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The Incredible, Edible Egg

September 17th, 2009 No Comments

A little fashion week break.  But you know…being healthy is trendy ;)

The Incredible, Edible Egg

— By Nutritionista

Recently, I’ve rediscovered the versatility and deliciousness that is eggs. Though they have a bad rap, for non-vegans, eggs are actually one of nature’s perfect foods. First, though, let’s clear up some not-so-eggcellent rumors.

Myth: Eggs have a lot of cholesterol and are therefore bad for you.
Fact: Yes, relatively speaking, eggs do contain a lot of cholesterol, but it doesn’t go straight to your arteries. According to this Harvard Health article, for most people, only a small amount of the cholesterol in food passes into the blood. The only large study to look at the impact of egg consumption on heart disease found no connection between the two.

Myth: You should avoid eating eggs if possible.
Fact: For most people, eating one egg a day is perfectly safe and healthy. Egg whites contain no cholesterol, so I usually combine 2-3 egg whites with one egg for optimal eggy flavor while still sticking to the guideline of one egg/day.

Myth: Eggs don’t have any redeeming qualities.
Eggscuse me?! This is completely untrue. Eggs contain some good (unsaturated) fat and if you buy the omega-3 enhanced eggs, you get some of those healthy fatty acids as well! The small adverse effect of the cholesterol in eggs is counterbalanced by other nutrients including antixoidants, folate, and B vitamins.

Myth: Making eggs is hard.
Fact: Only if you’re on Top Chef! Scrambled eggs are one of the easiest things to make and in my experience, pretty darn hard to mess up.

Now onto the eating portion of this post. Eggs can be made savory or sweet depending on your mood. Don’t relegate them to breakfast only! Here are some ideas to help you get your egg on (as a general rule, one egg = two egg whites):

  • Scrambles: Be creative to avoid snooze-worthy scrambled eggs. Leftovers work great with egg dishes. I made an autumn scramble last night using leftover sweet potato, spinach, onion and goat cheese. Just saute a whole onion until it’s nearly translucent, add a cooked and chopped sweet potato, then add egg/egg whites, spinach, and goat cheese. I find that spinach cooks in about the same amount of time as the egg. It’s also just enough time for the cheese to get melty. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper if you like and you have yourself an easy, hearty dinner. You could also try this Southwest Egg Scramble recipe. I often add a splash of some kind of milk product to my eggs to bulk them up without adding a lot of calories.
  • Sandwiches: These can go savory or sweet! Cook an egg sunny-side up and place it on an English muffin. Then, pick your toppings. For savory, you use fresh baby spinach, sliced tomato, and red onion. You could also experiment with adding egg to whatever kind of sandwich you like most (remember that amazing-looking creation from Spanglish?). On the sweeter side, use egg white only (microwave or fry) and top your Englush muffin with jam and/or nut butter.
  • French toast: Drench whole grain bread in egg/egg whites and a bit of milk, then dredge in a mixture of dry ingredients like ground flaxseed, rolled oats, and spices. Heat the bread slices in a griddle or skillet until golden brown. Top with berries, Greek yogurt, or other fresh fruit. You can make an easy “syrup” by heating (microwave or stovetop) frozen berries with a squeeze of agave. If you do use maple syrup, get the real thing! That fake stuff is nasty.
  • Salads: Hard boil eggs and use them as a topper for salads and/or to make a lovely nicoise. Watch out for caloric egg salad, though. A serving probably contains more than the one recommended egg and lots of mayo.
  • Burgers: Eggs make a great binding ingredient for burgers, both vegetarian and non. Try my recipe for Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers!
  • Mexican fare: Use eggs as the base for breakfast (or whatever) tacos/burritos by adding ingredients like salsa, avocado, black beans, cilantro, and cheese to basic scrambled eggs. Try delishyourdish’s recipe for huevos rancheros here. The protein in the eggs could replace the beef or other meat you’d normally use in dishes like that.
  • Frittatas: These are easy to make and keep well in the fridge for convenient meals throughout the week. As with omelettes or scrambled eggs, you can really add whatever ingredients you like, but here’s a recipe to get you going.