Tuesday, June 22, 2010

30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals: Day 16 - Anna's Bacon & Egg Chard

Welcome to 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals!

Today's post is written by Anna Helm author of the blogs Sweet by Half, and London Foodie in NY.

Day 16 - Anna's Bacon and Egg Baked Chard

I’m not a diagnosed celiac. What I have is an under-active thyroid and when I found out that gluten can interfere with thyroid functioning I decided it was worth trying to avoid, if not totally then at least mostly.

I admit I wasn’t overly excited at the thought of avoiding gluten but what I’ve found is that I now eat better and more naturally than I ever did before. I was never a big fan of eating out of a box/jar or can anyway and now I am even less so. I avoid processed foods because of hidden sources of gluten as well as hidden sugars and chemicals that I don’t want to put in my body.

Cooking gluten-free, you have to find substitutions- like instead using flour to thicken I use lentils or eggplant which have the same effect and have added bonus of adding more nutrition and fiber. Blogs like Ginger Lemon Girl are a great source for new ideas and inspiration so there’s no reason to get bored or stuck in a rut!

I’ve even started baking some gluten-free recipes on my site SweetByHalf, which I always thought would be nearly impossible to do. Not every recipe is gluten-free (but easily could be) but they are all low in sugar and use more natural and healthy ingredients.

For 30 days of Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals, I’m giving you my recipe for bacon & egg baked chard. It’s my idea of comfort food. Crispy bacon, delicious chard greens, onions softened in olive oil, mixed and baked with an egg on top. If you want to make the recipe even quicker you can skip the oven part and poach the egg. This could not be easier to make. Just be sure to buy good quality bacon from your butchers where you know it won’t have fillers.

Anna's Bacon & Egg Baked Chard

This is my idea of comfort food. Buy the best pasture-raised eggs you can- this is the kind of dish where you will want to splurge on your eggs.

Serves 1 as a main course

2 thickly cut pieces free-range smoked bacon, sliced into small pieces
1 small onion, finely sliced
5 chard stalks, stems finely sliced, leaves cut into ribbons 1 cm wide
1 red birds eye chilli, finely sliced (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
salt & pepper
1 large free range or pasture raised egg
good olive oil

• Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease a small baking dish (6 x 3 inches)In a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat, cook the bacon for about 2 minutes, or until the fat begins to release. Add the sliced onion and sliced chard stems to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onion is completely soft and browning. During the last 2 minutes, add the garlic and chilli and if you need to add a drop of oil if the pan looks dry.

• Add the ribbons of chard leaves and stir everything together for 1 minute. Season with a little salt and pepper. Fill your baking dish and then make a small, shallow indent in the middle of the chard. Crack the egg into this space and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the egg white is set but not rock hard. Try not to overcook or you will have a hard yolk!


About Anna:
Anna is a British food stylist and writer living in Brooklyn. When she’s not getting paid to work, she’s testing and photographing recipes for her two blogs London Foodie In New York and Sweet by Half , marathon training and throwing dinner parties.


Stay tuned for Day 17 of 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals. Tomorrow guest blogger Sarah Graham from GlutenGirlinAustin will be sharing one of her favorite super fast gluten free recipes.

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