My Healthy Fried Egg Sandwich

For those of you who don’t know, I have been training for a half marathon. It’s coming up in 3 weeks (yikes!), so my long runs are getting up there in mileage. And after a long run, I need to eat. Immediately. It’s important to replenish your energy and rebuild your muscles with a combination of carbs and protein. This fried egg sandwich accomplishes both of those nutritional needs – the bread gives you the carbs you need to replenish glycogen, and the egg gives you protein to rebuild your muscles – and it takes about 5 minutes to make, satisfying that urgency to eat.

Don’t let the word “fried” fool you. Instead of frying the egg in oil or butter like in a traditional fried egg sandwich, I just use a little cooking spray. I also use high-fiber whole grain bread and light mayo instead of their high-calorie counterparts. It’s a great post-workout snack or even a quick, healthy lunch.

Ooey, gooey, and delicious. You can barely tell it’s healthy!

What you’ll need:
2 eggs
2 slices high-fiber whole grain bread
1 tbsp light mayo
Optional toppings: ketchup, pickle relish, or mustard

What you’ll need to do:

Put your bread in a toaster and toast to your liking; set it and forget it.

Set a small pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. After it has heated, crack one egg into the center and let it cook for about 2 minutes – you’ll see the white of the egg start to cook.

Kind of like a pancake, when you see the white start to bubble and cook you know it’s time to flip.

Flip the egg, and cook for another 2 minutes.

The yolk will cook over-easy, which makes for some great dipping later.

After it’s done, put the first egg on your toast (which should be done by now; if not, you burned the bread).

Repeat with the second egg. Once that egg is done, top your first egg with the second egg.

Smear your second piece of toast with the light mayo and top your egg sandwich.

Yum. And so easy.

Cut it in half and enjoy. You can dip your sandwich in the yolk that has run all over the plate – yum!

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Turkey Meatballs: Part 1

Welcome to my 4-part turkey meatball series! For the next few posts, I’m going to try something new. First, I’ll give you a basic item – in this case, a turkey meatball recipe. Then, I’ll take that basic item and build on it for the next few posts to show different ways to use it in your cooking. This is a great way to do a brunt of the work on the weekend so you’ll have quick, healthy meals ready to assemble for the rest of the week.

Turkey meatballs are a great way to start. They’re really tasty with tons of flavor from the garlic, onion, and oregano. But they’re also incredibly healthy because I’ve substituted brown rice for bread crumbs, leaving the calorie count at 162 per serving with 21.4 grams of protein, 7.2 carbs, and very low sodium. And they don’t take too long to make – only about 30-45 minutes depending if you’ve already made rice or not. Not to mention, you’ll already find a lot of these ingredients in your kitchen staples. These babies are a great staple that the whole family will love.

Let’s get started with my basic turkey meatball recipe.

These are great to use in a variety of recipes, but they’re also pretty tasty to snack on, too đŸ™‚

What you’ll need (serving size is 4 meatballs, this makes about 28 total):
1.25 pounds ground turkey – I like Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey Breast
1/2 medium white onion
5 tablespoons chopped or minced garlic
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 egg
Dash of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

What you’ll need to do:

Start by cooking your brown rice. You can instant brown rice or regular brown rice, cooked over the stove or in a rice cooker. Whatever the method, you’ll want 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup of water. If you cook it over the stove, start with both the rice and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to low and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.

After the rice is done, prep your space. Have a cutting board and medium mixing bowl out, a large pan on the stove, and a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. As I roll my turkey meatballs, I put them on the baking sheet covered with aluminum foil so I can pop them in the pan at the same time – the aluminum foil helps save me from washing the dish.

Crack your egg into the medium mixing bowl and scramble. Chop your onion very fine; you want the pieces small so that they mix in well with the ground turkey and other ingredients. Add it to the egg in the medium mixing bowl along with the brown rice, garlic, oregano, S & P. Then, add the ground turkey.

