By Cheryl Forberg, RD
I’ve always been an egg fan, but everything changed when I got my own chickens. From the bright orange yolks to the amazingly incredible flavor, there’s something really special about gathering breakfast from your own brood of chickens. We’ve had chickens for almost five years now and I don’t know how I could ever live without them. My biggest problem is that I’ve become so spoiled, it’s often hard for me to eat eggs anywhere other than my own kitchen table.
One large egg weighs about two ounces and has about 70 calories. Only 20% of the calories are from the white, which is the purest form of protein you can find.
The rest of the calories are from the yolk which contains biotin, choline, folate, iron, potassium, selenium and vitamins A, E, B and D. Most of our “girls” produce one egg per day, except in the winter, when the shorter days somehow tell their bodies to take a rest. That’s when they produce an egg every other day (or so).
It’s been a wonderful coincidence that my egg abundance has increased as I have decided to decrease my intake of other animal proteins, especially red meat.
While I never seem to tire of poached eggs for breakfast, especially on top of roasted Brussels sprouts, they’re now becoming a familiar sight on our dinner table too.
My latest favorite egg dish is Shakshouka. A Middle Eastern term for “mixture”, Shakshouka is a simple but delicious dish that consists of eggs that are baked, often in a cast iron pan, while smothered in a flavorful sauce of tomatoes, onions and peppers - usually flavored with cumin. Sometimes potatoes and beans are added to the mix. A perfect brunch dish, it’s also delicious for a hearty but simple dinner.
Serves two (2 egg servings) to four (one egg servings)
1 tablespoon Olive or Grapeseed Oil
1 medium Onion, peeled, halved and sliced in thin julienne
1 Melissa’s Roasted Red Bell Pepper, cut in thin julienne
2 teaspoons Chopped Garlic
1 (14 ounces) can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
½ teaspoon Ground Coriander
Garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Cilantro
Hot sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
In a medium cast iron skillet (about 10 inch diameter), heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook for 1 to two minutes longer or until heated through.
Add tomatoes, cumin and coriander; simmer until tomato juices have thickened, about five minutes longer. Remove from heat. There will be about 3 cups of sauce. * Using tablespoon or small measuring cup, create 4 wells in the sauce for the eggs. Gently crack eggs into the wells in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and transfer pan to preheated oven. Cook until eggs are just set; about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.
*To serve Shakshouka in individual cast iron pans: measure 1½ cups of the sauce into each of two small (approx. 6 inch) cast iron pans. Make two wells in the sauce and crack two eggs into each pan. Bake in preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.
Nutrition Analysis: per 1 one egg serving
Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8g
Sat Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Total Carbohydrate 11
Fiber 2 g
Vitamin A 35%
Vitamin C 100%