Eggs: Healthful, simple and colorful

Published 10:50 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eggs make a good start for breakfast and other holiday meals.

Pure and simple is one of the top trends for the new decade, according to the Natural Marketing Institute, and this trend applies to Americans’ diets as we strive to increase our nation’s overall health and decrease obesity rates.

Savvy consumers are looking for recipes with simple, recognizable ingredients instead of prepackaged foods filled with ingredients more appropriate for a chemistry lab than a meal.

“Simplicity and purity is not a ‘dumbing down,’ but rather an attempt to get at the essential core of what is really needed,” the NMI states. “This ‘less is more’ trend is resonating with values-driven consumers, natural and eco-friendly enthusiasts and convenience shoppers — purity and simplicity is now the ultimate sophistication.”

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Eggs are a natural part of this trend. They are 100-percent natural and contain varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals including choline, folate, iron and zinc — all for 70 calories.

Vitamins and minerals are necessary for bodies to properly function and for optimal health. Take vitamin D, which like calcium, helps build strong bones and teeth. Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of this important vitamin?

By sticking to foods closer to their original and natural state, consumers can avoid the artificial ingredients common in processed foods and can keep their waistlines in check.

Eggs, fresh vegetables and whole grains are an easy way to do so.

Plus, the natural, high-quality protein in eggs helps keep you feeling full longer, decreasing the urge to snack. Following are a couple of delicious seasonal recipes that showcase the taste and nutritional value of eggs.

Versatile ingredient

Pomodoro Egg Bake offers a new take on a classic ingredient.

The ease of this Pomodoro Egg Bake means it will quickly become your go-to dish to make sure no one leaves the table hungry. America’s egg farmers are also committed to feeding the hungry. Simply take the pledge to “Eat good. Do good every day.” on For every pledge made, America’s egg farmers will donate one egg to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization.


4 medium/large-sized, ripe tomatoes

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

4 eggs

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded

4 toasted English muffins

HEAT oven to 350°F. SLICE the top fourth off each tomato. Using a small spoon, SCOOP out the tomato and seeds from inside; LEAVE a thick shell intact. DRAIN tomato; DRY any liquid in the tomato with a paper towel. PLACE tomatoes in a square baking dish or pan. SPRINKLE 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese inside EACH tomato shell. Carefully BREAK an egg into the tomato shell; SPRINKLE with shredded basil leaves. BAKE until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 30 – 35 minutes. SPRINKLE with remaining 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on top of each tomato. SERVE over toasted English muffins.


8 cooked eggs, colored, set aside

6+ cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup lukewarm milk (scaled, then cooled)

½ cup sugar

2 T. dry yeast

5 eggs

½ cup room temperature butter

1 T. anise extract


8 oz. almond paste, sliced thin

½ stick butter


1 egg + 2T. water, beaten, for egg wash

Turbinado sugar

Sliced almonds

Make the Dough:

Place flour and salt in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

In a medium bowl, combine milk, sugar and yeast and let stand 3-5 min. until foamy. Add eggs, softened butter and extract, whisking together, then add to flour mixture. Mix to combine, then place on medium/low speed, adding additional flour as needed to form a soft (not sticky) dough (about 10-12 min.). Form dough into a ball, place in a large greased bowl, cover, let rise to double in size (1-2 hrs.).

Shape Dough:

Divide dough in half. Roll half into a 15 x 18” rectangle. Cut to form 3 long strips (5×18). Place half almond paste and half butter, equally on all 3 sections, then roll each section up to form 3 long rolls. Braid rolls together then bring ends together to form a circle. Place on Silpat mat or parchment and let rise till doubled (abut 1 hr.). Repeat with remaining dough. Alternately, place circle of dough in a 9 or 10” aluminum round pan, cover and freeze. Remove from freezer the evening before, set on Silpat or parchment and let rise overnight.

Get ready to bake:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Egg-wash the entire surface. Place 4 colored hard-cooked eggs in between rolls of dough; sprinkle liberally with sugar and almonds. Bake for 20 -30 minutes until golden brown (do not over-bake). Makes 2 loaves

Easter craft: Fortune Eggs

This simple and safe craft will spark creativity and provide unique favors for the Easter dinner table.

Take dyed Easter eggs to the next level with this fun craft.

Items needed:

12 eggs

Various colors of pastel enamel spray paint

Glitter and adornments

  • Wash the egg using water warmer than the egg, and then dry it. With a sterilized long needle or small, sharp skewer, make a small hole in the small end of the egg. Make a larger hole in the large end. Carefully chip away bits of shell around the large hole until it’s big enough to fit the tip of a kitchen baster.
  • Insert the needle or skewer into the yolk to break it. Shake the egg, large-end down, over a cup or bowl until the contents come out. Let the contents fall into the cup. If the contents don’t come out easily, stick the needle in again and move it around to be sure both the shell membranes and the yolk are broken.
  • Once it is empty, rinse the empty shell under cool running water and then in a solution of one teaspoon chlorine bleach to one quart of water. Stand the shell on end in a drainer to dry.
  • Use the eggs’ contents immediately in scrambled eggs, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use in a fully cooked egg dish.
  • Use a piece of foam and toothpicks to stand the eggs on end. In a well-ventilated area, gently spray the eggs using pastel enamel paint, coating them thoroughly. While they are wet, add glitter and/or sprinkles. Handle with care, as empty eggshells are very fragile.
  • Let dry completely. You can glue on additional adornments once the paint is dry if you desire.
  • Write your own fun fortunes and then cut them into small strips, about a half-inch tall. Wrap tightly around the end of a toothpick, and insert the toothpick and message into the hole on the larger end of the egg. Once inside the message will unroll, fall off the toothpick, and stay inside the egg.
  • Use the decorated Fortune Egg to decorate your Easter table. After dinner is complete, pass the bowl around, allow everyone to take one, break them open and share the fun messages.