Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Eggs Galore!

Happy Easter!  This is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  But it is also the day some of us have egg hunts and pig out on jelly beans and peeps.  I admit it.  I had some jelly beans but I only had a few jelly bean since I am committed to being good this year.  This is also the day we look at all of the eggs and say “how are we every going to eat all those?”  As I start pondering about how to use all of our Easter eggs I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you.

Eggs get a bad rap but for many, if not most people, they can be a healthy part of your diet.  Eggs are a great source of protein.  According to one source [WebMD], one egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.  I opt for eating a real, whole egg rather than egg whites and egg substitutes.  I could write a whole page on why I feel this way but that is another blog.  I make eggs most Sundays for breakfast and I usually have a few during the week for snacks or with lunch.  I usually don’t have to figure out how to use 18 eggs but that is what I am faced with this week.

This year we colored our eggs using natural food colorings – red cabbage, cranberries, kale and turmeric.  The red cabbage and the turmeric worked perfectly.  Although the cranberries gave the eggs a marbled look, it wasn’t what we were going for exactly.  I was hoping for red.  The kale gave the eggs a very pale gray-green color.  Interestingly, as soon as we added the vinegar to kale juice the green disappeared but still slightly colored the eggs.  It was a fun experiment with the kids and I felt a lot better about letting my kids eat the eggs this year compared to years when we used artificial coloring.  I had wanted to do this for years and finally decided to do it after seeing my friend’s blog Wandering Working Mom.

OK, so now we have about 18 eggs I have to figure out what to do with them.  This morning for breakfast we off course had hard boiled eggs.  I made some chicken sausage and some whole wheat and flax buttermilk biscuits and served it with sliced hard-boiled eggs and some fruit.  The boys had some juice and I made lattes for me and hubby.  It was a nice, hearty but healthy breakfast.  But we still have quite a few eggs left.

The obvious things to do with them include hard-boiled eggs for snacks (but I do this all the time and quite honestly, I am getting tired of it) and chopped or quartered eggs on salads.  I do this often too and I am getting a bit tired of that as well.  Another obvious use for hard-boiled eggs is in egg salad.  It is easy to make egg salad healthier by swapping the mayo for a little plain low fat yogurt (which I always have because you can use it in so many ways) and a little mustard.  I prefer spicy mustard but yellow works.  Add a little chopped scallions and/or celery and a little salt and pepper.  Spread some on top of some whole grain bread with baby spinach and a slice or two of avocado for a filling, but healthy open faced sandwich.  Yummy.

But these are all recipes I know already.  I’m looking for some new and interesting ones.  I found a really interesting one on Real Simple.  English Muffin Pizzas with sliced hard-boiled eggs.  It is basically English muffins, sliced hard-boiled eggs, sliced tomato, a little mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of oregano and if you like, add some olives.  Toast in the oven until the cheese melts.  I think this is something my kids might enjoy.

I don’t know how healthy it is exactly but a recipe that I remember making after watching a Food Network program a number of years ago was an Egg Curry dish.  It was delicious. 

Martha Steward has a recipe for a Nicoise Salad.  I know this is not really new but I never make it so it might be a nice change from my regular salad topped with an egg.  The Nicoise salad basically consists of sliced hard-boiled eggs, chunks of can tuna, steamed green beans, kalamata olive and roasted plum tomatoes (this sounds awesome) over a bed of lettuce.  The dressing is simple: whisk 2Tbs Dijon mustard, 4Tbs red wine vinegar, 1 small shallot minced, ¼ C olive oil and some salt and pepper.  If you don’t already make your own salad dressing you should really start. It is so easy, less expensive, better for you and really better tasting.
I’ll probably make this one for lunch one day this week.  There are two perks for me.  The first is that I get to eat a healthy delicious meal.  The second is that I will be forced to eat my lunch in the kitchen at work and away from my desk.  Someone in my office has a sever seafood allergy (it is airborne) so the office is seafood free.  However, the kitchen is not, so I will be forced to actually take a lunch!

The last recipe that I think I will try is Tuna, Black-Eyed Peas and Radish Salad that I found on Epicurious.  Hey, another tuna recipe.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to eat lunch away from my desk two days this week but we’ll see.  Maybe this can be for dinner one night. 


I’d love to hear if you have any favorite healthy recipes to use all of your colored Easter eggs!

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