Okay so I didn’t scramble my egg first in this case. Trust me, it’s better and easier if you do. I just wanted to show you what the mass of ingredients looks like.

Use your fingers to combine all the ingredients. This way, I find that you combine the ingredients more thoroughly, and (let’s face it) it’s kinda fun. Besides, your hands will be messy anyway because you must roll out your turkey meatballs with you hands.

After the ingredients are combined, tear off a small piece of the mixture and roll into a 1-inch ball in your hands. Place on the baking sheet as you go, and keep rolling the meatballs until they’re done.

Put on good music or an entertaining TV show to watch while you roll these guys. They don’t take long, but you will be standing there for a few minutes.

Turn your pan on medium-high heat and add your olive oil. Once the pan is heated, add as many meatballs as will fit in the pan. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, constantly turning and rotating to brown all sides – if you’re unsure if the meatballs are done, select the largest one and break open to see if it’s cooked through. If it’s done, feel free to enjoy a small snack. I figure it’s the chef’s prerogative to sample as he/she goes anyway! Work in batches if your pan isn’t large enough to hold all the meatballs.

These smell so good when you cook them. The garlic and onion really pop.

Enjoy! Make one of the upcoming recipes right away, or pack ’em up in a Tupperware and refrigerate to use for the rest of the week.

These would be delicious over regular or whole-wheat pasta, but I want to give you a few extra twists on a classic. So stay tuned for the following recipes:

Egg White Omlette Loaded with Turkey Bacon and Veggies

Happy weekend! As you saw in my pancake post, weekends are my favorite for making killer breakfasts. So if you’re in the mood for something more savory but still super healthy, this egg white omlette is for you. In under 20 minutes, you’ll have a hearty, protein-packed, garlicky, smokey, delicious breakfast. And most of the ingredients are already in your fridge.

With all the flavor packed in this dish, you won’t miss the less healthy breakfasts at all. You’ll still get the creaminess with the bits of Parmesan, you’ll still get the texture of the eggs, and you’ll still get the smokiness and saltiness with the turkey bacon. Eat up and enjoy this guilt-free breakfast.

What you’ll need (makes 2 servings):

  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 4 pinches of shredded Parmesan cheese (about 4 tablespoons)
  • As many veggies as you can pack in, such as:
    • Tomato
    • Bell pepper
    • Mushrooms
    • Broccoli
    • Zucchini

**Tip: Use the steamable veggies you already have in your freezer, or toss in any veggies you need to use up in your fridge. The more you pack in, the more full and satiated you’ll feel after eating tons of “free” foods. Spinach is necessary, but all others are optional.

What you’ll need to do:

Pop your frozen spinach in the microwave to defrost because it takes about 5 minutes to cook. Drain out any excess water after it’s done.

Put a large pan over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Once it’s hot, put in your turkey bacon. You’ll want to brown it on both sides, so cook for a few minutes on one side and then flip and cook a few minutes on the other. After it’s done, remove from the pan and slice into thin strips.

This is what your turkey bacon will look like. Just make sure it’s browned on both sides.

While your turkey bacon cooks, prep your veggies. Chop any fresh veggies you have, or continue defrosting any frozen veggies after your spinach is done. It’s important that all veggies are ready to throw in before you even put eggs in the pan because they cook so quickly.

After your turkey bacon is done and all your veggies are prepped, turn down the heat in your pan to medium heat – you’ll be using the same pan for the omlette that you cooked your turkey bacon in. Put half of your eggs in the pan (about 1/2 cup) so that it covers the entire bottom of the pan.

Throw half of the spinach right on top of the eggs, spreading over the entire surface area. Then, sprinkle half the garlic and Parmesan over the entire pan. Add the rest of your veggies and turkey bacon (half, of course).

YUM, right?!

Because the egg whites cook so quickly, there’s no crazy omlette flipping necessary (a skill I haven’t quite mastered). Use a spatula to fold half the omelette. Don’t worry if it’s messy, you can just call it a scramble instead đŸ™‚ Either way, it’ll still taste just as good.

