Meatless Monday. We don’t always observe it… Frankly, I tend to roast a chicken on most Mondays for my family, but we do eat a meatless meal or two every week, always. And when we do, we tend to have the egg be the driving force behind the meal. Cooking a couple meals without meat is a very cost effective way to feed your family, but it’s also just good to give your digestive system a break. Meat, (no matter how much I love it), is just plain hard on your system. It takes a lot to break it down, and when you’re eating so much of it, in sequential days, your body just can’t keep up and… yucky things can happen inside. I won’t go into too much detail, because I’m a meat eater myself, but let’s just have the take-away from this be that it’s just generally healthy to take a meat-pause once or twice a week. Balance, babes.
This meal is one of those soul-soothing, can be enjoyed year round, healthy but hearty ones. My whole family really enjoyed it. It has the same comfort level as a warm bowl of spaghetti, but you’re getting more vitamins, fiber and protein. And if you are a big meat person, you simply won’t miss it here. I included roasted mushrooms and eggplant (along with zucchini) to toss with the tomato sauce, which definitely gives the dish a…meaty texture?
Poaching eggs in tomato sauce, or any sauce for that matter, is fun and easy (much easier than doing it in water) and always packs a good flavor punch. Not one of us meat fans missed the meat here, and were left completely and happily satisfied.
Oh. And this dish is also gluten free, if that’s something that sparks your sparkler.
But it also just tastes awesome.
POACHED EGGS IN TOMATO SAUCE
WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES AND QUINOA
. roasted veggies .
In a large roasting pan, drizzle some light olive or canola oil along the bottom and add the following…
- 4 portobello mushroom caps, diced (cut into bite sized cubes)
- 4 zucchini, diced
- 1 eggplant (about 1 lb), diced
- 1 medium/large yellow onion, diced
Drizzle with a bit more oil to lightly coat. DO NOT SALT AT THIS POINT.
Place in a 400 degree oven and roast for 25 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated and the veggies are beginning to brown.
At this point, kosher salt them well, toss them around, then put them back in the 400 degree oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until they’re perfectly golden brown with some crispy edges. (You wait to salt because both the eggplant and the mushrooms are very porous, and will soak up the salt before giving up their liquid, therefore you will never achieve a crispy, roasty texture.)
Set aside. (This can be done ahead of time, if need be.)
. tomato sauce .
(note that this is my go-to tomato sauce recipe that I use for most anything and everything.)
In a large and wide saucepan (one with a lid that will eventually be able to fit 4 cracked eggs in it with a good space between them), throw in the following…
- 1 large can of whole, peeled tomatoes (usually 28 oz), broken into pieces using your hands or kitchen shears
- 1 large carrot, broken in half
- 1 medium/large onion, peeled and halved
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and either smashed a bit or slit to release the aroma better (you will be removing carrots/onions/garlic later, so it doesn’t matter what they look like)
- 1 large Parmigiano rind (my freezer always has a zip-bag full of these… I save them after I use up the cheese, or sometimes buy them straight from the cheese counter for pennies!)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- pinch ground allspice
- optional- pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
Bring this up to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 1 hour if you’re in a hurry, or on very low on the back-burner all day, if you have the time or need to.
. quinoa .
(If you’re making this meal to order and quickly, I recommend starting the veggies and tomato sauce first, as they each take roughly an hour, then after 30 minutes, start your quinoa.)
In a medium saucepan, combine the following…
- 1 cup quinoa (I chose to use the standard white, because I wanted the pop of color to come from the sauce and the egg yolk, but red or black quinoa, or a mixture of all three, would also work if that’s what you have)
- 2 cups stock/broth (I chose chicken because I’m not vegetarian, but vegetable or mushroom stock, or even water with lots of salt works)
Bring the water to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook (on low!) for 30 minutes, or until the quinoa has soaked up all the liquid.
. eggs .
(When all components are finished cooking, they taste as they should, and you’re ready to eat…you’re ready to poach your eggs.)
Remove all aromatics/solids from the tomato sauce (I like to snack on the veggies. And also the rind… is that weird? Not the bay leaves… less weird?)
Turn the sauce up to an almost bubble.
Crack 4 large eggs into the sauce and season over each egg with kosher salt…
Cover with the lid and cook on low heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the whites have set completely. You’ll just need to check on them, as stove and pan size affect the cook time.
. assembly .
- Place about 1/2 cup of your cooked quinoa into each serving bowl.
- Add your roasted veggies, as many as you like.
- Top with some tomato sauce from the pan, around the eggs, and then carefully remove 1 egg to place on top, adding more sauce as needed.
- Grate some parm over the top.
Before eating… poke dat yolk, baby
Thanks for reading, y’all! I’m out of town for the next week… I’ll post when I can. But I’m sure I’ll be over on Instagram in the meantime 😉 xo