You know eggs are easy, inexpensive, and packed with protein— but you may not know how to think outside the scramble. Here, eight simple ways to switch it up.
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Eggs are pretty much the gold standard against which all other proteins are judged. For starters, they’re cheap. You can’t beat a three-buck dozen.
But they’re also a solid diet staple because they're loaded with amino acids, antioxidants, and iron, making each 85-calorie egg—which somehow delivers 7 grams of protein—a beyond solid investment in your health. Let us break your egg choices down for you:
Brown vs. White? It’s up to you. The difference in color just varies based on the type of chicken—they both have the same nutritional value, says Molly Morgan, RD, a board certified sports specialist dietician based in upstate New York.
Eggs vs. Egg Whites? While egg yolks do contain cholesterol, they’re also full of nutrients like B vitamins, plus they contain about half of the egg’s protein. Unless you’re watching your cholesterol intake, there’s no need to shy away from the whole egg, as long as you’re not overdoing it.
Regular vs. Free-Range vs. Organic? Advantage: Organic. These are certified by the USDA and are free from antibiotics, vaccines, and hormones.
So, now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, it's time to change your egg game. Here we’ve rounded up eight of the best ways to whip them up—or add them into other dishes.
Switch up your evening menu with an easy frittata: Beat 6 eggs with black pepper, a pinch of salt, and Parmesan cheese. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in an oven-safe pan and sauté ½ cup of chopped asparagus and ½ cup of chopped lean ham for 3 minutes. Add the egg mixture to the pan and stir gently. Cook until the egg mixture has set on the bottom, about 4 minutes, and sprinkle with parsley. Place the pan in the oven and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the frittata is lightly browned. Serves 3.
Sneaking an egg into your sandwich will give you the staying power you need to make it through the rest of the day. So try topping a lunch BLT with avocado slices and an egg for a killer protein-and-healthy-fat combo, or cook up one of the variations on this hearty steak and egg sandwich recipe, which works well at any meal.
Skip the takeout containers and make your own fried rice. Boil 1 cup of water, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce; then, add 1 cup of instant rice and stir. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat, then sauté ½ cup of onions, ½ cup of green beans, ½ cup of bean sprouts and 2 garlic cloves for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in 1 beaten egg and scramble for 2 minutes, then stir in the rice and mix. Top it off with 2 finely chopped green onions and a dash of pepper. Serve with stir-fried chicken breast or grilled shrimp.
Start your day with a healthy version of huevos rancheros. Just sauté ½ cup chopped onions, a diced tomato, and 2 tablespoons green chiles in a pan with a dash of cumin, salt, and pepper. Then, in a separate pan, spritz corn tortillas with oil and warm on both sides, until heated through; set aside. Fry eggs and top each tortilla with one egg and tomato mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and cilantro on each, and there you have it— a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.
Get a little extra protein into your morning bowl of oats by stirring in a whole egg while they're cooking—trust us, you'll like the heartier texture. (Tip: Add some sweetness before serving by drizzling it all with vanilla extract and a tablespoon of honey.) Similarly, you can thicken up broths and soups by adding a beaten egg at the end of cooking; just stir and remove from heat.
Want a sweet breakfast with a little bit of protein? Lighten up your favorite French toast recipe by using non-fat milk, whole-grain bread, and cooking spray instead of butter when preparing—or try our own MF recipe for Fitter French Toast.
Cooking up an easy super-foods omelet is an excellent way to start your day, and we love a Salmon-Avocado combo, which packs a serious dose of healthy fats. Just beat two eggs while heating a tablespoon of olive oil in your frying pan, then add eggs and turn heat to low. Cook 3-5 minutes. Top with two slices of smoked salmon and ¼ avocado, diced. Finally, fold the omelet over with a spatula and cook for 30 seconds more on each side. (Watching your cholesterol? Try our Damn Good Egg White Omelet Recipe.)
Nothing is easier than scrambling up some eggs in the morning, so why not toss them inside a whole-wheat pita for a quick breakfast sandwich that's easy to eat on the go? We love this low-fat, protein-packed recipe, which is way healthier than hitting the drive through when you're pressed for time.