Ever since studying culinary nutrition at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition I have become much more curious about foods that I haven’t tried before. I hadn’t tried them for a couple of reasons. Sometimes because I’d never heard of them, but often because I am, like many, a creature of habit. I had never cooked a butternut squash until last year (and actually thought I didn’t like it prior to that), had never roasted beets and Brussels sprouts, and never cooked with millet, celeriac, fennel or fresh turmeric. It wasn’t all that long ago, before I began my nutrition studies, that I didn’t know what chaga was, or reishi, astragalas, ashwagangha, maca or moringa. I had never heard of cassava, tigernut, baobab, arami or wakame. If you’re reading this thinking “whhaaaatttt?” I totally understand. There are so many fascinating, interesting and health supporting foods out there that most of us have never heard of, or if we have, we have no idea what to do with them. We’ll explore some of these over time on this blog.
In the meantime, there are foods we have heard of forever, but maybe don’t ever think of eating, or may need a bit of encouragement to try. For many of us dandelion greens are one of those foods. Both the stems and flowers of dandelions are completely edible. Dandelion flowers can be eaten raw or pan fried (or even made into dandelion wine). Dandelion greens can be eaten raw or cooked, or dried to make dandelion tea. Just be sure that you’re picking or purchasing dandelion greens that are not full of pesticides or other toxic chemicals.
When I saw fresh organic dandelion greens available from Taproot Farms this week I knew it was time to make a purchase. I got them home and then wondered what to do. Pesto was my original plan, because any greens can become pesto, dandelion greens are similar to arugula, and I’ve made pesto with arugula before that was quite tasty. But when I opened the fridge and saw pre-chopped yellow pepper, mushrooms, onions and garlic (thanks to my love), some beautiful local eggs, and the dandelion greens, the idea for the egg’s nest was born.
The combination of egg yolks and dark-green leafy vegetables provides an excellent source of carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (1). Carotenoids are antioxidants that deactivate damaging free radicals. They have strong cancer-fighting properties and anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Lutein and zeaxanthin provide benefit for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (2).
Dandelion greens provide prebiotic inulin that promotes the growth of health supporting bifidobacteria in the gut and is reported to reduce constipation and inflammatory bowel disease symptoms including diarrhea and bloating, reduce cancer risk, and increase mineral absorption (3).
Other sources of prebiotic inulin that were added to this egg’s nest of dandelion greens were onions and garlic. Inulin slows overall digestion, and a slower transit time can mean better absorption of nutrients.
Now that you’re convinced about how beneficial dandelion greens are for your health, let’s talk about the deliciousness of this Eggs in a Nest of Sautéed Dandelion Greens. The creamy richness of the egg yolks balances wonderfully with the sautéed greens, and the garlic and onions enhance the flavour even more. Don’t be shy, give dandelion greens a try!
Eggs in a Nest of Sautéed Dandelion Greens
- 2 cups organic dandelion greens
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon mushrooms chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion chopped
- ½ clove garlic minced
- Pinch of salt
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat cast iron skillet on low heat.
- Wash dandelion greens and chop vegetables.
- Increase heat to medium low and add avocado oil to skillet to heat. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add dandelion greens, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes to wilt greens.
- Add eggs and cook until egg whites are no longer translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Serve with slices of avocado.