January 16, 2019 by Laura Pincus and Patty Shillington
Egg Experiments: Hatching a Healthy Eating Plan
If your goals for 2019 include healthier eating, it’s time to get cracking. One easy way is to include more eggs in your diet.
A humble staple in most kitchens, eggs are finally enjoying their moment. For decades, they were shunned under the mistaken belief that they raised blood cholesterol and contributed to heart disease. But while eggs do contain a lot of dietary cholesterol — one large egg has about two-thirds the recommended daily limit — 25 years of studies have found no connection between eating eggs and heart disease. In fact, eggs are linked with many health benefits, from reduced insulin resistance to improved memory.
For only 70 calories each, eggs are rich in nutrients. They contain, in varying amounts, almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by the human body.
Most notably, “Eggs are a great source of protein,” said registered dietitian Liza Rabelo Fraticelli, Homestead Hospital’s clinical nutrition manager. “They’ll fill you up and keep you satisfied. When you eat eggs for breakfast, you’ll have fuel to last all morning.”
You’re missing out if you limit your egg consumption to just the morning meal, however. “Eggs for dinner is a big trend,” noted Homestead Hospital Executive Chef Drew Thomason (pictured at left). “The great thing about eggs is that they are quick, economical, easy to make, and you can’t really mess them up.”
Check out the recipes below, or try your own egg experiments.
Eggs Clouds with Spinach
- 2 large eggs
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- White pepper to taste
- Fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 slices whole wheat toast
- ½ cup fresh avocado
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
- Spray two small bowls with cooking spray. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a medium bowl. Place the yolks into the small bowls, one yolk per bowl.
- Add salt to the egg whites, then beat with an electric mixer at low speed until stiff peaks form, about three minutes.
- Dollop egg whites onto the baking sheet, creating two clouds. Make a well in the middle of each cloud with the back of a spoon, and bake until firm and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven.
- Gradually pour a yolk into each well and return to oven. Bake until the edge of the yolk begins to set, about three to four minutes. Remove from oven and season with white pepper, to taste.
- Place some spinach leaves on a slice of whole wheat toast. Add avocado, either sliced or mashed, and top with egg clouds. Makes two servings.
Mediterranean Shakshuka with Feta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1 can (28-ounce) whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 6 large eggs
- Chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large oven-safe skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook gently until very soft. Add garlic and cook until tender. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne.
- Pour in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and simmer. When tomatoes have thickened, stir in crumbled feta.
- Make wells in the tomato mixture with a spoon, crack eggs and gently place them into the skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hot sauce, if desired. Makes six servings of one egg each.
Speedy Veggie Egg Mug
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons diced tomato, patted dry
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta or goat cheese
- ½ tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Scramble eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Spray a large microwave-safe mug with cooking spray, and microwave spinach and onion for 90 seconds. Blot away excess moisture.
- Stir in eggs, and microwave for another minute.
- Add tomato, cheese and basil, and microwave for another minute or until set. Makes one serving.
Note: this recipe works great with any veggies, such as broccoli leftover from the previous night’s dinner.
Avo-Egg salad in lettuce cups
- ½ cup mashed avocado
- ¼ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped cucumber
- 2 tablespoons precooked bacon bits (optional)
- 8 crisp lettuce leaves
- Combine avocado, yogurt, and seasonings in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth and uniform.
- Gently stir in chopped eggs, cucumber, and bacon.
- Scoop avo-egg mixture onto lettuce leaves. Makes 4 servings of two scoops each.