Who is getting egg-cited Easter is right around the corner? Of course, we always think of eggs around Easter because kids are coloring and decorating them for their baskets. Another great way to use eggs this time of year is to make a tasty dish for brunch! Eggs offer a great source of high-quality protein to keep you feeling satisfied. They are a cost-effective and versatile option that contains choline and lutein, important nutrients that keep our brains healthy and our eyes strong. Nutrition research suggests that eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more. One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, 13 varying vitamins and minerals and all nine essential amino acids - all for 70 calories.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has dropped the previous recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day, which often called for the belief to also limit/avoid egg yolks.₁ The Advisory Committee for the Dietary Guidelines could not find any cause to state a measurable limit on dietary cholesterol.₁ The National Lipid Associations review of scientific literature revealed only “modest effects” of dietary cholesterol on cholesterol levels with “no association between dietary cholesterol or egg consumption and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in the general population.”₂
One of my favorite ways to use eggs at brunch is to make an egg-y casserole. There are several options available, such as frittatas, quiches, or stratas. Although, we do have to be careful with the recipes we select as traditional quiches are often loaded with heavy cream, greasy bacon, and loads of cheese, all tucked inside a butter-laden crust. Do your family a favor this year by skipping the Quiche Lorraine; instead, serve a healthy veggie-filled egg dish that will give them the energy they need search for those hidden Easter eggs. Recipes, like the one below, tend to be very easy to prepare and often use ingredients that you already have around the house or would normally buy on a typical grocery trip. Not to mention, some of the ingredients for this dish are on sale this week at your local Martin’s Super Markets! A delicious brunch for not a lot of money – yes, please!
1. US Dept Health & Human Services and Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/
2. Jacobson TA et al. J Clin Lipid 2015;9:S1-S122
Asparagus and Spinach Frittata, 8 servings
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 lb. fresh spinach
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ lemon, juiced
10 large eggs
1 ½ cups low-fat milk
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus, spinach, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until asparagus is crisp tender and spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes. Squeeze in lemon juice and remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Pour into heated skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until eggs begin to scramble. Remove from heat. Distribute asparagus mixture, cheese and Italian parsley in a single layer over eggs, pressing them gently into eggs. Transfer skillet to preheated oven and bake until frittata is set, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Note: If you don’t have a cast iron or oven-safe nonstick skillet, stainless steel pans will work but you'll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don't stick to the pan; or try lining your pan with parchment paper.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here: Asparagus and Spinach Frittata
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