Eggstra! Eggstra! Read all about it! Eggs are good for you – yolks and all. And that’s particularly good news at Passover when eggs seem to be the staple of so many meals.
For years, health advocates warned against eating eggs because of the yolk’s high cholesterol and fat content. People are still wary of eating eggs, even though there has been extensive data extolling the benefits of egg consumption and negating the relationship between dietary cholesterol and high blood cholesterol. Several scientific studies have absolved the much maligned egg, and dietary cholesterol in general, of their role in heart disease.One of the first studies to restore the egg’s reputation was the analysis of 224 dietary studies in 1997 that appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The analysis concluded that saturated fat rather than dietary cholesterol was responsible for raising blood cholesterol levels. The egg, which has only 1.6 gram of saturated fat, was no longer officially linked to heart disease.
A study published this year in the February edition of The Journal of Nutrition noted that daily consumption of three eggs on a low carbohydrate diet elevated HDL (high density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol, while a study in the December 2005 issue of this journal found that dietary cholesterol from eggs did not pose a risk for heart disease for healthy seniors. Several journal articles now support these findings.
Eggs, in fact, provide many health benefits. Aside from being a low calorie source of high quality protein – one egg has 6.3 grams of protein and is about 80 calories – eggs are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, D and K, and selenium. Egg yolks are also a rich source of choline, a key component of all cell membranes and the fatty mass structure of the brain.
Although we generally associate eggs with breakfast, many people do not have an appetite for eggs in the morning. However, there is no reason why they can’t have their eggs for lunch or dinner. There are many creative ways to prepare eggs. The following recipes offer alternatives to eggs over easy or sunnyside-up.
1/4 cup finely grated cucumber with peel
1/4 tsp. salt
6 hard cooked eggs cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
pepper to taste
12 tiny fresh heads of dill, or paprika, for garnish
Measure grated cucumber into small bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to release liquid. Drain. Squeeze dry between layers of paper towel. Return to bowl and set aside.
Remove yolks from eggs. Set egg white halves aside. Add yolks to cucumber.
Add mayonnaise, dill and pepper to cucumber mixture. Mash with fork until well combined. Makes about 3/4 cup filling. Fill each egg white with about 1 tbsp. filling.
Garnish with dill. Chill. Makes 12 devilled eggs.
2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup, thinly sliced onion
1 cup lightly packed fresh shredded spinach, stems removed
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
Heat large nonstick pan on medium until hot. Add olive oil. Add onion. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add salt, potatoes and spinach. Heat and stir about a minute until heated through. Transfer to greased 2-quart casserole. Spread evenly.
Beat eggs, milk and pepper with whisk in medium bowl until smooth. Pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and chives. Bake uncovered in 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until set. Serves 8.
From Eat Yourself Slim Cookbook by Michel Montignac, Erica House Book Publishers, 1999
11/2 pounds of onions, sliced
5 oz. sour cream
4 oz. grated cheddar or Gruyere cheese
4 oz. Mozzarella or mild white cheese, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Fry onions in olive oil in a large skillet over gentle heat, stirring continuously. Cook until golden brown.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, grated cheese and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon transfer the onions from the pan to the bowl. Stir until completely mixed. Pour mixture into a shallow pan and bake in preheated oven at 300 for 40 minutes.
Cover egg mixture with slices of white cheese. Place dish under broiler until cheese melts. Serves 5.