Nourishments: Post-Easter Eating: Egging You On
Admit it. Easter is over and you have a plethora of hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator. Oh, it was such fun when everyone in the family wanted their own dozen and dyed them so beautifully. How lovely they looked nestled in a basket!
But now what? It’s time to get cooking while those eggs are in their prime. The easiest way to make use of the — honestly, blue, purple, yellow, and pink tinged — eggs is to eat them as-is for a quick, out-the-door breakfast, or sliced onto a lunchtime salad.
There are lots of reasons to celebrate these holiday leftovers, by the way. A plain, hard-boiled egg is just 77 calories or so, and is a terrific source of complete protein: over 6 grams in an egg. One little egg can provide you with 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A (for vision, immune system, and reproduction), 15% of the RDA of vitamin B2 (turns food into glucose energy, helps with metabolism), and 9% of the RDA for vitamin B12 (nerve, cell, and DNA health).
You can get 22% of the RDA for selenium, which helps protect from damage of free radicals, and is necessary for thyroid health, and notable amounts of zinc (fights off bacterial and viral infections), calcium (bone, muscle, and nerve health), and choline (needed for memory, muscles, and cell membrane health). It all adds up to quite an amazing package.
What about that negative cholesterol rumor that has haunted the egg? It turns out eggs may not be the bad guys after all. Numerous recent studies show that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol, and up to one egg a day may actually improve the “good” HDL cholesterol. Most of the nutrients are found in the yolk, though it is the white of an egg that is the best source of protein. So indulging in that whole egg is a good thing.
(And of the just over 5 grams of fat in an egg, 1.6 are saturated, but 2 grams are monounsaturated. Of course, only your own doctor can determine the best diet for you.)
You are left with the conflicted decisions over which kind of egg to buy, no matter how you plan to cook it: Organic? Cage-free? Omega-enriched? Pastured? Maybe you’ll just build that coop and raise your own flock of egg-laying hens… What a hen eats, it turns out, does affect the eggs’ nutrients.
So now you’ve determined to make your way through the basket of eggs; you might want a break from the most plain of eating options. One of our favorite uses for hard-boiled eggs is in a vegetable pie. Combined with a rich cabbage-and-mushroom filling layered with the eggs and cheese, it is a happy solution.
Deviled eggs are always a great choice; be creative with the fillings. Combine the yolks with smoked fish; blue cheese or Camembert; crispy garlic chili oil; smoked paprika; mixed fresh herbs; anchovies; or any other culinary treat.
Egg salad? Growing up, I did not realize that other households did not make theirs the only way we ever had it — tossed with tuna and a mayonnaise-based dressing. Even sans tuna, dress up egg salad with capers and minced cornichons, or throw in some zippy spices or curry powder for a switch.
A vegetable curry stew can be enhanced with quartered hard-boiled eggs added in the last 15 minutes of cooking for a protein punch. Served with rice, it makes a very satisfying meal.
Take a look in your refrigerator now. Don’t those hard-boiled eggs look so much more tempting? Enjoy!
2 rolled pie crusts
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small-to-medium onion, chopped,
about 1½ cups
½ medium head cabbage, shredded,
about 3-4 packed cups
3 medium carrots, shredded, about 1 to 1½ cups
4 oz baby portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp caraway seed
1 Tbsp dried dill or 2 Tbsp finely minced fresh dill
Salt and pepper
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
4 oz Chevre goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 400 degrees; set one rack in the lowest position and one in the middle.
In a large, heavy pot, heat butter and oil. Add onion, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until cabbage is wilted and onions translucent. Stir in basil, tarragon, caraway, and salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Gently roll one pie crust into a 10-inch pie plate. Cover bottom of pie with crumbled goat cheese. Top with egg slices, and sprinkle dill over the eggs.
Spread cooled cabbage mixture over the eggs. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with the second pie crust. Crimp crust edges and cut four small slices into the top of the pie.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and move pie to higher rack. Bake another half hour.
Remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serves 4-5.