Wanna hear more of Pearl’s Adventures in Cooking?! Hokay! First I have to tell you a secret. I don’t actually know how to cook. When I was in high school Mama Biebs always tried to teach me and I would just say “I’m just going to marry a chef!” Then I hit college and realized I’m not Ashley Smart and I didn’t land a gem like Jarret
. So instead I’ve just attempted to teach myself. I never actually understood how cooking worked until I took a Food Science class which taught me all about the chemistry of cooking. I understand “denaturing proteins” a lot more than “don’t fry eggs on high,” makes total sense, right?! #nerd. But really I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing half the time, so it’s okay if you don’t either. Don’t be scared, I have yet to make something that was too gross to eat and I used to be so bad at cooking I burnt grilled cheese. If you follow a legit recipe it’s really hard to screw things up. Anyone can teach themselves to cook. Pinky promise. And if you’re really struggling check out this book
, Grandma Biebs got it for me for Christmas and I am obsessed.
This weekend I decided to cook with leeks because they are stupid good for you. Recall when we discussed the need for prebiotics
? Leeks are high in inulin which is a dietary fiber our bodies do not have the ability to break down. That means our hungry intestinal bacteria get to munch on them which is sweet considering the health of our intestinal bacteria is vital to the health of the whole body. Leeks also have sulfur in them and although this sounds icky it is actually one of the most abundant minerals in the body. Sulfur is needed for our bodies to make glutathione, an antioxidant which helps to protect our cells from damage. It is also needed to produce taurine, without which the cardiovascular system, central nervous system and muscle would not function properly. You like it when your heart beats, right? Right. Eat a leek.
Typically the part of the leek that most recipes call for is the white base and the light green stalk. This leaves a crap ton of green stuff that you’re throwing away, BOOO! Especially because we all know how good green things are for us! The white part of the leek has a mild onion-like flavor and the green tips are a bit more woody with a tougher texture.
Because the different sections do have a different texture and flavor I separated them and added the green part to homemade bone stock
. This softened them right up, and made a delicious and nutritious addition to a vegetable soup.
The white part I decided to use in an egg bake. Want to know another secret? I’m super lazy in the morning. I’m usually late for everything so I’m always rushing around which means, unfortunately, breakfast is kind of low on the priority list as I’m sure it is for most of you. However, this is absolutely no excuse to compromise the nutritional quality of what we do eat. To make my life easier sometimes I’ll cook an egg bake on the weekend so I can just heat it up quickly in my rush in the morning. First thing I did was sauté the leeks and 1 cup of broccoli in a little bit of butter. Next, I whisked 8 eggs, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, and pepper (to taste) in a bowl. Make sure you break up any clumps, no one wants a mouth full of pepper in their eggs. Then I added the leek and broccoli mixture to the egg mixture and stirred in 3/4 cup of shredded
cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of black beans. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes and there you have it, breakfast for a week. I’ve made this a bunch of times and typically just use whatever vegetables I happen to have on hand but pepper, tomatoes, onions, spinach and kale all work really well in this, too.