Ah, the humble egg. At first glance it doesn’t really seem all that spectacular. Most of the time we just relegate it to breakfast foods or as an ingredient for delicious baked goods. Sure, it has gotten some press over the years. Yolks, good or bad? How many should you eat a day? Are egg whites really a health food? What came first, the chicken or the egg? I’m not here to debate any of those things with you, as intriguing as they may be. What I do want to talk about is how versatile and awesome the egg can be. I love eggs. I love all the things that you can do with them. I make them every day and sometimes for multiple meals. They are relatively inexpensive, and they can do so many delicious things. Eggs are a huge part of my healthy diet and I wanted to share some of the ways I use them. I know some of you don’t consume eggs for various reasons, and that is totally fine. I have never had a problem with eggs and if you are looking for some quick and tasty meals to eat during the week then keep reading.
I’ll start with the very obvious choice for egg based meals, breakfast. I have one every morning and it’s one of my favorite breakfast foods, after waffles/pancakes of course! If you want something super simple, try a poached or fried egg. I know that you might think poaching an egg is difficult and for awhile I was intimidated too. But it is actually quite easy. In a small saucepan, bring about an inch or two of water to a simmer (NOT boiling). Add a tsp or two of apple cider vinegar or just plain vinegar (this adds a little flavor and helps keep the whites together). Crack open your egg and drop it into a small bowl or ramekin, not directly into the water. Slowly pour your egg into the simmering water and cover with a lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes depending on how runny you want your yolk. Uncover and using a slotted spoon lift the egg out of the water and onto your plate. It might take you a few tries to get it just right, but once you do it’s really easy. Poached eggs are delicious on their own, but they can add so much more to other meals. Try them on top of hashed browns, cooked greens (like kale or collard), over pasta, or even on top of tortilla shells. One of Adam and I’s favorite meals is shakshuka, which is basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
Eggs are also good scrambled or in an omelette and these meals allow you to be really creative. Add in vegetables like green peppers or mushrooms, leftover meat like shredded pork or rotisserie chicken, beans or other grains like millet. Experiment with different seasonings too like fresh basil or cilantro. Smoked paprika adds a nice meaty touch to eggs and italian herbs go well too. Don’t worry if you aren’t a pro at making omelettes, if you mess up they just turn into scrambled eggs!
Another meal that I like to make, and Adam loves to eat, is a frittata. This is like an egg pie and you can add whatever you would like to it. I’ve posted a recipe for a potato frittata before. One of my new favorite ways to make this meal is to take a few potatoes, peel them and cut the into bite sized chunks. Place them in a pot and cover with water, bring them to a boil and then cover with a lid and let them simmer for about 30 minutes. Once you can easily pierce them with a fork, drain the water move them to a bowl and lightly mash them. You don’t want mashed potatoes, but you want them to be broken up. Place that aside to cool and crack 5 to 6 eggs into a separate bowl. Add a splash of unsweetened almond milk (or whatever milk you drink) and whatever herbs or spices you like (I usually do salt and pepper and then basil and oregano). I sometimes also add in pumpkin puree or tomatoes. Whisk the eggs until they are light and fluffy. Heat the oven to 400 and then heat an oven safe skillet, like cast iron, over medium heat, pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and then pour into the heated pan. Cook on the stovetop for a few minutes and then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes and then slice it up like pie. You can eat it plain or serve it with salsa or guacamole or hummus or whatever other toppings you would like. It’s an easy peasy meal that fills you up and keeps you going!
You can also hard boil eggs and make a few other meals with them. I like plain hard boiled eggs as a quick snack and Adam likes to mash them up with dill and mustard for a little egg salad. I’ve made healthy deviled eggs in the past by hard boiling eggs, cutting them in half and mashing the yolks up with avocado and paprika before spooning back into the egg halves. That is a quick and easy appetizer that will keep people happy! You can also put hard boiled eggs in your salad or over pasta for a little something extra.
Eggs can even be used to make condiments! One of the easiest is to make your own mayonnaise. Now I am not a mayo fan, never have been, but Juli over at PaleOMG has a really easy 30 second mayo that looks pretty tasty.
As you can see, eggs are a SUPER versatile food that can be used for so many different things. Next time you are scrambling (ha, see what I did there?) for a quick and healthy meal that will satisfy your hunger, try eggs. Get creative and see what delicious things you can come up with!