Monday, March 1, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham - Green Eggs Benedict

"Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am! And I would eat them in a boat. And I would eat them with a goat... And I will eat them in the rain. And in the dark. And on a train." - Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss                                                                                                                        
 I was trying to avoid the cliche of it all but really, it's kind of hard to have a blog about children's books and food without paying homage to the classic that marries the two: Green Eggs and Ham. Especially on this week, Read Across America week, which celebrates the birth and contributions of Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

Green Eggs and Ham tells the story of a rather stuffy, set in his ways character who steadfastly refuses to try the green eggs and ham offered by the infamous Sam-I-am. The real delight, for kids, is in the increasingly crazy places Sam-I-am attempts to serve the meal. My kids like the train. Finally, as the book comes to an end, our picky eater cautiously tries the green eggs and ham only to discover--yes!--he does like green eggs and ham.

This book, along with other Seuss favorites like The Cat in the Hat, has become a classic book for beginning readers. So important are Seuss' contributions to children's literature and early literacy that Read Across America Week--a National Education Association program designed to encourage reading and literacy awareness--is celebrated annually on the week of his birthday (March 2). Schools, libraries and communities often prepare special lessons and programs in conjunction with this week. For instance, last year my older son's kindergarten class read Dr. Suess books in class and learned about his artistic style. Last year, because my son had become so interested in Dr. Seuss' books, I made my kids breakfast sandwiches with green eggs to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. This year we twisted the classic green eggs and ham and made...

Green Eggs Benedict (Serves 4)


  • 6 eggs (this served 2 adults and 2 children)
  • fresh baby spinach
  • hollandaise sauce (I used a Martha Stewart recipe; pre-Celiac disease diagnosis we used the pictured Knorr mix--found in most grocery stores.)
  • English muffins
  • Canadian bacon (Yes, I know it is green eggs and ham. I figure if pizza joints can substitute ham for Canadian bacon I can take liberties here and use Canadian bacon in place of ham.)
  • green food coloring 
1. While heating the water (which I colored green with liquid food coloring) to poach the eggs I browned the Canadian bacon in my iron skillet and prepared the hollandaise sauce. I also started toasting the English muffins and bread (two members of our household are gluten intolerant; we used gluten-free bread in place of English muffins).

2. We poached the eggs, two at a time, in the hot water. The green dye gave the eggs a green hue. At the same time, I used my stick blender to mix green dye into the hollandaise sauce.

3. As the English muffins came out of the toaster and the eggs finished poaching I assembled the Eggs Benedict. I put a piece of Canadian bacon on top of a halved muffin and topped that with some spinach leaves. Traditional Eggs Benedict does not include spinach (that would be Eggs Florentine) but I liked the idea of greening it up nutritionally. Plus, the green just worked with the theme. I set a poached egg atop the spinach and topped everything off with  the green hollandaise. (The heat from the egg and sauce wilts the spinach so I did not pre-cook it.) I think the finished product turned out rather well:

My kids (ages 6 and 4) loved this meal. The green theme worked. They even ate the spinach without complaint. Following our meal we continued our Seussian theme with a round of the Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! game.

Reading is a daily occurrence in our household, but we plan to continue to celebrate Read Across America Week by pulling out our Dr. Seuss books and reading them together. My six year old suggested making a cake for Dr. Seuss--and while we'll stop short of eating it in the bathtub (see: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (Beginner Books(R)), I'm sure the Cat would approve.

For further reading, I recommend Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker's Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss. We recently checked this out from our local library and my kids enjoyed all of the selections (Happy Birthday to You! in particular). I enjoyed the short biographical sketches that gave an overview of Theodore Geisel's background and philosophy. He really was quite subversive and ahead of his time.


Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

That looks like a lot of fun! Out of curiosity, was the Martha Stewart recipe you used specifically gluten-free? Or did you personalize it with gluten-free substitutions?

Katie Fries said...

Sonya, the Martha Stewart hollandaise recipe was gluten-free. Most hollandaise recipes I've seen are gluten-free (it's basically egg yolks, butter and lemon juice). For some reason the packaged mixes add wheat ingredients--probably as thickeners.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Okay that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation. Hollandaise always seems so creamy (I guess from the egg yolks) that I tend to assume there's something more in there, and I've never made it myself . . . so there you go.