Tomatoes are still being sold at the farmer’s market and I was able to grab a few pounds over the weekend before freezing temperatures hit our area. This is a great recipe to warm up your morning and eggs are incredibly nourishing and are a good source of protein.
Organic, cage-free or pastured eggs? That seems to be the question of the year for a lot of people scratching their heads at the grocery store. So, before we dive deep into the recipe, let’s dissect what all these labels mean.
Notice, I didn’t even include regular, conventional Omega-3 eggs because let’s face it, we’ve all seen Youtube videos of the horrific conditions these chickens and hens are raised in. You haven’t? A simple google search will give you an array of information about these Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Do yourself and your family a favor and stop purchasing these eggs today.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different labels on those cartons:
Organic Eggs labeled “organic” come from hens who have been fed an organic feed free from pesticides and GMOs their entire egg-laying lives. Organic eggs typically are higher in nutrients. However, organic does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the hen.
Cage-free This means that the hens had access to the outdoors but it’s quite possible most of their lives, the hens are spent in confined areas. Furthermore, the loose labeling laws allow these eggs to be labeled as “cage-free” even if the hens spent very little or no time on pasture.
Pastured eggs are the best quality and the most nutritious, if from a good source. Sourcing your eggs in incredibly important because due to vague labeling laws, some egg cartons will say “pasture-raised” but that may mean absolutely nothing in terms of nutritional value of the egg. To that end, I would ask your farmer, not your grocer, how much pasture is available for the egg-laying chickens and what is their feed like. A good farmer will supplement with non-GMO, organic feed but the bulk of the hen’s diet should be from grass and bugs.
Another note on this recipe…I prefer to use my beloved cast-irons for the majority of my cooking but I know some are afraid of cooking tomatoes in a cast iron like they’re afraid of death. The theory is that acidic foods strip iron from the pan and gives off metalic taste in your food. That may be the case with new pans but highly-seasoned, worn-out cast iron skillets fair quite well with acidic foods. When you properly season your cast iron pan after each use, it creates a non-stick, teflon like coating but without the synthetic chemical compound. If your cast iron has been recently purchased, perhaps use a stainless steel pan or better yet, an iron pan with enamel finish.
- 1 md onion chopped
- 1 lg tomato chopped
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- basil for garnish
- Saute onions on medium-high heat in your choice of fat (I used bacon grease). When the onions are soft and translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. Let cook for about 2 minutes, stirring once in the middle of that cooking time. Make 5 nests with a wooden spoon for the eggs.
- Break in the eggs, cover the pan and let cook to your desired doneness (we prefer the runny yolks, that takes about 4-5 minutes). Take off heat. Sprinkle shredded cheese and Italian seasonings, cover with a lid and allow to sit for 2 minutes for the cheese to melt.