Egg-alicious!

Exciting news…I just moved into my very own apartment and I am thrilled to have my  own full kitchen! It’s beautiful and incredibly spacious…perfect for my cooking soirées and recipe testing…just in time for the holiday season.

eggs

I have eggs on my mind today…Sunny-side-up, poached or scrambled? Or shall we get creative and whip up an omelet or frittata? Eggs are an inexpensive protein-packed food that are rich in vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and folate. Quick and easy to prepare, eggs can be transformed into your breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner menu! We’ve all heard the stories about eggs having a bad rap over the years, however, contrary to belief, an egg a day may not impact your cholesterol levels. One egg has simply 76 calories…not too shabby.

But if you’re not hopping on the egg-bandwagon anytime soon, have an egg allergy or are Vegan, not to worry because you can substitute ground flax seeds for eggs in baking recipes. Simply add one tablespoon of ground flax seed to 3 tablespoons of water for the equivalent to one egg; allow to stand for a few moments to plump before adding to batter.

egg

Walking into the so-called ‘egg aisle’ of your local food store can seem like a maze with the abundance of varieties stacked onto the overflowing chilled shelves.

Conventional Eggs. Typically from chickens stacked in small cages, which are not fed organic feed and may contain hormones and/or antibiotics.

Brown Eggs. These are usually conventional eggs with a brown colored shell, which has nothing to do with the quality, nutritional value or taste. The shade of the eggshell color simply depends on the breed of the hen.

Organic Eggs. Made from caged hens, however, this variety is antibiotic free and fed organic feed. I personally believe it’s worth purchasing organic eggs over conventional.

Omega-3 Enhanced Eggs. These eggs are fed a diet of fish oils and flax seed, which means you reap the benefits. Compared to regular eggs, this variety can have up to seven times more Omega 3 fatty acids than regular eggs.

Processed Eggs. These eggs are packaged into cartons and may contain preservatives, flavor or color additives. Theses include liquid eggs, liquid egg whites and dried egg whites. What type of eggs do you prefer?

I’ve put together two of my favorite egg creations that you can prepare in no time.

Healthy Blueberry Blintzes

blintzes

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar or stevia sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup blueberries

Directions

  • In a large bowl, whisk egg, egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sweetener for 4-5 minutes until mixture becomes airy and fluffy.
  • Spray a skillet with cooking spray; add whipped mixture and cook over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip to the other side to ensure even cooking.
  • When eggs are fully cooked, transfer to serving dishes and top with a dollop of Greek plain yogurt and a sprinkle of ground flax seeds and blueberries in the center.
  • Fold the eggs over the yogurt and fruit.
  • Enjoy.

Harvest Frittata

frittattaa

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • ½ ripe avocado, mashed
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 yellow squash, shredded
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • Pinch of curry powder
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites and water. Set aside.
  • Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium heat. Add onion; stir until becomes translucent. Add zucchini and squash shreds; cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with basil, curry powder, sea salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies in the skillet, covering them entirely.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook until the egg mixture has set around the edges of the pan; approximately 10 minutes. Be cautious not to overcook the egg mixture as it will become tough.
  • Slice the frittata into 8 wedges and serve.
  • Enjoy.

Harvest Pumpkin Tofu Frittata

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I was bit by the frittata bug last week and made this for a quick and easy breakfast dish, which then turned into a few meals throughout the week.  Aside from this tasty breakfast, I created an afternoon frittata lunch over arugula, pistacios and fresh figs and  a hearty supper earlier this week atop  al dente buckwheat noodles, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Over the years my clients have asked me, “What’s the difference between a frittata and an omelet?” Good Question, isn’t it?  Well, in case you are unsure of the answer…the main difference between these two is simply that omelets traditionally have the eggs cooked and folded around the filling, while a frittata gets everything mumbled, jumbled and mixed together.  I serve my frittatas at room temperature, which makes them a convenient option for ‘Cooking Once, Eating Twice’ through creating lunch and dinner plates.  The thought of frittatas reminds me of getting together with friends over brunch and gives me a cozy feeling inside…suddenly it’s not about the frattata anymore, yet the overall enjoyment of a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by one (me) or a large group.  For me, there’s nothing like a light egg dish combined with your favorite veggies and herbs, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.  Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

Frittatas are a wonderful way to add a variety of veggies (and leftovers) to your meal; the flavor combinations are unlimited…simply let your imagination guide you when choosing what’s available in your fridge.  It’s quite easy to experiment and hard to go wrong when creating your frittata masterpiece…it’s a fun, effortless way to whip up a quick meal anytime of the day. My  flavorful pumpkin tofu frittata is packed with health benefits, which come from its rich source of vitamins A, C and K.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 oz. firm tofu, drained
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • Optional Toppings: Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  • Puree tofu with eggs and egg whites, canned pumpkin, dried oregano and turmeric in a blender.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; let sit for 1 minute, or until it starts to steam.
  • Add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, kale and sun dried tomatoes; saute for 1 minute over medium heat.  Stir often.
  • Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar.  Pour tofu mixture over veggies, cover and cook over low heat until mixture is completely firm and cooked, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Here are some recent articles ‘In The News’ that I  thought I’d pass along:

5 Superfoods About To Make It Big

Diets That Promote Health and Always Have

How Your Toddler Can Get The Nutrients He Needs

Moms Spend Wisely