Healthy New Year with The Inspired Plate! {Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with Butter-Free Hollandaise Sauce}

A bright and fresh new start to our new year with The Inspired Plate, a Food Photography and Styling group that I'm privileged to be a part of! We are kicking off this New year of 2013 with a focus on Healthy.

Enter in my creation of Vegetarian Eggs Benedict.

Who doesn't have living more healthfully in mind during this time of year? For me, it's eating more of what makes me feel better. Trusting the way my body feels after I eat (or don't eat) certain foods. A huge part of feeling better has been incorporating lots more vegetables and non-processed foods into our days. What I've learned is that it doesn't have to be hard.

Here's something we whipped up for breakfast the other day... Eggs Benedict has been such a love of mine. So many delicious tastes in one dish. What opened my mind to the versatility of this classic breakfast was a morning nosh while living in Santa Barbara. I ordered the "California Eggs Benedict", a heavenly combination of english muffin, canadian bacon, poached egg, creamy avocado, and ripe tomato..and of course Hollandaise sauce. Amazing how food memories can stay with you..

This past morning, I had my Santa Barbara morning memory in mind.. but didn't feel like starting my day off with bread or even a poached egg. I was craving a "Vegetarian Eggs Benedict" (and of course, Hollandaise sauce). A look around to our vegetables on hand gave me inspiration! Replace the english muffin with a quickly sauteed slice of eggplant, slices of fresh avocado, a couple of carmelized mushrooms, and topped with a "butter free" Hollandaise sauce. The result was ...yeah I'm saying this word... scrumptious. The hubby couldn't speak at first bite, saying he was "Having a moment" (in a good way), and even our 3 year old enjoyed a few bites (gave the thumbs up, literally).

The tastes were not the only bonus from this dish. We had a lovely, fancy-looking breakfast that left us feeling energized and ready to tackle the day. Another note? Yeah...I made this for a late night snack that night.

Don't miss the beautiful images of the other The Inspired Plate members! Click this link to see the always amazing work of our talented Laurie Vengoechea | Southern California Food Photographer. I can't wait to see what she has in store!

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict with Butter-Free Hollandaise Sauce

2 Servings

  • 2 slices of eggplant, 1/2" thick
  • 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms, your favorite variety
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of 1/8 lemon juice
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder/etc to suit your taste
  • Paprika & sprouts for garnish (your favorite hot sauce too!)

Pat slices of eggplant and mushrooms dry, season, and saute on med low heat with a bit of olive oil, until slightly carmelized/browned. In the meantime, add two egg yolks and lemon juice to a small saucepan on the LOWEST heat possible. Whisk the yolks continuously, which will add volume, until they become a thicker sauce (4 minutes or so). Traditional Hollandaise sauce recipes will now tell you to add 1/2 of melted butter...I'm telling you it's SO NOT NECESSARY. Add a bit of salt and pepper to season. When the vegetables and sauce are cooked to your liking, simply arrange the ingredients! Layer eggplant slices, avocado, mushrooms, drizzles of sauce, and garnish. Stack, drizzle, eat. Delish!!!