Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Eggs

Eggs have, unfairly, gotten a negative reputation in recent years, due to their high cholesterol content.  It’s true that eggs are higher in cholesterol per serving than many other foods (although one egg has only seventy calories, it contains around 185 mg, or 60% of the recommended daily intake for cholesterol), but the good news is that most of the cholesterol found in our bodies is made by our liver; we only absorb a small amount from food.  In reality, eggs are nutritional powerhouses that don’t have to just be hardboiled and dyed this time of year – as long as they are consumed in moderation, eggs can be a part of any healthy diet, several times a week. 600px-Bg-easter-eggs Not only are eggs an extremely high-quality source of protein, but they are a good source of many B vitamins, as well as Vitamins A and D.  Most of an egg’s nutrients are found in the yolk, so a whole egg is going to have a higher nutritional content than just egg whites alone; the yolk also contains all of the egg’s cholesterol, however, so it’s probably best to stick to one whole egg at a time.  If you’re making an omelet or scrambled eggs, try using one whole egg and two egg whites to ensure you’re getting all of the egg’s nutritional value without too much cholesterol.

Although eggs are most commonly served at breakfast, they taste delicious any time of the day.  The following recipe, courtesy of the American Egg Board  is a perfect addition to both breakfast and dinner.

Italian Vegetable Custard

Ingredients
4 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups coarsely shredded yellow summer squash
1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained, DIVIDED
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
6 very thin tomato slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz.)

Instructions
1.  Heat oven to 450°F.
2.  Beat eggs and flour in medium bowl until smooth. Add yellow squash, zucchini, and 1/4 cup olives; mix well.
3.  Spread in greased 8-inch square baking pan.
4.  Bake in center of 450°F oven just until custard is set, about 10 minutes.
5.  Mix Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic salt; sprinkle over custard.
6.  Top evenly with tomato, remaining olives, onion, and Jack cheese.
7.  Bake until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.  Serves 4.

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