During the off-season we try to eat moderately healthy while Scott is training. Every morning it was a toss-up between this and some other not-so-healthy breakfast. This just so happened to be both of our go-to after morning workout breakfast. It’s on the lighter side, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any flavor! If you will please ignore the sad sourdough bread pictured here. I had a beautiful ciabatta bread I had bought from Whole Foods two days ago and as I started to assemble, I pulled out the bread to find in horror that mold had sabotaged my bread and the perfect blog picture for you guys! Either way I worked with what I had and what I had in my kitchen was thin sourdough. It still made for a good sandwich but in this house we are firm believers in the perfect bread to “meat” ratio for sandwiches and this sourdough fell short of ABSOLUTE perfection.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a sandwich for one, but feel free to multiply for additional servings:
3 egg whites
1 cup fresh spinach
1 slice of Vermont White Cheddar Cheese (you can sub this out with provolone or swiss) *optional
cooking spray (I use either olive oil cooking spray or coconut oil cooking spray)
salt & pepper
Good bread i.e. ciabatta, focaccia, brioche, french bread. Something similar to a roll and less like sandwich bread
3 cups basil leaves
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese (please don’t buy the stuff that comes in the green shaker)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
pinch of salt & pepper
**This pesto makes about 2 cups. You can store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator, but drizzle a layer of olive oil on the top to preserve the color. Another tip is to spray cooking oil on a sheet of plastic wrap and lay it directly onto the pesto and close in the air tight container. You can also pour the remaining pesto into an ice-cube tray and freeze for about a month. When you need pesto for a dish, just pop out a cube and thaw. This pesto is great with pasta or even baked on chicken! Now you look like a pro using this same pesto in more ways than one!
First you’ll want to prep the pesto so you have it on hand for assembly. In a blender (Breville BBL605XL Hemisphere Control Blender) or food processor, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and garlic. While the blender is running, steadily drizzle in the olive oil and mix until emulsified. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Heat a skillet on med-high heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray and add fresh spinach with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook spinach until wilted about 2-3 minutes, remove from pan and set aside. Using the same skillet, spray with cooking spray again and cook eggs flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side until eggs are firm and no longer runny. This is where you’ll want to shape your eggs in the pan to match the size of your bread. When you are ready to flip your eggs, top it with the spinach and if you decided to use cheese, this is where it joins the party to melt on top of everything while the egg finishes cooking. If your egg is done and your cheese hasn’t melted yet, put about 1-2 tablespoons of water in the hot skillet and cover with a lid. The steam from the water will melt your cheese in no time. Remove from pan and set that aside.
Back to the same skillet, you are going to wipe it clean and get ready to toast your bread. If you have multiple pans you can do this while the eggs are cooking and consolidate your time so everything is ready to go at once. On med-high heat again, spray skillet and inside of the rolls, both tops and bottoms, with a light shot of cooking spray. Toast the inside of the rolls until golden brown. Spread pesto on both the insides of the rolls then sandwich your cooked egg goodness in between and ENJOY!
If you have a panini press, you wouldn’t have to worry about melting the cheese earlier like I instructed. Instead, what you’ll do is assemble the toasted bread spread with pesto, then layer the egg, spinach, and cheese. Then press in a panini until cheese is melted. We don’t travel with our panini press since it won’t fit in my carry on luggage, so this is how I make these sandwiches while we are on the road.
If you’re in the market for a panini press here’s one that I would recommend trying.