Monday, September 12, 2011

Caprese "Egg" McMuffin

Who needs egg on their face from eating at McDonald's?
My anti-Egg McMuffin is a deliciously devilish way to thumb your nose up at the fast-food empire and its nefarious scheme to rule the world. In fact, maybe this tromp l’oeil or “fool the eye” creation should be called the Egg MockMuffin. A slice of fresh organic mozzarella and a locally grown yellow cherry tomato coyly conspire to fool the eye before you assemble the ultimate caprese breakfast sandwich by adding the surrounding tomatoes, fresh basil and a splash of olive oil and balsamic to the whole-grain English muffin. This version not only reduces the factory-farmed and artificial ingredients of a real McMuffin, you'll see how fast slow food can be.

My mother used to say that McDonald’s was responsible for raising the nutritional level of Americans by being the first fast-food chain to offer breakfast. I don't know where she got her data, but I looked up the ingredients in an Egg McMuffin, and it has high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial flavor and color, canola oil (most likely from GMO canola), hydrogenated oil, preservatives—and I could go on, but who knows what azodicarbonamide is anyway? Do those mad scientists who created it even know? And if that weren't distressing enough, I'm starting to wonder if I was adopted. How could my own flesh and blood think that's good for you? Could the hospital have switched babies? Fake American cheese, factory-farmed Canadian bacon, and an egg prepared with hydrogenated oils, mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and artificial flavor does not a breakfast make, "mom!" Has my whole identity been a fraud like that American cheese? Is my real mother out there somewhere in Birkenstocks with a protest sign and dreadlocks? Do I even exist? If not, then whose varicose veins are these?

Well, in the off-chance that I do exist, I say, who says you can't have a caprese sandwich for breakfast? It's not in my caprese handbook. True, it has cheese (see notes below), but not everyone is ready to go cold turkey. Vegans can use vegan cheese. Find a muffin that's gluten-free. Whatever floats your diet boat, the MockMuffin is a kinder, gentler McMuffin. I just hope searching for my real birth mother doesn't take too long because I can't wait to start working on the Tofu McRib. Now that's going to be special.

Mock Recipe

1 whole-grain English muffin

1 thick slice fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese (2 slices if you eat both halves open-faced)

Yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Fresh basil leaves

Splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixed together

Crack of fresh sea salt

Lentil’s Breakdown

  • According to Environmental Working Group’s Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change, cheese has the third worst environmental impact as a result of greenhouse gases from cradle to grave, after lamb and beef. Pork is fourth. EWG recommends opting for lower-fat dairy products like cream cheese, part-skim or fresh mozzarella, gouda, feta, muenster, cottage cheese and non-fat yogurt. Choose organic when possible.
  • According to, the pork in the Egg McMuffin and McRib comes from pigs who live in tiny enclosures called “gestation crates,” in which the pigs can barely move and often get sores, open wounds and infections. Please sign this petition asking McDonald’s to stop using pork from abused pigs from Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world. To learn more, watch this short video.
  • According to EWG, if everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles—or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.


  1. I didn't realize this wasn't an egg until I did a quadruple take. Adair, you're a creative genius. Tomatoes, mozza, o&v, fresh basil - the perfect dinner, lunch and breakfast!

  2. Adorable and delicious. I would definitely eat one (or two) for breakfast.

  3. Love the tromp l’oeil play on the McMuffin and it looks delicious!

  4. An Egg McMuffin should not be thought of as a food, but as a psychotropic drug. It relieves depression, anxiety, existential angst, and heartbreak.

  5. Egg McMuffins, which pack a whopping 78% of recommended daily value for cholesterol, and a healthy 25% DV of saturated fat, 35% DV of sodium, and 15% DV of calories, help play their part to raise death rates in the United States, thereby helping to reduce overpopulation.

    According the Center for Environmental Disinformation, if all Americans ate two Egg McMuffins a day, that would have the demographic equivalent of eliminating a metropolitan area the size of Orange County, per annum.

  6. Porcinographic comfort food leads to death by sowicide, while chaste discomfort food would lead to life overlasting.

  7. you forgot to add that you won't get that gross "i ate eggs for breakfast" breath...

  8. Azodicarbonamide is a synthetic chemical with the molecular formula C2H4O2N4.It is a yellow to orange red, odorless, crystalline powder.


    Sec. 172.806 Azodicarbonamide.

    The food additive azodicarbonamide may be safely used in food in accordance with the following prescribed conditions:
    (a) It is used or intended for use:

    (1) As an aging and bleaching ingredient in cereal flour in an amount not to exceed 2.05 grams per 100 pounds of flour (0.0045 percent; 45 parts per million).

    (2) As a dough conditioner in bread baking in a total amount not to exceed 0.0045 percent (45 parts per million) by weight of the flour used, including any quantity of azodicarbonamide added to flour in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

  9. How can you hope to prevail, with your vain cheese, against motherhood and the McDonald’s Corporation.

  10. Is the presentation of your MockMuffin on the plate as series of concentric circles intended to represent a mandala? If so, does this have spiritualistic and ritual significance?

  11. In the good old days you did not have factory-farmed food. But in the good old days you had to go out behind the barn and kill…the pig… yourself… and I… can’t… do it. Having other people do horrible things for you, and paying them with nice clean money is the definition of Civilization.

  12. How can I be sure that you have not sexed up your photos by using half of a cling peach instead of a yellow cherry tomato?

  13. This is classic Lentil Breakdown, dry and droll. You had me fooled..I thought that was an egg yolk. And your anonymous commenter had me laughing out loud. This was a great post!

  14. Thanks, everyone!
    Greg: I like eggs too, but not at McDonald's!
    Anonymous: Thanks for all the attention, but should I alert the authorities? Never had a blog stalker or "blalker" before!

  15. Love the new tag line Adair!! Very cute "take" on the McMuffin. Just an FYI - virtually ALL of the things that are considered "food additives" come from real food - the names are changed of course because the FDA insists upon it.
    As for the pigs, things aren't as dire as you think. Pigs are crated because they don't play nice in groups - in fact, they can be quite vicious so the crating is for their protection.

  16. Nancy: Thanks for noticing the new tag line!
    If you watch that three-minute video, I think you'll see that the way those pigs live is not for their own good!

  17. I propose a compromise . . . your caprese mcmuffin plus a medium over-easy egg . . . home-made of course.

    Agreed - the tag line is marvelous.

  18. I was in the audience at the IACP a few years back when we were shown a video of those little pigs in crates. A collective gasp went up from the audience. It's quite shocking.

  19. I think its funny when anonymous had so much to say....and remains anonymous.

  20. Marvelously, creatively, passively aggressively wonderful!

    I may just have a teensy crush on you!

  21. RMW: Between my new blalker and your crush, I am really flattered! : )

  22. I am not an egg person (especially not at breakfast) so I would adore this instead; I saw a youtube of a woman talking about food related issues in the US after her kid got really sick from eating breakfast food and it totally opened her eyes to what major food companies have been doing here and the diseases that have afflicted folks as a result (from hormones to all kinds of stuff injected in animals, to veggies,etc); so I would love to see you start a movement, and I will be the first one to sign up and cheer.

  23. Wow, you have a blog stalker and a blog crush? You are hot!