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Start your day with a breakfast skillet that calls for cauliflower, not hash browns

Riced cauliflower stands in for hash browns in Country-Style Cauliflower Breakfast Skillet.

Associated Press

Riced cauliflower stands in for hash browns in Country-Style Cauliflower Breakfast Skillet.

I am a morning person by choice, and breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Strong coffee and a hearty morning meal make me feel like I'm on vacation, luxuriating in hash-brown-and-bacon heaven, without a health or calorie care in the world. Breakfast menus at truck stops and diners have incredible appeal to a closeted lumberjack like me, with words like grand slam and breakfast skillet promising a meal that will fill me up for most of the day.

But, eating like a lumberjack when you have a desk job makes no sense, unless you really are on vacation. For a more quotidian option, try my Country-Style Cauliflower Breakfast Skillet.

I use just a few strips of real pork bacon to keep things feeling authentically diner-ish. Onions, sweet yellow peppers, spinach and garlic add a ton of flavor (and nutrients) but hardly any calories. The real nutrient and calorie-saving workhorse of this recipe is the cauliflower.

I swap out hash browns, a breakfast-skillet staple, for riced cauliflower. It works beautifully, and not only do you save the calories of the potatoes, but also all the extra fat you need to make those hash browns crispy and tasty.

You can find riced cauliflower in most neighborhood grocery stores these days, either in the packaged produce aisle or the freezer. Or, simply pulse up a bunch of cauliflower florets in a food processor until it is cut into rice-sized pieces. The cauliflower is just bland enough that it takes on the flavors of the rest of the ingredients and provides enough heft to house eggs broken right into the skillet. The result is rustic, gorgeous and filling.

COUNTRY-STYLE CAULIFLOWER BREAKFAST SKILLET

3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces

½ yellow or sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

½ yellow bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence (or dried oregano or thyme)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

3 cups cauliflower rice (raw)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess moisture gently squeezed out

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 eggs

Freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large oven-safe skillet, cook bacon over medium-low heat until it starts to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, herbs and smoked paprika and stir.

Add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lemon juice, stir, and then add the spinach, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mixture. Gently make four wells in the mixture with a wooden spoon. Spray each well with nonstick spray. Pour one egg into each well. Bake until eggs are done, about 7 or 8 minutes for runny yolk, longer for firmer yolk. Sprinkle with black pepper, salt and parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 219 calories (117 calories from fat), 13g fat (5g saturated, 0g trans fats), 235mg cholesterol, 804mg sodium, 11g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 4g sugar, 15g protein.

Start your day with a breakfast skillet that calls for cauliflower, not hash browns 04/27/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 27, 2017 4:57pm]
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