THE SCOOP ON EGGS AND CHOLESTEROL
Finally, they are back in the spotlight. After decades of being associated with coronary artery disease, many health and nutrition standards are being revised to include eggs in the diet. We now know that cholesterol in food doesn’t directly correlate to serum cholesterol levels in the blood. According to Harvard University’s School of Public Health’s website:
Cardiologist Dr. William Davis (best-selling author of Wheat Belly) stated that recent studies also indicate it may be the carbohydrates in combination with saturated fat that have contributed to LDL cholesterol level spikes (Wheat Belly, p. 208). His advice: eat eggs, and not just one per week.
BUY GOOD-QUALITY EGGS
Eggs make an affordable, nutritious, and satisfying meal. They are relatively speedy to cook and extremely versatile. Eggs usually have a 3-week shelf life (check the date on the carton), and come in streamlined packaging suitable for even small refrigerators–keep them around. The best buy in eggs: extra large eggs with 7 grams of protein in each. The size egg referred to in most baked-good recipes: large (although Ina Garten of “Barefoot Contessa” fame would tell you her recipes always taste best when she uses an extra large egg).
“Cage-free” is often somewhat controversial–in reality it doesn’t take much space to be able to label eggs as cage free. Sunrise Eggs from Stiebrs Farms has an actual open-barn policy and carries the additional Certification of Humane Treatment label. No antibiotics, hormones, or animal by-products. Cost for one dozen large Sunrise Fresh eggs is $3.53, and extra large is $3.63.
DINNER, LUNCH, OR BREAKFAST EGGS
Meat, Marinara, Greens, and Eggs
A favorite of Stayca’s, this can be done with leftovers for an anytime meal. This time she browned up a large sausage (cut into sections for quicker cooking), and a bit of meat from the previous night’s dinner, scrambled two eggs, adding those to the pan with some greens, cooked all the ingredients through and then topped with about a 1/3 of a cup of opened marinara from the refrigerator. It took about 15 minutes to prepare–seemingly complex with the assortment of ingredients, but actually quite effortless. Be creative with what you have on hand. Resist the urge get take out!
Vegetables with Egg, Feta, and Olive Scramble
A frittata-like concoction, but more of a scramble technique. Here, the vegetables were sautée and then greens were added for a few minutes to soften. I scrambled three eggs without water and into them I plunked some leftover feta cubes and a few olives from an “overly accented” salad (PCC artichoke and greens). The eggs were poured into the skillet and cooked like scrambled eggs until done. Mounded and finished with Italian parsley.
Skillet Vegetables and Fried Eggs
Sautée your favorite vegetables, or whatever you have going on in your refrigerator, in a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add some greens and cook for another few minutes to soften. Move the veggies and greens to one side of the pan.
Add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil (or butter) to the other half of the pan. Crack your eggs and cook until yolks are set. This is the best of both worlds–sautéed veggies with some yoke to mix around while the bottom of the eggs have the nice crispness that comes from frying.
THE IDEAL SNACK EGG
Hard Boiled to Perfection
Anne Burrell’s foolproof method ensures no gray ring that comes from overcooking. Place 4-8 eggs in a pan, making sure they are not too overcrowded. Fill pan with cold water covering eggs by about an inch and bring to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat when the water boils, and cover securely with a lid for 13 minutes (for large eggs). Let sit covered for14 minutes when cooking extra large eggs. Set a timer–the minutes go by quickly and precision is important.
When the timer goes off, drain the pan. Run the eggs under cold water until they cool a bit so the eggs can be refrigerated. I always have hard-boiled eggs in my refrigerator and eat during the afternoon when I feel a need for a hit of protein. Transport cold eggs to work in an insulated pouch or zip lock bag with several ice cube–then refrigerate once you arrive. Pre-peeling the morning you pack your lunch avoids having bits of eggshells on your desk.
THE QUICKEST EGG
Warm a pan with 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil or butter to prevent sticking. Briskly scramble the desired number of eggs, without adding milk or water when you mix, and immediately pour into the pan. Cook on low to moderate heat turning regularly. Some people like to add a tablespoon of water or milk at the end to finish. Remove from the pan after the liquid is incorporated so they don’t dry out or overcook. Quinoa crumbles can provide a rewarding crunch and avocado will incorporate more fiber. For an instant delicious finish, top with salsa or hot sauce.