Easy Breakfast (with Shoots!)

Remember the popcorn shoots I brought home from the store the other day? I used ’em this weekend (well, some of them – I have some left) in an easy-peasy breakfast recipe, and they were delicious.

I picked the popcorn shoots up at Whole Foods, and was intrigued simply because I had never heard of them before.

They’re quite delicate and light, almost translucent, and a pretty yellow-green color.

For some reason, I thought I should weave them together like a laurel wreath and wear them on my head, like Julius Caesar, but I didn’t.

Maybe next time.

A did a little digging, and learned that popcorn shoots are indeed baby corn plants, grown from popcorn kernels. They’re so pale in color because they’re grown in greenhouses with black-out windows, so they don’t have any access to light. The lack of light prevents photosynthesis, which keeps them yellow. It also keeps them sweet, and boy, are they sweet! I tried a few straight from the container after I cracked it open, and they’re sweet, with a tart aftertaste. I’ve never tasted anything like it!

Popcorn shoots, nutritionally speaking, are high in vitamins A, B, C, and E and like most sprouts, have more protein than fully grown plants.

Now, the recipe!

I totally “borrowed” this idea from a web video my brother-in-law Justin sent me, where actress Judy Greer learns two simple breakfast ideas from a chef. Watch the video here. And, on a side note, I’m writing this post after coming home from seeing The Descendants, a movie that I liked – and Judy Greer was one of my reasons why. She’s fantastic!

Anyway – I may have borrowed the idea, but I altered it and made it my own, as I tend to do. It’s a quick breakfast burrito. I started by spritzing a skillet with cooking spray, and cooking 1/2 cup each of onion and red bell pepper over medium heat.

I should apologize now – my stove is in a dark corner of my house, so some of these photos aren’t very good.

After the veggies got soft (it only took a few minutes), I added three egg whites and let them cook.

I tried not to stir them too much, so it’d end up being more omelet-like than scrambled-eggs-like. When the eggs were about halfway done (which took 2 minutes, tops), I added a tortilla, right on top (this tip came straight from the web video, and I love it!).

You don’t need to cook the tortilla, you just want to warm it through, so it becomes soft and pliable. This will help keep your burrito together, and keep the temperature of the end result more consistent, so you’re not biting into warm eggs and a cold tortilla straight out of the fridge.

After a minute or so more, You can invert the tortilla and the eggs onto a plate. Hopefully, if the eggs are indeed more omelet-like, and the pan was well oiled and non-stick, they’ll all come out in one piece. It didn’t work out so perfectly for me, but it was no big deal.

I added a couple spoonfuls of salsa down the middle…

…and then I went outside, where they’re much better light, before adding a handful of the popcorn shoots:

Now that’s a food photo!

And that’s it! Voila! It’s done! All that’s left to do is roll it up and take a bite.

I took one bite, and about half of the contents exploded out the other end. I hate when that happens, but what are you gonna do?

It was a tasty breakfast – and with carbs, protein, and veggies, it’s pretty balanced, too. The popcorn shoots were crisp and crunchy and added freshness to the burrito. I had an apple, a ton of blueberries, and a handful of broccoli florets (although I didn’t eat those things together!) to round out my meal. This breakfast burrito idea is a good one, because it’s so flexible. Don’t have popcorn greens in your area? Use arugula (like they do in the video), or any other type of lettuce. Leave out the onion and pepper if you want, or replace them with mushrooms or zucchini. Throw in some black beans instead, or in addition to, the salsa. You can do whatever you want!

Keep it up, David!

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