The 1980s jingle “I love eggs … from my head down to my legs …” runs through my head every time I crack one.
In the past few months, I’ve also been on a mission to cut out carbs as much as possible and eat more protein. One egg alone has 6 grams of protein. Add in the cheese and meat in the Egg McLovins recipe below and your meal is filled with energy- and muscle-building goodness.
I discovered a version of this simple and yummy recipe when someone brought them on a camping trip, and I’ve been making them ever since. I love the combination of sweet and savory in this recipe, and what’s also great about Egg McLovins is they are portable and versatile: you can substitute a variety of ingredients and eat them for breakfast, pop them in a kid’s lunch, or even enjoy them for dinner.
Try varying the types of cheese – thin slices of Brie go especially good with the brown sugar, or try shredded cheddar or crumbly soft cheeses. You can also substitute Canadian bacon or sliced honey ham in place of regular bacon.
To make them healthier or “Paleo,” omit the cheese and brown sugar, and top with a slice of tomato and chopped fresh basil from the garden, or a little smoked paprika. Vegetarians can simply skip the bacon.
I recommend cage-free organic eggs, preferably from a local egg vendor such as Lazy 69 Ranch eggs, available at Orchard Nutrition and at Holiday Market in Redding. Butte County residents can get quality eggs at Chico or Paradise farmers markets, or co-ops such as Chico Natural Foods. You can also buy eggs directly from local farms; Holding Ranch in Montague offers organic eggs.
Have you thought about raising your own chickens? “Eggs are going to be, in part, a product of what the chicken eats,” says nutrition expert Stephanie Bird. Keeping your own chickens gives you control over what they eat and how they are treated. Chances are, backyard hens consume “a much more varied diet than commercially raised hens, raised in conditions that are usually pretty unappetizing,” explains Bird. “Adding flax seeds to their feed increases the omega-3 fatty acids in their eggs’ yolks, while adding canola oil increases omega-6.”
The neat thing about fresh eggs is that they come in all sorts of fun colors and sizes, depending on the type of hen. Kids love ‘em, and eating eggs from happy hens that have been roaming around freely is much more appealing.
Basic Egg McLovins Recipe
- One dozen eggs
- ¾ cup grated cheese (or crumbled, or thin-sliced, depending on type)
- 12 slices bacon, partially cooked (vegetarians can omit)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
Lightly spray or grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray, coconut oil, ghee or butter. Cut bacon strips in half and make a “t” with them on the bottom of each cup. Sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar into the cups, then crack an egg in each cup and sprinkle equal parts cheese on to p of each egg. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy! These keep for several days in the fridge. Serve cold in lunches or reheat in a microwave for 15 seconds or until heated through. Cover when reheating, as eggs might “pop.”