• Valentine’s Day breakfast 2015

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Here’s a sure-fire way for a good start to Valentine’s Day – strawberries with champagne and Eggs Benedict.

    Valentine’s Day is on Saturday, so there’s no reason you can’t make this romantic breakfast. Plan to honor your sweetheart by reserving time on your calendar now. No excuses. If you scheduled work for February 14th, call in sick. If you are scheduled for morning surgery, put it off until the afternoon. If you have an early flight, call and reschedule for the next day. If you have a meeting with an important client, tell them something came up and you can’t make it.

    If you have planned to neatly fold the socks in your drawer this day, well there is still hope for you. Invite someone for whom you really care to breakfast and cook with a happy heart. Arrange the socks later. Maybe he or she will help you!

    On Valentine’s morning, it’s important to start with a good quality champagne and fresh strawberries. Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial is my go-to bubbly. One of the many wine blogs describes it as follows:

    Brut Imperial is a subtle, drier-styled champagne, pale yellow in color with shades of green, deliciously vinuos with a lime and vine blossom attack.

    I interpret this to mean “it’s perfect with fresh strawberries on Valentine’s Day.”

    I recommend dipping a strawberry in a small bowl of sour cream and then twirling it in a little brown sugar. Then offer the first bite to your sweetheart and pour a flute of champagne for you both.

    Eggs Benedict are a wonderful compliment to the champagne and strawberries, although sometimes I skip that part of the breakfast, offering sweet-talk instead. If you really love Canadian bacon, layer a slice of bacon before adding the spinach.

    So what are you waiting for? Get your Valentine’s Day on! Do it. You won’t be disappointed.

    Eggs Benedict

    Eggs Benedict Ingredients:
    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
    5 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (chopped)
    2 English Muffins (split in half)
    Hollandaise Sauce (see below)
    1 quart water
    1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)
    4 fresh large eggs
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Paprika for garnish

    Eggs Benedict Directions:
    Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add fresh spinach and lemon zest and sauté until just wilted – 1 to 2 minutes. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

    To cook eggs, bring water and lemon juice to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Break eggs into small prep dishes or custard cups. Turn up heat until water just begins to boil and gently pour eggs, one at a time, into water. When all four eggs are in the boiling water, turn off heat, cover pan and set aside for 7 to 8 minutes.

    Toast English muffins. Lightly butter muffin halves and place two toasted halves on each of two plates. Squeeze a couple of drops of honey in the middle of each muffin. Spread one tablespoon of Hollandaise sauce on each muffin then place one fourth of the spinach on top of each. Set plates aside until eggs are ready.

    To serve, use a slotted spoon and remove eggs from the water (again, one at a time). Let eggs drain in spoon before placing one egg on each of the spinach-covered muffin halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the balance of the sauce over the eggs, garnish with a little paprika, and serve while hot.

    Hollandaise Sauce:
    1 12.3 ounce package Mori-Nu silken tofu
    4 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    ¼ teaspoon turmeric
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil

    Hollandaise Sauce Directions:
    Heat tofu in microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds, or until warmed through. Transfer to food processor and purée until smooth. Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, cayenne, and turmeric. Pulse until well combined. With food processor running, add oil in steady stream to finish sauce. Keep warm until ready for muffins above.

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