Last week I left for a five day road trip to Chicago for some time off. In the past I’ve always called off eating clean on vacation but this time I was determined to stay on track. One of the driving factors was how lethargic I would feel after doing so, so much so that I’d just want to lay in bed and watch movies the whole trip.
So there was no pizza consumed this time around. It was no simple feat especially considering how this city constantly smells like chocolate! I thought I was crazy but I googled it after coming home and yep, I’m not crazy!
I felt the best way to stay on track was to eat breakfast before leaving the room for the day. In true Indian fashion (inherited from my mother) I felt the best way to go about doing this was to make my OWN breakfast rather than order room service – that would be too normal for me.
My plans were shattered when I checked in Thursday night with a dozen eggs and a box of spinach, only to find out the hotel doesn’t lend microwaves to guests. Crushed, I started perusing the room service menu as my out.
But then I noticed the Bonavita kettle that seems to follow me everywhere I go for a certain coffee aficionado I know. So pancakes for breakfast were no longer happening. I had to figure out breakfast using just a kettle*… for five days. This is what happened, all through the eyes of my phone:
Soft boiled eggs on wilted spinach:
I placed two eggs with water until they were completely submerged and turned the kettle on. When the kettle came to a boil I set my phone timer to 4 minutes. Once the timer went off I fished out the eggs and dumped them into cold water. While the eggs cooled I put two handfuls of spinach into the hot kettle water until they wilted, fished them out and mixed them with a teaspoon of butter from room service the night before. The eggs were painfully peeled and smashed over the spinach.
For day two, I used asparagus leftover from dinner and smoked salmon I picked up from Eataly as my starting point. I took the asparagus out of the cooler to get it to room temperature. After a failed attempt at poaching an egg inside a jar, I made a soft boiled egg. Next I separated an egg yolk and mixed it with about two tablespoons of butter into a mug that fit over the mouth of the kettle like a double boiler. I turned the kettle on and mixed the yolk constantly while removing the mug from the heat every 30 seconds or so until it thickened, adding a big squeeze of a lemon wedge leftover from dinner last. I assembled everything and dug in. Wow.
Eggs poached in tomato sauce with avocado:
The night before I went to a Persian restaurant with monstrous portion sizes. I came back to the hotel room with chicken koobideh and grilled tomatoes. These two were mashed up into a butter greased jar with two cracked eggs and placed into the kettle half-filled with boiling water. They were left inside for ten minutes after which I topped them with avocado. This was actually unexpectedly good, probably because of the avocado.
(Deviled) Green Eggs and Salmon
On this day I was feeling a little lazy so I just hard boiled eggs (set timer to 8 minutes after the boiling point), peeled and cut them and scooped out the yolky innards. The yolks were mashed with the other half of the avocado from the day before, filled back into the whites and topped with smoked salmon. Fast, easy, delicious.
“Quiche” with smoked provolone and sheep’s head mushrooms.
At this point I was getting a little sick of eggs so I needed to disguise them. A trip to Whole Woods happened.
For this quiche slash steamed egg custard I wacked some almonds I had, mixed them with butter and pressed them into a jar. Next I beat two eggs with shaved smoked provolone and sheep’s head mushrooms I had “sautéed” in butter and pepper earlier and poured overtop the crust. After the kettle came to a boil I placed the jar into the water for ten minutes. After it was done the eggs were topped with these adarbs peanut potatoes coated with salted butter (with the skin on = paleo crime).
By the end of the five days I was surprisingly tired of eggs and needed to get back home to give my spice cupboard and stove a big hug.
And just so you know, you can’t go to Chicago and miss out on a meal so a second breakfast may or may not have happened.
Follow me on Instagram!
* Making eggs in a kettle is only safe if the heating element is under the kettle, not inside.