Quick and Healthy Lunch: Mediterranean Egg Scramble

Fact: I really love feta cheese.  Just ask my husband – any time we cook a recipe that involves feta (which is at least once or twice a week, easily), I always pile a ridiculous amount of feta crumbles onto my pasta/salad/sandwich/whatever.  It’s so salty and it has such a great bite.  Delicious.

In the past few months, Jeremy and I have tried to increase the amount of veggies, nuts, and fish in our diet.  We bought a mediterranean cookbook and are now working to eat more fresh, plant-based meals.  We’ve also (somewhat accidentally) cut back on our meat intake – I just went to the store for this week’s meals and only bought meat for just one recipe.  And you know, we really don’t miss it.  We’ve found that vegetarian meals can be just as dynamic, satisfying, and delicious as their meat-based counterparts, and they are often much healthier (and cheaper!).

This means I’ve been buying a lot more produce lately, and I’m getting into the habit of thinking beyond the painfully boring lunchmeat sandwich when I eat lunch.  One of the great luxuries of summer vacation is that I don’t have to pack a sack lunch – hallelujah!  I despise sitting in the school cafeteria nibbling on my sad little sandwiches, so I’m always trying to bring leftovers or salads as alternatives.  Of course, once in a while I’ll eat cafeteria food too – especially on chicken nugget day.  I may not want to know exactly what kind of “chicken” is in those nuggets, but chicken nugget day is almost as delicious when you are a high school teacher as it is when you are a high school student.  Almost.

But I digress.  Along with continuing to train for a the Plaza 10k in September and trying to focus more of my energy on healthy living (not that I was unhealthy before, really), one of my personal goals for this summer is to make more creative lunches and I couldn’t prep as easily at work.  In both lunch and dinner recipes, I’ve been happy to find lots of recipes that feature lots of my favorite things. I already told you about my love affair with feta cheese, but I’ve also obsessed with chickpeas (they’re so mealy and delicious) in basically anything, and I’ve fallen in love with kale, too.  Jeremy and I both love seafood, and even though we live in Kansas City, sometimes we splurge on the good salmon fillets and whip up a Greek salad to go with them, and as easy as the prep may be, there aren’t many more delicious dinners than that.

So here I am, trying to channel my focus on food into the blog-o-sphere.  I’ve been itching to post SOMETHING about cooking on this newborn site, because I love reading other food blogs, and I’m always inspired by their beautiful photography, design, and creative cooking. I want to develop new recipes or adapt old ones and include them in my posts on this blog, too.  I won’t claim to be a pro, but I’ve gotten to be a pretty good cook and baker in the past few years. So we’ll see where this goes!

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A disclaimer, though:  the recipe I’m sharing today doesn’t boast the highest quality of photos.  Since I decided to post about what I was cooking at the last second, I took them on my phone.  Jeremy wasn’t there to use his nice camera and get better shots, and I didn’t even get out my actual camera, so I apologize.  We’ll consider the bar to be set pretty low, and I will do my best to improve my own photography skills (or ask someone who knows what they are doing like Jeremy or, better yet, my dad) as I continue to post food pictures.  The next post will be better.  Promise.  But this is just a creative outlet, and I’m just learning.  Right?

So in an effort to enjoy a healthy but high-protein lunch after going on morning runs this week, I’ve been making a simple mediterranean egg scramble, and I thought it was a nice recipe for me to share as my first cooking post.  I’ll probably start with simple recipes I make a lot as I practice my food-blogging, and then we’ll see where it goes from there.
This egg scramble would obviously make a great breakfast too, but I often avoid big breakfasts in the morning (they don’t settle well in my stomach) and find myself wishing for breakfast food later in the day.  Full of mediterranean veggies and tangy feta, this savory dish is high in protein and will fill you up without overdoing it.

First, I heated up a little olive oil in a skillet, and then I added the veggies – a whole chopped tomato, a big handful of spinach, a few sliced kalamata olives, and some diced red onion.  I let the veggies wilt for a minute or two, then I pushed them over to make room for the eggs.  I beat three eggs in a separate bowl, seasoned them and added the feta, then added the egg mixture to the skillet.

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Once the eggs had a couple minutes to start to cook and the feta started to melt a bit, I folded it all together.  I tried not to overdo it so the eggs were still chunky and fluffy.

2015-06-09 13.20.39-1 And then I gave it all another minute or two to cook, being careful to avoid overcooking the eggs.  Jeremy and I make a lot of eggs together (add eggs to the list of foods I never get tired of – and salmon and dark chocolate and gelato and peaches and cherries and garlic and lemon butter sauce and bread dipped in olive oil – oh, sorry) and he’s the real pro, but I was happy with the way these scrambled eggs turned out.

2015-06-09 13.25.33aAnd voila! A hot lunch that looked nothing like a sad little deli meat sandwich.  (I should note – Jeremy and I love to make everything-but-the-kithen-sink sandwiches on the weekends, and while those too include deli meat, they are delicious.  But how can I make a sandwich like that and take it to work?  There’s nothing worse than soggy bread from too many veggies and condiments.)  If you’re looking for a quick and easy mediterranean lunch, try scrambling up some savory eggs.

Mediterranean Egg Scramble

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: less than 10 minutes

Yields: 1 serving (or 2 as a side dish)

You’ll Need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 tomato, chopped (I like on-the-vine)
  • 5-6 kalamata olives, halved
  • a small handful of red onion to taste (I used probably about a sixth of a cup)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: other veggies to mix in (I’ve done kale before, and mushrooms would be good too if that’s your thing – mushrooms are on the VERY SHORT list of foods I don’t love)

Step-by-Step:

1.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the almond milk. Season with salt and pepper.  (Go easy on the salt – this recipe already has salty olives and cheese, so you won’t need much.)

2.  Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium or large skillet.  Add the veggies to the skillet and sauté them for about 2 minutes – just until the spinach starts to wilt.

3.  Push the veggies to one side of the skillet and pour the egg mixture into the other side.  Let the eggs cook for 2 minutes without stirring them.

4.  Fold and scramble the eggs into the veggies.  Allow the mixture to cook for 2 more minutes and mix a little as you go.  Take the eggs off when they look a little on the undercooked side.

5.  Serve immediately.  Garnish with more feta and pepper if desired.

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