Eating right at lunch time has always been a challenge for me as a mom. Whether you’re at home or an office, the middle of the day is busy…and it’s only too easy to grab something junky to keep yourself going. So I’ve been working on coming up with healthy, filling, protein-packed lunch ideas that will keep me going until dinnertime, and will share them here in a regular “What’s for lunch?” feature.
Ah, the humble egg. Packed with vitamins and amino acids, easy to cook…and even if you opt for the free-range, organic type, they’re an economical source of protein. (I often find coupons for Eggland’s Best brand, or stock up when they’re on sale. That’s the other benefit of eggs…they last forever in the fridge.)
But sometimes I forget about that cartoon of eggs sitting all lonely in my refrigerator. Or when I do think about having one, all that comes to mind is scrambled or sunny-side-up. Sure, I love eating hard-boiled eggs straight up with a little salt, but that gets old after a while.
I’m trying to remind myself that there are lots of ways to use hard-boiled eggs in a healthy, filling meal, and if I hard-boil a dozen on the weekend I’ll have enough to keep myself in lunches for quite a while. Here are some ideas I’m going to try, including a few unique recipes that never would have occurred to me:
- Hard-boiled eggs on…pizza? Yep. It may seem unorthodox, but paired with pesto, how could you go wrong?
- Jazz up a salad. Of course crumbled or sliced hard-boiled egg is great on a green salad (I especially love it with bacon and blue cheese.) But I’ve yet to find a salad that isn’t improved with egg. I use it in my “whatever you’ve got” chicken salad, but also love it in pasta salad, potato salad, and (duh) egg salad. Eating Well has a yummy, easy egg salad recipe.
- Q: What the heck is a papadzule? A: It’s an authentic Mexican dish similar to an enchilada for those of us who are tired of black beans on our tortillas.
- Devilishly good. Deviled eggs never get old, do they? I like ’em simple, with just mayo, Dijon, salt/pepper and Paprika, but curry is a nice addition, too. The nice thing about deviled eggs is that you don’t really have to follow a recipe. Just start smashing up the yolks and add a little mayo, mustard…taste, repeat, taste, repeat. You might surprise yourself by accidentally “discovering” 3 or 4 different flavor combinations you love.
- Eggs on toast. You already know about my feelings for toast, and a fried-egg sandwich on toasted whole-wheat is one of my favorite meals. But sliced, crumbled, or cubed hard-boiled egg between two buttered slices of bread is a great alternative, and if you boiled a bunch of eggs ahead of time, you won’t have to dirty a frying pan today. If you’d rather avoid bread, try a lettuce wrap with whatever ingredients you’ve got on hand – like avocado, cucumber, etc – and some hard-boiled egg.
What are your favorite ways to use hard-boiled eggs?
PS: A few months ago I shared that I’d been experimenting with a no-grains-until-6 eating plan in order to reboot my diet, which had become pretty heavy on the carbs. I have relaxed it quite a bit since, but am still taking care not to load up on bread early in the day. So on the days that I have tea and toast for breakfast, I’ll opt for something with protein and veggies for lunch – like a cobb salad, say. I found the experiment to be valuable, because it helped me take a hard look at how I was eating and hit the “reset” button…and the great side effect is that I’m eating better overall now.
PPS: This is the method I use for hard-boiling eggs.