Eggs have gotten a lot of press over the years- “they are bad for you, they are good for you, nope-they are bad, well, we take that back, they are good again”. Well, eggs have always been good for me. (Of most recent, eggs have been getting BAD press because of the Salmonella outbreak- don’t blame the eggs, blame the industry.) When I was twelve, I made up my own Atkins-type diet. Everyday, I would eat a scrambled egg, tossed with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and two saltine crackers. I seriously cannot remember where I came up with this idea, but I thought it would keep me skinny. I find it amusing now, but I must have been really desperate to be skinny. Come to think of it, I have always been desperate to be skinny. Haven’t we all? It’s just not socially okay to be happy with the way you look. Anyway, I still love eggs. Actually, Satish and I eat eggs for breakfast (or a quick, power snack) four times a week. I have at least a hundred of my own omelette recipes. To make a simple omelette takes me just a little bit more time than pouring cold milk over cereal. We usually eat one egg with at least 2/3 cup of veggies and herbs.
I didn’t make it to my usual Farmer’s Market today, but did go to the Eat Real Festival. The festival’s mission is to raise public awareness about our food system, while showing ways for us to eat healthier. A zone of the festival was reserved for the “Urban Homesteading“, where everyday people can learn how to make/grow their own food in a sustainable, fun, and nourishing manner. Beautiful, live chickens were on sale for urban homesteaders to raise in their own backyards. Benefits of having your own chickens: fresh, nutrient dense eggs everyday.
3 eggs (organic, cage-free eggs)
1/3 cup zucchini, sliced thin
1/3 cup organic baby spinach
1/4 cup organic tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp parmesan cheese/ fresh mozzarella
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tbsp organic Herbs de Provence
½ tbsp of any fresh, organic herbs you like (basil, thyme, mint, marjoram)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Beat the eggs in until foamy. Heat the oil in the pan and pour in the eggs, swirl to cover the pan with the eggs and let set slightly. Sprinkle the vegetables, herbs, salt and black pepper on the eggs. Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquid is almost set but still creamy and moist on top, about 2 minutes. Add salt last, as it will cause the eggs to toughen. Tip the pan over the serving plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first. Buen Provecho!
Eggs are the perfect protein. They also have almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by humans. Eggs have iron, vitamins A, E and B, folate, zinc, and phosphorus. Importantly, they contain essential fatty acids, which are necessary for proper brain and eye function, healthy skin, hair, libido, reproduction, growth and response to injury.
Zucchini has many health benefits and is nutrient dense. It’s loaded with folate, potassium, manganese and vitamin A, yet is low in calories.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is known for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. In addition to lycopene, the vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and folate found in tomatoes are potent protectors against heart disease.
Spinach is another super food. It contains a relatively high level of iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin C and manganese. It is a great source of folate/folic acid, particularly important for pregnant or nursing women. Due to its fiber and water content, spinach is a natural diuretic and laxative.
Adding fresh herbs is a quick way to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals. Studies show that fresh herbs contain large amounts of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin A.
Olive oil has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and may help to prevent some forms of cancer.