SDYC Presenter & Guest Blogger Cary Thrall invites you to eat your greens.
I recently asked a question of my friends and family on social media about breakfast. Food is a favorite topic for me, to think about, talk about, taste and create. I believe the kitchen is where the home fires burn and it is essentially the heart of a home, my heart. Cooking is a quick way I can re-center if I don’t feel like I have time for some of my other favorite practices. It is also a magical experience of transforming, and in a way, an alchemical process. I also love cooking because it takes many steps that may be menial, but those processes relax me. I love that in order to accomplish my goal, a healthy and homemade meal, I will do several tasks that are different, varying my thinking and challenging me to work with what I have on hand.
My mother, Dee Thrall, is a master in the kitchen and her mother was, too. Ethel Hanson was an army chef, and learning from them both, I too cook for a crowd. In these times of meal prepping in order to eat healthy yet still have time during frantic weeks with constantly changing norms, that has worked well for me. I separate the monstrous pots of home-made love into servings and freeze. As well, I always have a stocked pantry to draw inspiration from. Mom taught me that, too. I notice when the pantry is sparse, my creative cooking is better. Something to keep in mind and keep you inspired while you are quite likely in-home for days on end.
Anyway, back to breakfasts. I wondered what my friends' and family’s favorite breakfast foods are. Some of the shares that day were avocado on toast, crispy bacon, and crispy hash-browns with eggs of many consistencies. My cousin, Taylor Burr, shared an incredible recipe for Smooters, which I learned are a dense scrambled pancake. I am excited that she shared the recipe and will be trying that out. A friend also mentioned huevos rancheros with green chile…mmmmm. I miss NM and the food!
I shared a few of my favorites to start it all off. I had never had it until I began teaching art in Lower Brule in 2007, but after our cooks made it, I was hooked. My preferred way, I learned after that introduction, to eat corn beef hash is with over easy eggs, pumpernickel toast (not a school standard, but what I make at home. Also, a bread choice that got me teased when I was in second grade as it was too weird in a small town 1989) and good ol’ yellow mustard. I also love over easy eggs, bacon, and sourdough toast. Eggs Benedict with spinach and tomatoes is an easy choice from a restaurant menu for me as well.
I wanted to share another morning meal I started making a few years ago for you all to enjoy. It is easy to adjust according to what greens you have available and the season. Be sure to include a LOT of greens. They are the base for this side, and I always like the tomato in it too, the rest can shift. I prefer my over easy eggs with it. I made it this time with crispy bacon and a bagel and cream cheese too (from the freezer). Of course, I made enough greens for days. I’ve been enjoying it as a simple, warm bed for the eggs some mornings.
This is a hearty meal good for brunch or before you head outside for a few hours of hiking. It is not vegetarian. For me, somedays include meat. You do you and make a choice that feels right. As mentioned above, you can easily adjust this for whatever vegetables you want to include. Skip the bacon and eggs. Substitute the bagel and skip the cream cheese. You can make the greens alone with EVOO or another oil you prefer.
Breakfast greens, eggs, bacon, and a bagel with cream cheese
Ingredients (this time)
2-3 stalks each kale, rainbow chard, beet greens
1 Roma tomato
1 small zucchini
2 strips bacon
1 Tbs cream cheese
1 tsp EVOO
1 tsp Unsalted Butter
2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt/Pepper to taste
Remove leaves from greens stems, chop stems, dice zucchini and tomato, roughly chop leaves.
Cook bacon in a skillet on low-medium heat. When it is to your crispiness preference on the one side, turn it. Cook until almost done to your liking on the second side. Leave it in the skillet, add chopped stems.
When the bacon is done for you, move to a plate.
Toss green stems with tongs to soak up the bacon grease, add zucchini, cook for 2 minutes, toss. Add tomatoes, toss, cook for 2 minutes. Add the roughly chopped leaves, cook for 2 minutes.
Next, pour in 2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar (I don’t add too much at first, just enough that the veggies get a light dressing). Season with s/p to your liking, toss. Allow greens to wilt some and for a bit of balsamic to evaporate. Cover with a lid and turn heat down to low.
In another skillet on low heat, add 1 tsp EVOO and 1 tsp butter, allow to melt. Add the eggs, and cook on one side, flip and turn off the heat.
Make a bed of greens on your plate beside the bacon. Place eggs gently on top. Serve with the toasted bagel, slathered in cream cheese.
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My name is Cary A. Thrall. I am an artist and teacher, currently teaching second graders and loving it! I completed my Kundalini training in Espanola, NM in 2012. My journey of creativity, yoga and teaching began early. It is one of insight, inspiration and humility. I am passionate about community building through art, yoga and teaching. I believe in connectedness and the importance of compassion and kindness. Yoga is an ideal fit to open your mind and body to creative flow. I teach various yoga courses and meditations privately and for groups. Teaching yoga and art in conjunction for maximum creativity excites me. Artistically, I do installation-style work where I connect groups of people with mini-lessons. I have engaged with many different groups in the Black Hills and Central Regions of SD to create collaborative community artworks in large-scale designs. My daily practices teach awareness, develop subtlety, depth and dedication. I am practicing and learning humility which I believe conveys grace. Through this practice and grace, there is a deep connection to self, others and creative source. To me, divine is the presence of spirit, which is timeless, and boundless. It is pure and infinite. This presence as accessible and as intimate as breath and creativity is clearer when we make space in our bodies and minds.