March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2018 is “Go Further with Food,” focusing attention on making informed food choices. This could mean starting your day off with a healthy breakfast, incorporating more healthy foods into your daily routine, or introducing your family to new foods.
When I think about going further with food I have two foods that come to mind: eggs and cruciferous vegetables.
What came first? The chicken or the egg? This question has been around for ages, and many people believe the answer is the egg. Eggs, although they have gotten a bad rap over the years, are really like nature’s perfect food. In 2015, the national guidelines for foods containing dietary cholesterol were revised, stating it is actually OK to consume two eggs per day.
There are many reasons why eggs are so healthy:
Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals.
Eggs contain the most available form usable in the human body of lutein, which promotes eye health, they promote healthy pregnancies because they contain folate, choline and selenium, which prevent birth defects.
Eggs promote a healthy brain as each yolk contains approximately 300 mcg of choline, which is needed for a healthy nervous system.
Eggs promote maintenance of healthy bones, as eggs are a natural food source of vitamin D.
Eggs are a good food to eat for weight loss; each one contains approximately 6 g protein for only 75 calories.
Eggs are considered a complete protein, as each one contains all nine essential amino acids.
Eggs are a good source of healthy fats.
It is for all these reasons that eggs are really an ideal choice. They are additionally delicious, very affordable, have a long shelf life and can be used in many ways.
Now, to mention cruciferous vegetables: they are low in calories, high in fiber and contain high amounts of folate, vitamin K and phytonutrients, which help to lower inflammation. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, kale, bok choy, collard greens, watercress, radishes, arugula and Brussels sprouts are all considered cruciferous vegetables. One serving is just one cup raw or a half cup cooked.
Let’s see how easy it is to incorporate all of this information into a very easy and delicious meal for two people.
Soft-Cooked Eggs With Spicy Chickpeas and Kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2-3 sliced cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of kale (leaves only)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil over medium heat.
2. Sauté garlic for just about 2 minutes.
3. Add chickpeas, paprika and tomato paste.
4. Stir for 1 minute, add cottage cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Bring to a simmer and stir in the kale.
6. Crack eggs into the pan, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until white of the egg is set.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
By Jamie Feit