Serve up Affordable Protein
(ARA) - The first of each year often leaves us looking for ways to streamline overextended budgets and expanded waistlines, too. Fortunately, eggs can help us mend budget excesses and get back into the groove of healthful eating.
Despite the fact that eggs provide the highest quality protein of any food, they’re a real protein bargain. It’s easy to compare the price of eggs to the price of other protein foods. A dozen Large eggs weigh 1 1/2 pounds, so the price per pound of Large eggs is two-thirds of the price per dozen. For example, if Large eggs cost 90 cents per dozen, they’re only 60 cents per pound. At $1.20 per dozen, Large eggs are just 80 cents per pound. There isn’t another high-quality protein food that can compare.
Nutrient-dense eggs can also help us manage our weight. A good breakfast can help us avoid overeating by making us feel full longer. In adult research, when overweight women had a protein-based breakfast (eggs, toast and fruit spread), they ate fewer calories the rest of the day compared to women who had a carbohydrate-based breakfast (bagel, cream cheese and yogurt). Although the calorie level for both breakfasts was the same, the protein-based breakfast made the women feel more satisfied. Because they didn’t feel ‘starved’ at other meals, the women could avoid filling up with too much food throughout the day.
There’s no reason to reserve eggs just for breakfast, though. The protein power of eggs can provide the energy we need any meal of the day, including dinner. Because just about everyone loves eggs, you’re likely to find that your family appreciates the comfort of hearty egg dishes for evening meals, too. And, you’ll appreciate how easy egg dishes are to prepare.
Give one of these recipes a try or find an economical, protein-packed recipe to appeal to your family at www.IncredibleEgg.org:
Baked Potato Eggs
2 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes (about 12 oz.)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (about 3 oz.)
1/4 cup water
2 cups fresh baby spinach or chopped fresh spinach leaves (about 2.5 oz.)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried dill weed OR 2 teaspoons dried chives
Preparation: Evenly coat 10-inch omelet pan or skillet with spray. Heat over medium-high heat until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Add potatoes, mushrooms and water. Spread in even layer. Cover and cook 8 minutes. Remove cover. Turn potatoes. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are soft, about 6 minutes. Spoon into medium mixing bowl. Add spinach, sour cream, 1/4 cup of the cheese and the dill. Stir until well blended.
Evenly coat 4 (10-inch) custard cups with spray. Place on baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. Spoon about 3/4 cup of the potato mixture into each cup. With back of spoon, make indentation in potato mixture in each cup. Break and slip an egg into each indentation. Sprinkle each egg with 1 tablespoon of the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven until egg whites are completely set and egg yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving of 1/4 recipe using baby spinach and dill weed:
253 calories, 13 g total fat, 234 mg cholesterol, 251 mg sodium, 197 mg potassium,
22 g carbohydrate, 14 g protein and 10 percent or more of the RDI for vitamins A and B12 , riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc.
Thrifty Cottage Casserole
1 cup (8 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese
2 tablespoons instant minced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained and pressed
1 package (8 oz.) egg noodles, cooked and drained
Preparation: In large bowl, beat together eggs, cheese, onion, nutmeg and salt, if desired, until well blended. Gently stir in spinach and noodles.
Evenly coat 11 x 7 x 1 1/2-inch baking dish with spray. Spread noodle mixture in dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated 350 F oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving of 1/6 recipe using 2 percent cottage cheese, without optional salt: 270 calories, 8 gm total fat, 251 mg cholesterol, 259 mg sodium, 357 mg potassium, 32 gm carbohydrate, 18 gm protein and 10 percent or more of the RDI for vitamins A, B12 and C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc.
Courtesy of ARAcontent