Eggs to the Rescue!

When you’re shopping and the market sign over the poultry counter limits your purchase to one package of chicken, you begin to feel the fears you’ve heard others voice:  Is there a meat shortage? Your menu plans just went out the window.   Now is the time for you to become creative.

Eggs can help fill the gap.  They provide that needed protein punch along with the versatility to serve them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. Then you remember eggs have also been limited or in short supply, and don’t nutrition experts tell us to limit eggs because of cholesterol?

Your plan can still work as Americas’ egg producers are helping grocers replenish stock quickly, and area producers may sell them directly from farms.  Your concerns about cholesterol were addressed in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines no longer provide a quantitative limit on cholesterol because the kind of cholesterol in the foods we eat isn’t the driving factor in blood (serum) cholesterol. Further, a recent Harvard study, which updated findings published over twenty years ago, reinforces that eating eggs is not associated with cardiovascular disease.

In fact, eggs are more than just a source of dietary cholesterol. They provide a good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients including choline, six grams of high-quality protein, 252 mcg of the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, making them the perfect complement to heart-healthy diets.

Now that you have some answers, it’s time to put your plan into action by adding some egg dishes to your menu plan. When it comes to cooking eggs, they can be fried, scrambled, poached, or hardboiled, or for the more adventurous, they can be made into frittatas. Frittatas are perfect for a brunch or a quick weeknight dinner with the family

When making frittatas the filling ingredients should be cooked and cut into small pieces.  The filling is an ideal use of leftovers when there is not quite enough for a meal on their own. Using your favorite combination of vegetables, cheese, and or cooked meats and grains you can create the perfect frittata, limited only by your culinary imagination.  When seasoning your frittata, pick fresh or dried herbs that complement your filling. Frittatas are also tasty cold and travel well – perfect for picnic fare or a take-along lunch. Follow this basic recipe to make the perfect frittata you and your family can enjoy anytime!

Basic Egg Frittata
Serves 4

Ingredients
8 eggs
1/2 cup liquid- milk, tomato juice, or broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or herb of your choice-dill, cilantro, basil, parsley, etc.
2 cup of fillings of your choice (described in paragraph above)
4 teaspoons of butter or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. Beat eggs, liquid, herbs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until blended.
2. Add 2 cup of fillings of your choice to eggs, mixing well.
3. Over medium heat using an eight to ten-inch nonstick skillet melt butter or heat oil until hot.
Pour in egg mixture; cook over low to medium heat until eggs are almost set, 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains,
5 to 12 minutes. To serve cut into wedges and serve from the pan or slide uncut frittata topside-up onto platter or invert frittata onto platter to show its nicely-browned bottom

When meat is in short supply at the store or at home, eggs can come to the rescue. For more egg-citing recipes and information about eggs, explore The American Egg Board’s website at https://www.incredibleegg.org .

If you are interested in more recipes, nutritional information, or classes, visit our website at

www.cceschoharie-otsego.org or contact Michelle Leveski, Nutrition Program Educator by calling 518-234-4303 ext. 115 (please leave a message), or emailing her at mml39@cornell.edu.
Nutrition Information
Per Serving (without fillings) Calories: 193, Total Fat: 14 g, Saturated fat: 6 g,
Polyunsaturated fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 385 mg, Sodium: 157 mg,
Carbohydrates: 2 g, Dietary Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 14 g, Vitamin A: 721 IU, Vitamin D: 99.8 IU,
Folate: 49 mcg, Calcium: 96.1 mg, Iron: 1.9 mg, Choline: 257.1 mg

Making the Most from What You Have

The world has changed, seemingly overnight, bringing stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, and a feeling of no control.  One thing you have some control over is choosing how you eat. During these times it is really important to try your hardest to eat healthy meals by having a combination of foods from all five food groups–vegetables, fruits, grains, lean protein, and dairy. This coupled with proper exercise and staying hydrated will help you feel your best.  Now comes the challenge of meeting this need, whether reaching in the pantry or shopping, some food items are becoming hard to find. Here are some ideas for eating healthy and stretching the food budget while making meals with what you have.

If fresh fruits and vegetables are in short supply or you aren’t going to the store as often as you did before, try loading up on frozen and canned fruits and vegetables when you can shop.  Frozen can be just as nutritious as fresh, often frozen within hours of being picked.  Frozen fruits work well in muffins and smoothies. Frozen vegetables are easily used in soups, stews, or even stir-fry’s.  Look for fruits canned in light syrup, fruit juice, or even coconut water and choose canned vegetables labeled “low” or “no salt”. You can amp up the health factor in meals by adding extra vegetables–fresh, frozen, or canned to pasta, pizza, omelets, or smoothies.