Rinse and repeat for omlette #2. And enjoy!

**Note: You’ll notice I don’t add any salt. The turkey bacon and Parmesan have enough that you shouldn’t add any more. But you can add a little pepper if you’d like.

Hard Boiled Deviled Chicks, and Everything Inbetween

Deviled eggs are a fun appetizer any time of the year, but they’re especially appropriate around Easter. This year, I cutesied  them up by making them into deviled chicks. Instead of cutting the hard boiled eggs in half lengthwise, I used my paring knife to cut a zigzag around the center. The egg white part popped right off, and I stuffed them with my traditional deviled egg recipe.

These little chicks were so cute for Easter! But the basic recipe can be used year-round.

While the eggs were super cute this year (especially with my Bunny Butt Cake!), it starts with a good hard boiled egg and a simple, yummy deviled egg recipe. So matter what time of year it is, these helpful tips will be good for any occasion. And honestly, while not all these ingredients are in my Kitchen Staples list, you’ll find all of them in my kitchen year-round because they’re so versatile.

What you’ll need:
1 dozen eggs
6 tablespoons nonfat mayo
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I keep this in my fridge all year, it’s great on steaks or in turkey burgers)
4 tablespoons minced celery (about 3 stalks)
2 tablespoons pickle relish (Clinton loves it on sandwiches)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce (tapatio is my favorite, but any kind will do)
Paprika for garnish

What you’ll need to do:

Let’s start by hard boiling your eggs. Put your eggs in a pot large enough so that all of them are spread out in one even layer (your very large pot works perfectly). Fill the pot with cold water from the tap, enough to cover the eggs with at least 1 inch of water. Add a palmful (tablespoon) of salt to prevent the eggs from cracking and making them easier to peel. Bring your water to a boil over high heat.

Watch these guys closely, salted water boils more quickly than unsalted water and you don't want to overcook your eggs.

As soon as the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and cover your pot. Let your eggs sit in the hot water for about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon (be careful, that water is still hot), and put them in a bowl of ice water. Or, to save a dish, drain the water out of the pot and refill with cold water and ice.

After your eggs have cooled, either store them in a covered container in the fridge or peel them for your deviled eggs. Now, peeling hard boiled eggs is probably one of my least favorite things to do because it’s so time-consuming. Make sure you do it while watching a good show on TV or recruit a friend to help you. I always tap the bottom of the egg on the edge of my kitchen counter – if you make a divot in the egg, at least it’s on the bottom. Use your fingernails to start peeling the shell, and then use the edges of your fingers (not nails) to peel the shell off the rest of your egg. If you use your fingernails for the whole egg, you’re more likely to get nicks (I do for sure!).

Once all your eggs are peeled, cut them to get out the yolks and make your shapes. For the deviled chicks, I used my paring knife to make a zigzag cut around the center of the egg. If you’re making regular deviled eggs, cut them lengthwise. As I cut the eggs, I toss the yolks in a bowl where I’ll make the stuffing for the deviled eggs.

This is definitely the most time-consuming part, but making your basic deviled eggs into deviled chicks really didn't make much difference time-wise. Cuteness-wise, deviled chicks definitely take the win.

Finally! We get to make the best part about the deviled eggs: the yummy, tangy, center – and it’s the easiest part! In your bowl with the yolks, add the mayo, Worcestershire sauce, celery, relish, salt, and hot sauce. If you have an electric mixer, go to town until the mixture is totally blended. Good ol’ elbow grease and a fork will work, too.

Stuff your egg halves with the yolk mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. If you’re making the chicks, stuff half of the egg white “shell” with a big spoonful of the mixture and then top with the other half of the egg white “shell.” For the eyes, I used bacon bits. And for the beak, I used a small sliver of carrot. So cute!

It's so easy to pop one of these in your mouth every couple minutes that it's rare to leave a party with leftovers.

It’s hard work, but so worth it. Deviled eggs are super delicious and a great appetizer for any party.