Healthy Cook: A better for you Easter with egg-citing meals

Healthy Cook: A better for you Easter with egg-citing meals

 

For many families, a favorite spring pastime is coloring and decorating hard-cooked eggs to celebrate Easter. This fun activity often is followed by hiding the eggs outdoors and then encouraging children to find them.

However, eggs aren’t just a colorful way to fill an Easter basket. In fact, if you take a hard-boiled approach to eggs, you could miss out on one of the great nutrition bargains in the supermarket. “Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein, providing six grams of protein for as little as 15 cents each,” says Jennifer Patzkowsky, MS, RD/LDN, a registered dietitian with the Polk County Public Schools Wellness Program. For less than 50 cents a two-egg serving, you’re getting as much protein as a fast-food burger that sells at twice the price.

“Eggs are extremely versatile and can be prepared alone or in combination with other foods,” Patzkowsky says. “Prepared alone, eggs can be scrambled, poached, baked, hard cooked or soft cooked. Eggs also provide a protein base in dishes such as omelets, soufflés, and frittatas.”

In fact, eggs shine as a convenient, fast-cooking meat replacement. “Many Americans have shied away from eggs for fear of dietary cholesterol,” Patzkowsky says. “However, research indicates that eating eggs daily does not have significant impact on blood cholesterol or heart disease risk.”

In addition, eggs have 13 essential vitamins and minerals.  The egg yolk is the major source of the egg’s vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, lutein, and choline.

Although the nutrition values are proven, young, picky eaters might be leery of eggs for meals. Patzkowsky says one way to make serve up eggs in a kid-friendly way is to give them silly names such as “egg in a nest” or “green eggs and ham.”

Follow these tips on the basics of egg cooking, and your family is in for some egg-citing meals:

  • If you want your scrambled, fried or hard-cooked eggs to remain moist and tender, heat them gently.
  • For hard-cooked eggs, place the raw eggs in a single layer in a pan with water to cover. Partially cover the pan and bring to a full boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain off the hot water. Fill the pan with cold water and set aside for 5 minutes so the shells are easy to peel off.

When you’re scrambling for a robust meal in a hurry, make egg and pepper sandwiches.

 

Egg and Pepper Sandwiches

1 small French baguette

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno chile, cored, seeded and minced or 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon butter

4 eggs or 3 eggs and 1 egg white

1 tablespoon water, optional

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

 

1. Cut baguette lengthwise in half. Scoop out half the interior. Set baguette aside. Heat oil in a medium-large nonstick skillet. Add bell pepper, shallot and chile. Cook over medium-heat heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add butter to skillet and melt.

2. Beat eggs and water together in a bowl. Pour egg mixture into skillet over vegetables. Turn to coat skillet and cook eggs over medium heat. When eggs begin to firm up, but still shimmer on top, gently push eggs around skillet with spatula. Sprinkle on cheese. Cook until eggs form large glossy clumps. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Spoon egg mixture into baguette. Cut baguette in half width-wise.

Serve immediately to 2.

 

CREDITS

story by Bev Bennett

 

Categories: Columns, Health News