Are there leftover mashed potatoes from dinner? Use them to make potato pancakes. Mix together 2 cups of leftover mashed potatoes, 1-2 eggs, 1/4 cup flour, and seasonings of your choice. Other ingredients can also be added- chopped onion or other diced vegetables, crumbled bacon or diced ham, and or shredded cheese.  Preheat a skillet on medium high with 2 tablespoons of shortening or vegetable oil. Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake into the hot pan; brown on both sides. Serve with a side of applesauce or other fruit.

Potato Pancakes

Looking for a fun flexible family-friendly meal? Experiment with making a grain bowl.

In individual bowls layer:
1/2 – 1 cup cooked grains: rice, quinoa, barley, or other favorite
1/2  cup cooked protein: cooked or leftover meat, fish, beans, eggs, or cheese
1- 1 1/2 cups vegetables: raw, steamed, roasted, sautéed, or pickled
1/4 cup fruit: diced or sliced, if using dried reduce to 2 tablespoons

Top with:
1-2 tablespoons of sauce – pesto, a balsamic reduction, or your favorite dressing
1 tablespoon of roasted nuts or seeds

Short of any ingredients just omit or use a substitute. Served hot or cold grain bowls come with enough variety to make everyone in the family happy.

Grain Bown

Having trouble buying fresh meat?  Try some beans- kidney, navy, pinto, black, lentils, and more.  Beans are high in protein and fiber and are a great addition to any meal. To make them the star of the meal, make this recipe for Garbanzo Bean Burgers at http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/garbanzo-bean-burgers. You can change this recipe up just by using a different kind of bean, like black beans or black-eyed peas.

Make sure foods you are planning for meals do not get “snacked” away. Label foods in the cupboard, refrigerator, and freezer for their intended purpose. Have a designated spot for foods available for snacking both in and out of the refrigerator to help avoid an in house supply shortage.

Last but not least, try experimenting with foods you already have on hand and make something new.  You might be surprised just how good it tastes! Challenges presented by tightened supply lines may make some of these ideas difficult to accomplish.  Just remember ingenuity is key, so choose to make the most from what you have.

If you are interested in more of helpful tips, nutritional information, or classes, you can also contact
Michelle Leveski, Nutrition Program Educator by calling 518-234-4303 ext. 115 (please leave a message), or emailing her at mml39@cornell.edu

 

When Someone Eats the Last Slice

Finding ways to feed our families and ourselves can often add to the challenges and struggles we are facing today. We can’t run to the store as often as we like, and when we get there, many of the basic items we have depended on before are limited or no longer available.

One household staple that can be in short supply is bread. Your resourceful, so you decide to make it yourself only to find yeast- a key ingredient is also unavailable.

Time for a “life solution”, that little bit of knowledge that can make a difference. You can substitute double action baking powder for the yeast in your bread recipes with a one-to-one ratio (one packet of yeast contains 2 ¼ teaspoons).  Baking powder reacts immediately when exposed to liquid and heat so it does not require rise time called for in traditional bread recipes. Because of this bread made with baking powder will be denser than bread made with yeast, but just as yummy.

Using this “life solution”, here is a recipe that enables you to make bread dough with only 2 ingredients.  This dough can be used for bread, pizza, calzones, breadsticks, and more.

 Bread Recipe
1 1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:
Preheat oven 375°

To make dough by hand: Place self-rising flour in a large bowl.  Add yogurt and stir with a fork until dough can be handled.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 8 minutes. Add a few tablespoons water if the dough seems dry or a few tablespoons flour if it is sticky.
To make a dough in a stand mixer:  Place self-rising flour in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add yogurt and mix at low speed until a smooth dough forms, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add a few tablespoons water if the dough seems dry or a few tablespoons flour if it sticky.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and shape; then place shaped loaf on greased cookie sheet or in an oiled cast iron pan. If desired, you can brush an egg wash on dough before baking. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

If you don’t have self-rising flour or it was also in short supply, you can make it yourself:
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons salt
Whisk all ingredients together.

If you would like to make enough to store:
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons Baking powder
1 teaspoons salt

Whisk all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

For more recipes and information visit:
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/265514/two-ingredient-dough

Sometimes just a little bit of information makes all the difference when faced with challenges. Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties will be sharing more “life solutions” articles in the coming weeks to help families and individuals meet this need.

If you are interested in more of helpful tips, nutritional information, or classes, you can also contact

Michelle Leveski, Nutrition Program Educator by calling 518-234-4303 ext. 115 (please leave a message), or emailing her at mml39@cornell.edu

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