In Latin American cooking, beans rule. Legumes provide 15 grams of protein per cup and are one of the most affordable proteins on Earth. In Brazil, black beans are part of the nation's food pyramid. Beans are also a more sustainable protein source than animal alternatives. Seeking to find healthy foods to serve for breakfast that taste--well, almost as good as bacon, this dish promises a belly filling, savory, delicious option. For Sunday brunch, lay several thin slices of avocado that have been tossed in lime juice across the top for a hearty and impressive Tex-Mex breakfast. 

Kitchen Notes
Black, kidney, and pinto beans all work equally well in this dish. The breadcrumbs may be made two days in advance and stored in the pantry for up to three days. Warm the tortillas over the flames of a gas burner (turn burner to medium and use tongs to flip the tortilla back and forth for a few seconds until dark marks show up on the tortilla and it is warmed).

Poor Man's Meat with Fried Egg & Toasted Bread Crumbs


1. In a cast iron skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook until softened, about 3 minutes (do not let brown).

2. Add the oregano and chili flakes and cook for one minute.

3. Add the diced tomato and the tomato paste and stir to combine. 

4. Add the beans and 1/2 cup water. Turn down the flame to medium low and stir to combine.

5. While the beans are cooking, place two non-stick skillets on the stove over medium low heat.

6. Add one tablespoon olive oil to each pan. 

7. In one pan add the panko breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, shaking from time to time to promote even cooking. Season lightly with salt and pepper. When toasted remove from heat and set aside.

8. When the beans have cooked for 10 minutes or more, turn the heat down to just keep them warm. Add a bit of water if the beans seem to be getting too dry--they should not be soupy, but there should be a silky sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

9.  Just before ready to eat, turn the flame on the second pan to medium high. Crack each egg into the pan, cover, turn the flame to high (this gets the whites of the eggs crispy) and cook exactly one minute. The egg yolk will still be runny. If this isn't appealing, put the top back on the pan with the eggs in it and sit on the warm burner for an additional minute.

10. While the eggs are cooking, spoon the beans into a bowl. Sprinkle the beans with shredded cheese and slide an egg into the bowl.

11. Finish with a generous spoonful of breadcrumbs and serve with the warm tortilla to sop up the juices and the runny egg yolk.



  • Olive oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 jalapeño chili, seeds & stem removed, minced

  • 1 medium tomato, diced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 cans beans

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 4 tortillas, warmed