Love a good eggs-in-a-basket recipe? How about lentils for breakfast? Whip up this vegetarian lentils with egg toast recipe, a deliciously fueling eggs-and-lentils combo.
Thanks to the folks at the Egg Nutrition Center for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own, as always.
You may have noticed that plant-based eating is majorly trending right now. Why? For one, there’s plant-based weight loss. We know that eating the staples of a plant-based diet, such as pulses (hello, spicy lentil recipe!), can help with weight loss, per a recent review paper in the journal Nutrients. Additionally, this same research reveals that eating a plant-based diet can help decrease your risk of both type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
As a longtime vegetarian, I eat a largely plant-based diet. My meals and snacks include a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. And eggs. Yup, to eat plant based, you don’t have to 100% cut out animal products at all.
Plant based simply means eating more plants—whether you’re vegan, a lacto-ovo (dairy-and-egg eating) vegetarian like me, or a flexitarian who eats a little of everything. Eggs are one of the main sources of protein I rely on. I’ll tell you more about why in a moment, as well as how to make a deliciously nutritious lentils with eggs recipe.
First, I want to chat about how I plan out my plant-based meals. I make it a point to include these staples:
Produce: When I counsel patients, I advise adding a lot of vegetables—about half a plate of fresh non-starchy veggies per meal. (If you’re going for cooked, the veggies will decrease in volume.) Non-starchy vegetables tend to be lower in calories but can be pretty filling, thanks to their water and fiber content. I’ll typically include vegetables or fruit—or both—in a meal. In this recipe, I added onion and bell peppers. I often sauté veggies in low-sodium vegetable broth to infuse extra flavor.
Protein: This is another important nutrient that helps to keep you fuller for longer. It’s a must for any meal. This egg-in-a-hole recipe has two protein sources, the lentils and the egg. I love cooking with canned lentils—you can also use packaged steamed lentils—for a healthy, quick meal. They’re an excellent source of protein and also provide lots of fiber. In fact, a half cup of cooked lentils provides about 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. And we can’t forget our nutrient-filled egg in this lentils-and-egg combo! One large egg provides 6 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids. You get many other nutrients, too, and many of them are found in the yolk. These include choline, a nutrient important for brain health that 90% of Americans don’t consume enough of. This is because choline isn’t found in high quantities in many foods. Fortunately, eggs are an excellent source of this essential nutrient. Egg yolks also boast the eye-helping carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. And emerging research has found that lutein may play an important role in cognition, as well.
Healthy fat: Here’s another nutrient that works with protein and fiber to help keep you satiated. The benefit: You won’t get hangry as quickly (or at all!), and you may be better able to resist the urge to mindlessly snack. There are plenty of options for healthy fats, including olives, olive oil, nuts, and nut butter. I added a sliver of avocado to this vegetarian lentils with egg toast recipe.
Whole grains: I like to include a whole grain in every meal. This is because whole grains are full of fiber—which in addition to helping with weight management can help control your cholesterol levels. The whole grain in this meal is a simple piece of whole-grain toast (with an egg in the middle).
Spices and herbs: These aren’t essential to include, but they’re full of flavor and contain almost no calories. So I love utilizing the contents of my spice cabinet when cooking. In this egg toast with vegetarian lentils recipe, the lentil seasoning is made of garlic, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, and black pepper—and the dish is topped off with fresh parsley.
Vitamin C: Whenever I whip up a recipe that contains plant-based iron (which is often!), I incorporate a source of vitamin C. Why? It helps your body to better absorb plant-based iron. I’ll often add in vitamin-C-rich vegetables into a recipe, such as the bell peppers in this one. A squeeze of lemon juice over the veggies and lentils also helps.
And there you have it! Now you know how to make a balanced plant-based meal from scratch, and you can have full faith that this bread with egg in the middle recipe is packed with good-for-you nutrients.
Want more plant-based recipes featuring eggs? You can cook eggs in a variety of ways! Visit the Egg Nutrition Center for more ideas, and also give these egg techniques and recipes a try:
2 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
½ red bell pepper, sliced
½ orange bell pepper, sliced
1 15-ounce can low-sodium canned lentils, drained
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2 slices whole-grain bread
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, torn
¼ avocado, sliced
½ lemon, sliced
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in vegetable broth until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add bell peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in lentils, paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, use a plain-edge small round cutter to cut a hole in each of the pieces of bread; toast the bread. Coat a medium frying pan with spray oil, and prepare eggs sunny-side up. Divide lentil mixture onto two plates, topping each with an egg and a slice of toast with the hole placed over the yolk. Sprinkle parsley on top of each plate; garnish with avocado and lemon. Squeeze juice from lemon slice over lentil mixture. Makes 2 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: Cal: 420 Fat: 10 g Sat fat: 2.5 g Pro: 25 Carbs: 62 g Sugar: 13 g Fiber: 20 g Chol: 185 mg Sod: 480 mg
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how you’re enjoying this vegetarian lentils with egg toast recipe. And tell me your other ideas for eating an egg in a frame. Tag @amydgorin on Instagram and