By Beth Lipton
English muffins topped with ham topped with poached eggs, swimming in buttery hollandaise sauce—eggs Benedict is the all-time classic, super-rich brunch dish. But if you don't want to spend the rest of your Sunday asleep on the couch (not that there's anything wrong with that!), the eggy favorite needs an update.
In our quest to bring you healthier twists on indulgent dishes that still taste amazing (see chocolate pudding, protein pancakes, and whoopie pies), we decided to tackle this 800-pound gorilla. What we found is that with a few simple swaps, you can have a creamy and completely satisfying eggs Benedict recipe that actually provides vegetables, omega-3s, fiber, B vitamins, and a medicine cabinet's worth of minerals.
In place of the English muffins, we used portobello mushrooms. Buh-bye blah empty carbs, hello antioxidant-rich, immunity-boosting caps of deliciousness.
Then we needed a replacement for the ham. There's not much to write home about ham, except protein and lots of salt. But you want that smoky flavor in your Benny. Smoked wild salmon proved to be the perfect swap.
Finally, We created an avocado-based creamy sauce to replace the hollandaise. Because, avocado.
Healthy Eggs Benedict
Serves: 2 (can be doubled)
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium portobello mushrooms
Salt and pepper
½ medium avocado
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. boiling water
½ tsp. honey
Pinch of cayenne, optional
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 large eggs
1 to 2 oz. smoked wild salmon
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil; oil foil.
- Remove stems from mushrooms. Using a spoon, scrape out gills. Wipe mushrooms clean with a cloth. Brush all over generously with oil; sprinkle lightly with salt. Place on baking sheet, stem side up, and bake until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Make “avo-daise” sauce: Place avocado, 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, water, honey and cayenne, if using, in a blender; blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Thin with more boiling water 2 tsp. at a time until you reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or honey, if needed. (You will have about ½ cup sauce.)
- Poach eggs. Line a small plate with paper towels; have a slotted spoon ready. Bring a skillet of water to a boil. Reduce heat so that water is simmering. Crack each egg into a small cup. Stir vinegar into water. Slip eggs into simmering water, keeping eggs as close to the surface as possible. Cook until eggs reach desired doneness (about 3 or 4 minutes for firm whites but runny yolks).
- If insides of mushrooms are wet, pat dry. Lay (or flake) smoked salmon on top of mushrooms. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs one at a time from skillet, pat bottom of spoon on towel-lined plate, and carefully place one egg on each mushroom, over salmon. Drizzle with avo-daise sauce. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.