I eat eggs. Just this morning I made them Greek-style, scrambled with feta cheese, grape tomatoes, oregano and olive oil. Accompanied by my favorite sprouted whole grain bread, this is probably my most satisfying breakfast...ever! Unfortunately, eggs became unpopular some years back because they contain cholesterol and it was assumed that eggs contributed to heart disease. I am happy to report that much of the "egg phobia" we once experienced in this country is now going by the wayside. Many experts acknowledge that the cholesterol we get from food, whether from an egg or a scallop, has little effect on blood cholesterol. In addition to high quality protein, eggs provide a wide array of nutrients like Vitamins A, D, B-12 and iron all wrapped up in nature's perfect packaging. They are a good value, versatile and delicious! So what's with people separating the yolk from the whites, which turns a perfect whole food into a partitioned food. Is this really necessary? If your health care practitioner tells you not to eat eggs or if you are allergic to them, then by all means don't eat them. However, if you are avoiding the yolk because you think it's not healthy or that it's full of fat and cholesterol, please think again. On their own, egg whites are not very nutritious. They do contain some riboflavin and protein, but it's the yolk that contains most of the good stuff! In fact, while the yolk contains cholesterol, it also contains lecithin, a mixture of phospholipids. Lecithin is found mostly in plants such as soy, nuts and vegetable oils...and in eggs. More good news: Eggs contain about 5 grams of fat, of which only 1.5 grams is saturated fat. And these days, eggs are available from chickens that are not crowded into small cages unable to move about or attend to their natural pecking. These are called "cage-free" eggs and they're the only kind of eggs you will find at Whole Foods Market. I eat brown eggs, white eggs and anything in between. A brown egg comes from a different breed of hen than a white egg. Both taste great and are equally nutritious. What makes the difference in the quality of an egg is the way the hens are raised and what they eat. The natural diet of a chicken is worms, bugs, insects, seeds and grain. Now to the fun part: How to eat these great little gems. Here are some of my favorite egg dishes:
- Egg salad with celery, mayo, chopped onion and parsley, and a little honey mustard. Try curry powder for a little kick, like in these Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches with Pistachios and Argula.
- Hard boil an egg, cut it in half, spread it with a little bit of salted organic butter and eat while hot (peel the egg carefully!)
- Add boiled, chopped eggs to tuna or chicken salad, or sprinkle over a leafy green salad or cooked vegetables. Try Asparagus with Mustard-Herb Vinaigrette and a chopped egg garnish.
- Make omelets of all varieties:
- Mexican with olives, salsa, and jack cheese
- Greek with feta, spinach, and oregano
- Italian with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil
- American with diced ham and cheddar cheese
- Make scrambled eggs, and not just for dinner: Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Chives.
- Whip up a Goat Cheese and Zucchini Frittata for a quick and wonderfully delicious meal.
- Assemble a breakfast casserole for an easy entertaining brunch. Choose Mushroom, Tomato and Gruyere or Sausage and Cheddar, and you'll please a brunch bunch either way.
- Everyone loves deviled eggs! Put a spin on the usual with a Mediterranean version with parsley, capers and anchovies, or Spanish style with chorizo and roasted red peppers.
- Have some Eggs with Lox and Scallions for breakfast next Sunday:
- Make Chocolate Chai Custard and never regret it.