 a small head)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
3 green onions, chopped
3 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled
hot sauce (to taste)
- Place oven rack to center slot then preheat broiler. Heat extra virgin olive oil and butter in a medium-sized, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add cauliflower, season with salt & pepper, and then saute until golden brown and tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile add eggs, egg whites, 1/2 cup cheese, green onions, bacon, salt, pepper, and hot sauce into a large bowl then whisk with a fork to combine. When cauliflower is cooked, spread into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet then pour egg mixture over top and smooth with a spatula. Cook until sides are set, about 3-4 minutes, running a spatula around the outside to prevent sticking, then sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
- Place under broiler then cook until top is set and cheese is bubbly, 3-4 minutes. Use a hot pad to remove skillet from oven then let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I served my Low-Carb Breakfast Skillet for lunch with a big bowl of fresh fruit. At the time of this writing I have taken down nearly an entire pineapple in, oh, 15 hours, which I suppose defeats the purpose of the whole low-carb thing, but dangitall, they’re just so good right now! (Here’s how I cut a pineapple >)
Hope you enjoy this light, low-carb meal!