Friday, February 18, 2011

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict

by Cherilyn David

Cherilyn’s recipes always include a trick or tip, sometimes new and exciting, sometimes a simple task, that may not be simple to everyone. Cherilyn’s recipes also always include a ‘plan B’… that is substitutions or short cuts to make the dish easier, faster or both!! :) I don’t just list ingredients and instructions. To me, a recipe is a story and I tell the why and what for and mention whatever comes to mind!

*Always read an entire recipe before beginning.

Vegetarian Spinach Eggs Benedict

4 eggs
Hollandaise Sauce mix
Milk, water, butter (depending on the mix)
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 cup chopped baby spinach
8 slices of large or medium portabella tops
(1 mushroom is more than enough)
½ cup chopped scallions
Butter (optional)

Black pepper

Avocado garnish

Obviously this dish has been turned Vegetarian, due to the missing Canadian bacon or ham. The good news is, it’s full of healthy stuff, to try and offset the fact that it is generally a rich, less than perfect choice on the road to a smaller waistline. Not to worry, just don’t have it every day!
This is one of those dishes where you have several balls in the air, but they come together quickly. You’ll want to have your toaster handy. A cookie cutter or a glass with about a 4-inch rim. I find wine glasses to be great as they seem to be thin and sharp. This is for cutting a circle out of our wheat toast. (Healthier than English muffins.)

You want to start your Hollandaise on low, pretty much right away. Throw a mini whisk in there and just whip now and then and it will stay smooth and hot.

Your mushrooms and spinach need very little cooking to reduce and warm up, so they can share a small pan on low as well, not mixed, just spinach on one side and mushrooms on the other.

Now you have two pans going. Throw your toast in the toaster. Whip your sauce.
If you have an egg poacher, great, but totally not necessary.
How to poach an egg: Poached eggs are simply cooked in water. A poaching pan keeps the egg together, but that can be done on its own as well. Get some water, just a couple inches worth, to a rolling boil. As you crack each egg open it slowly into the water. This keeps it together, since the egg cooks almost instantly, then just floats in the water, waiting to be removed. Use a slotted spoon to remove when ready, depending on how well you like the yolks done. This can be done one at a time or all in one pan if you’re pan is big enough and you are quick enough. :)

This is the tricky part, in between eggs, you’re turning your mushrooms and spinach, maybe a whip or two to your sauce and toast is popping up. Cut circles and plate two each. If you want butter on your toast, now would be the time. Next pile some spinach on each wheat round. If you’re worried your spinach isn’t too done, the egg on top will fix that!

Turn all the burners off.

So… wheat round, spinach, egg, mushroom slices, Hollandaise, scallions on top! I pepper the eggs before topping. Hollandaise is very rich and wonderful, so you may let your eaters salt on their own.

If all this multi-tasking makes you crazy, don’t do it. You can cook everything one at a time, eggs last. It just may not stay quite as hot, but eleven seconds in the microwave will fix that. Cooking should be FUN, first and foremost. Don’t do anything that stresses you out… especially in the morning.

I serve mine with avocado on the side, because at my house, there is always room for some avocado.

The good news is, you can substitute anything here! If you don’t like spinach or mushrooms, add something else. The key is bread, egg and Hollandaise. They do make whole wheat English muffins. Some tasty ideas are sun-dried tomatoes or zucchini. If you need it a little heartier, add a layer of hash browns and top with shredded cheese! Enjoy!


  1. Yum! Healthy and are making me hungry, Cherilyn, and I just had lunch! Great directions. Clear, detailed, and easy.

  2. This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Honestly, I stopped reading at the mushroom part. (Yuck!) Then I went back and saw your variation for zucchini and tomatoes. That sounds good. I'll try toe recipe if I can dig up enough fresh vegetables.

  4. This sounds great. I enjoy a savory breakfast more-so than a sweet one. I should give this a try & I might even sub some cheese for the sauce if I'm in a hurry!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I've never done eggs benedict, but I've seen it a lot on cooking shows. A hint on the poached egg: stir the water so it's spinning just a bit, drop your egg into the center of the 'whirlpool.' The spinning of the water will wrap all egg around itself.

    Question since I'm not a all. It would seem eggs would be out for vegetarians. Or is it just actual meat? Would they be out completely for vegans? I've heard a vegan diet avoids any kind of animal product whatsoever. Again, I'm neither, so I don't really know.

  6. Vegans do not eat any animal products such as eggs, honey or milk nor wear animal products such as leather. There are many differences within the title "vegetarian" however. Lacto-ovo vegetarians use dairy & egg products. Some vegetarians eat fish, it all depends on your own definition of vegetarian and how you incoporate it into your diet.
    I like to call myself a flexitarian, our family eats meat but I try to incorporate meatless meals throughout the week and many raw dishes as well.
    Thanks for the 'whirlpool' tip!

  7. Sorry everyone... I have neglected comments. It will never happen again!!
    I have met a variety of vegetarians. Some are more strict than others. We eat eggs and dairy, from the chickens and the cows, I know. :)

    Thanks to everyone for the compliments and comments.

    Mushrooms are tough. A lot of people don't like them, but they can always be substituted. The thing about portabellas, they are great for vegetarians because of their size and shape. They can be grilled, used on sandwiches, etc. Mushrooms also absorb, so marinated in liquid smoke or Worcestershire gives a meaty flavor.

    Thanks for reading!:)