Healthy Recipe: Poached Eggs over Garlic Greens and Crusty Toast

Recipe by Leandra Rouse | Photo by Samantha Emmons

As part of our series, “Essential Recipes for the At-Home Cook”, we offer you a humble recipe for poached eggs. While poached eggs can be found in cultures across the world, traditional poached eggs come from refined French culinary techniques. Because of this prestigious background, the “how to poach” is a hotly debated conversation amongst chefs and food bloggers. In an attempt to strengthen your home cooking muscle, this recipe teaches a simple shortcut to poaching at home—vinegar.

Now before you get excited on one side or the other of the egg poaching debate, know that vinegar pairs perfectly with this recipe as the sharpness breaks through the rich egg and complements the wilted greens. The bottom line is, if this shortcut gets the reader feeling confident and comfortable in the kitchen with a relatively challenging technique, then we call that a success. A poached egg improves just about any dish, so strengthen your cooking muscles by learning this technique and you will use it time and time again. 

This combination of poached eggs, greens, and toast is a  high-fiber, calcium, potassium and iron (& flavorful!) way to start any day. And also makes a simple “breakfast-for-dinner” recipe that can often be made from a seemingly empty refrigerator. 

(Note: Adding vinegar to the water helps the whites firm more quickly.) 


1 bunch swiss chard 

1 bunch spinach 

1 bunch kale

½ small white onion, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 fresh eggs

1 tablespoon white vinegar 

1 slice whole wheat bread


Add 2 to 3 inches of water in a deep saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. 

Heat the olive oil in an additional pan.  

Chop onions and add to pan. Saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent.

Removing the stems from the Swiss Chard. Chop off and discard the bottom half of the stem and reserve the thinner top half. Rough chop the stem tops and add them to the pan along with the onion. Cook until they begin to soften. 

Stack the deboned leaves of chard and roll into a cylinder tube. Then slice vertically so that the result is long chard “ribbons”. Repeat by stacking, rolling and chopping spinach leaves into ribbons, leaving the stems intact. Lastly, debone kale and discard stems. Roll and slice into ribbons. 

Add the green ribbons and thinly sliced garlic to the pan along with the onions and stems. Toss to combine evenly and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Finally add 1 tablespoon of water. Toss to combine and cover to steam. Cook the greens until wilted, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and divide into two bowls. Create a little divot in the middle of the greens for the poached eggs. 

Meanwhile, crack an individual egg into a small ramekin. And carefully slip the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the other eggs. Let the eggs poach for approximately 3 to 5 minutes depending on your preference for runny yolks. Resist the urge to stir or poke the eggs while they are poaching. At the three minute mark carefully lift an egg from the water using a slotted spoon and check for doneness. If you prefer a more cooked yolk, gently place back in the water and continue cooking for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. At this stage you can gently splash the simmering pan water over the top of the poached egg using your spoon. 

Slice and toast the bread. Set aside. 

Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, gently lift each egg from the water with a slotted spoon, briefly dab the back of the spoon holding the egg onto a paper towel to drain excess water, then gently place two eggs into the nest of greens in each bowl. 

Add toast points to each bowl. Garnish the eggs with a pinch of salt, crack of pepper, and a dash of paprika or chili powder (*optional). 

Serves 2. 


Calories 290

Protein 16  g

Total fat 13 g

Saturated fat 2.5 g

Cholesterol 185 mg

Carbs 31 g

Fiber 6 g

Total sugars 5 g

Added sugars 0 g

Sodium 440 mg

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