Greens, Eggs, and Ham

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

My daughter shares a birthday with the late, great Dr. Seuss. Many of the schools in the area celebrated this week with special readings of Green Eggs and Ham. Since my kids are weary of unnaturally green foods and I avoid food coloring at all cost, we take a slightly different approach to this classic by having my favorite breakfast, sautéed greens, eggs, and ham.


Sautéing your greens together is the best way to use up a wide variety of goodies that may appear in your vegetable CSA box or in your garden. I like to wash and chop all of the produce right away so it is ready to go in the morning. You can keep them all separate in the fridge or simply make a hash by combining them in the same bowl.

The trick to introducing leafy greens to kids and "veggie haters" is to make sure they are delicious. Find garden fresh kale, rainbow chard, bok choy, or beet greens which are all very sweet. Cut the spine out of the hardier kales, but eat the stems from the chard and bok choy. Chop the greens into thin strips and sauté in melted butter on med heat for at least 3-5 minutes to break down the fibers and make them easier to digest. Add a squeeze of lemon and some unrefined sea salt.

Already a Lover of Greens

Try some more interesting greens for a wider range of nutrients. I love turnip greens, fresh spring onion tops, collards, mustard greens, and frisée with dried chili flakes and minced garlic. Mix them all, you really cannot go wrong. I save the softer greens like arugula and lettuces for salads but most hearty greens benefit from a quick sauté.

Sprinkle on some seasoning that you enjoy such as cumin, coriander, or paprika and don't forget a pinch of sea salt. I like to serve these up with a poached or fried egg with the yolk still soft so it coats the greens like a hollandaise sauce. Cook the greens in bacon grease and serve the greens and egg atop a slice of ham and you have a Paleo, Gluten Free, Eggs Benedict.

Bonus: the healthy fats in the yolk actually increase the absorption rate of the nutrients in the greens.

If you are afraid your child or "meat and potatoes man" will not be content with a pile of greens under an egg, then you can whip up the eggs and make an omelet. Layer a thin strip of greens on the omelet and cover with chopped ham and even some grated parmesan or crumbled feta cheese. Fold over the egg and everything will be neatly tucked inside. The trick is to start small and build up to a plate of greens.

It doesn't hurt to read a copy of Dr. Seuss's classic book Green Eggs and Ham while you share this delicious dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you don't eat pork in your home, then you can eat your greens, eggs, and act like a "ham". I guarantee your child will be so delighted that they may finish their plate without a complaint.