Seven out of 10 Canadians say they’re looking for healthy foods to start their day off right. It’s tough to beat eggs as a quick source of protein — and they’re no longer considered the cholesterol culprit they once were. It’s been confirmed that total saturated fat, particularly industrially produced trans fat, along with a host of other factors including genetic predisposition, affect blood cholesterol far more than cholesterol that naturally occurs in food.
So, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying healthy egg meals a few times a week. Eggs play a role in keeping vitamin D levels adequate, especially during the winter when we aren’t getting as much from the sun. The 14 nutrients in eggs also include iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid and both lutein and zeaxanthin, important for healthy vision.
Eggs are very versatile and make for fantastically quick and easy meals — and not just at breakfast.With a long list of possible variations, Baked Egg Cups make a delectable starter. Ratatouille is a traditional French dish consisting of stewed vegetables that pairs perfectly with scrambled eggs. It makes for an excellent lunch or dinner and delivers a full serving of vegetables and protein. Zesty Eggplant Frittata offers a change from the commonly made frittata with peppers. Give these a try this Nutrition Month, or any month on your healthy, home-cooked meal journey.
Baked Egg Cups Serves 6
- 6 thin slices turkey or ham
- 18 baby spinach or kale leaves
- 6 tsp crumbled goat cheese
- 6 eggs
- 6 tsp milk
- 2 tsp finely chopped chives
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray bottoms and sides of 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Line inside of each muffin cup with turkey or ham.
- Place 3 spinach leaves over ham, then 1 tsp goat cheese over spinach.
- Carefully crack an egg over top. Spoon 1 tsp milk over each yolk. Sprinkle with chives and pepper.
- Bake in preheated oven until whites are set and yolks are cooked as desired, 18 to 20 minutes. Run knife around inside of each muffin cup, then remove.
- Instead of muffin tin, use six ½ cup ramekins or custard cups.
- Instead of ham, use smoked salmon.
- Instead of goat cheese, use feta cheese or grated hard cheese of your choice.
- Omit goat cheese. Over spinach leaves, place thin slice of tomato and slice of large white or cremini mushroom.
- Omit ham. Use more spinach leaves or a large kale leaf to line muffin cups.
- Omit goat cheese and milk; sprinkle grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese over each egg before baking.
- Instead of chives, use chopped fresh herbs of your choice.
Zesty Eggplant Frittata Serves 6
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup pitted olives, halved
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 eggs
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup water
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine eggplant, tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano, hot pepper flakes and pepper in large bowl; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture onto large baking sheet; spread evenly.
- Roast in preheated 425˚F oven, stirring halfway through cooking time, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Leave oven on.
- Whisk eggs, parsley and water. Lightly spray a 10-12 inch non-stick ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium. Pour egg mixture into skillet. As eggs set around edge of skillet, with spatula, gently lift cooked portions to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. Cook until bottom is set and surface is still somewhat liquid, 6-7 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat; spoon eggplant and tomato mixture over top of frittata. Return to oven and bake until egg mixture is set, about 10 minutes.
Ratatouille and Scrambled Eggs Serves 4
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 small zucchini, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup water or milk (1%)
- Spray large non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato, oregano, salt and pepper; keep warm.
- Whisk eggs and water in medium bowl.
- Spray a 10-inch non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat.
- Pour in egg mixture and reduce heat to medium. As mixture begins to set, gently move spatula across bottom and side of skillet to form large, soft curds. Cook until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains.
- Divide scrambled eggs between four plates. Top eggs with ratatouille.
If you love eggs, find an entire library of delicious egg recipes here.