Huevos rancheros translates as “ranchers eggs,” and in essence it is simply (and deliciously) fried eggs, salsa or tomatoe-y sauce, and corn tortillas. This is my BLE-friendly take on this tasty Mexican breakfast.
For the polenta, you can use slices from a pre-cooked, store bought polenta log, or you can make your own polenta triangles by cooking up some dried polenta according to the package directions (water ratio will vary by grind) along with your herbs and flavorings of choice, and spreading it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. After it has firmed up, the cooked polenta slices can be stored in the fridge for about a week. If you make the polenta slices ahead of time, this is an easy, 10 minute breakfast.
The meal is flexible and fun to play around with, try different salsas, different beans (how about refried?) hot sauce, or maybe even some avocado or guac if you’re feeling wild, or crumbled cotija, goat, or feta cheese if you eat dairy.
- 3 oz black beans cooked or canned
- 1 egg fried
- Handful of chopped swiss chard or kale
- Fresh, homemade salsa see notes
- 4 oz pre-cooked polenta triangles or rounds
Condiments & Garnishes
- Cilantro, chopped
- Thinly sliced cabbage optional
- A few pumpkin seeds optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of cumin
- Additional salsa
Make the Polenta Triangles (Do Ahead)
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in 1/4 cup of dried polenta. Once it begins to thicken, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until creamy and thick. Add a little water if it becomes too thick to stir. Stir in a pinch of salt and desired herbs. (I like Italian herbs or smoked paprika)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and use a spatula to smooth it to an even thickness, about 3/4 inch. Cover and let set for at least an hour before slicing into desired shapes. Can be done ahead and refrigerated for up to a week.
- In a nonstick pan, heat a tiny bit of oil and fry the polenta over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, flipping partway, until lightly crispy. Remove from pan. (For an oil free breakfast, just leave out the oil and fry them dry in a nonstick pan, or bake for 10 minutes on parchment paper to heat and crisp them up a bit)
- Heat the black beans. I like to stir a bit of salsa and cumin into them.
- Into the same nonstick pan, carefully crack an egg, and cook over medium-low heat to your liking. I like sunny side up with runny yolk, so I don't flip the egg and cover with a lid until the whites are cooked but the yolk is still jiggly. Transfer to plate.
- Sauté chopped chard or kale for a minute or two until wilted. Salt and plate.
- Plate the polenta, greens, beans, egg, and garnish with salsa and any crunchy veggie garnishes you want to use. I love a little bit of thinly sliced cabbage and cilantro, or microgreens if I have some on hand.
- Salt and pepper and add condiments to taste. For BLE, supplement with a side of fruit if you don't have enough produce in the meal.
- Weigh the polenta after cooking, 4 oz = 1 grain
- The salsa can be counted toward veggies or condiments. I like to make an easy and quick salsa of chopped tomatoes, onion, lime juice, and cilantro. Use your favorite salsa recipe, or feel free to use jarred salsa.
- This is a fun meal for maintenance, because you can go to town on the protein! I like to swap 1/2 of a protein serving for a fat serving and include oil and avocado.
- Fruit can be swapped for veggies in a BLE breakfast.