Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches for All

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When out of the road, it’s easy to have ambitions of cooking fabulously for every meal. But mostly, I just want EASY.  There are other things to do:  like fish, or hike, or just sit and watch the river go by. Road warriors might like this one, too, for a fast and tasty ‘pack and go’ meal during the work-week that can leave oatmeal-eating coworkers envious.  On-the-go or just at home, Eating meat or not, watching carbs or not – this sandwich has options for everyone.

I’ve often tried making breakfast sandwiches at home, but struggled with getting the eggs right. Sometimes I would just make omelettes and fold them into the muffins. But it seemed like a lot of work, especially for something that should be the ultimate low-key breakfast food, not to mention the extra dishes. My aha! moment came from Chungah Rhee on her upbeat and helpful blog Damn Delicious, where she suggested using ramekins to bake the eggs. Wow, so easy! But I couldn’t get the eggs to stop sticking to the ramekins no matter what I tried – cooking spray, oil, butter or prayer. I though that my non-stick muffin tin might be a better alternative, combined with slightly under-baking the eggs. It worked, so here you go.

NOTE: These sandwiches have minimal added salt, making them somewhat healthier than fast food or grocery freezer alternatives.

Getting the ingredients ready

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Prepping the spinach, setting it aside

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Baking the eggs (AWESOME idea, Chungah!)

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Microwaving the sandwich

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Unwrapping Fast Deliciousness

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Here’s the recipe:

Fast & Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
Ham & Cheese, and Spinach & Cheese

INGREDIENTS

12 eggs
1  5 oz package fresh baby spinach
6-8 oz cheddar cheese, sliced
12 English muffins, sliced
8-12 oz deli ham
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
Mayonnaise (Or Vegenaise)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper in a grinder
1 Tbsp water

METHOD
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  1. Put 2 tsp oil in a sauce pan with a pinch of salt and a couple of turns of black pepper. Add the spinach and 1 Tbsp of water. Wilt over medium heat until liquid is fully evaporated. Set aside.
  2. Oil a 12-cup muffin tin even if it’s non-stick. Crack an egg in each of the 12 cups. Sprinkle all cups with a pinch or two of salt and black pepper.
  3. Divide the jalapeño pepper evenly across all 12 cups.  Stir each cup with a fork, small whisk or toothpick. It’s ok if they are not fully blended.
    *Alternatively you can place all eggs in a bowl, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper, add jalapeño and whisk until blended. Pour evenly into all 12 cups.
  4. Bake egg mixture for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the muffins and spread mayo on each side. Add 2-3 slices of cheese on the top-side of each of 6 muffins, then evenly divide the ham.  For the remaining 6 muffins, place the cheese on the top and divide the spinach equally on the bottom half.
    * You may decide that you don’t need the mayo. I found that it added a bit of moistness and extra flavor to the sandwich here at high altitude.
  6. Your eggs should be about ready. let them cool slightly, then place on the bottom half of each muffin. Top with the other half.
    *You may think that there’s too much bread or that the eggs are too tall. Don’t worry, they’ll flatten out when cooking.

TO SERVE:
Wrap muffin in a paper towel. Cook on high for 1 minute. Let sit for one minute. Unwrap and ENJOY!

TO FREEZE
Wrap in plastic wrap. If you have two kinds of muffins, you may want to label them.  Freeze on a tray until firm, then transfer frozen, wrapped sandwiches to a freezer bag for longer-term storage.  NOTE: These sandwiches are best made defrosted, which can be accomplished in your microwave or overnight in your refrigerator.

OPTIONS

WATCHING CARBS?
Do a muffin-less version by adding spinach or ham to the egg mixture in Step 3, and topping with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy, or freeze for later.

VEGETARIAN-IZING OR VEGANIZING RECIPES?
I hear you, I’ve been doing that for awhile now. Use the Vegenaise instead of the mayo in the spinach-version, and try some of the fabulous soy cheese alternatives out there these days as a substitute. I don’t receive any compensation for this recommendation (nor for the Vegenaise, which is just what’s in my refrigerator), but the egg substitute I hope our local grocery store picks up soon is the Just Egg  product made from mung beans. It looks promising! You may want to try Ezekiel muffins for a robust sandwich with all-day staying power. (I am also not compensated for this link, I just like them).

HEART HEALTHY?

Seriously? Why are you eating a breakfast sandwich? Get a silicone lid for your oatmeal and try again. 😉 Just kidding. With these straightforward ingredients and less salt, even pursuers of heart-healthiest meals can indulge now and then.

Hope your muffins are just as easy, setting you up for fast, delicious breakfasts in the days to come.

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