Sunday, May 2, 2010

Humpty Dumpty

My body wanted protein when I returned home from yoga yesterday afternoon. There are those days when I simply feel as though my muscles need something more substantial than fruits, veggies, tofu, and beans to rebuild after a vigorous activity. I've become picky about the animal products I consume in the last couple of years now privy to, not only the nutritional difference between conventional meat/poultry/eggs/fish and their grass fed/free range/wild caught counterparts, but also understanding the environmental impact and considering the quality of life the animals were afforded. As with any product expense increases as quality improves, making animal proteins a rarity in my diet.

For these reasons, which could be many more posts in and of themselves, as well as the fact that I cook for one, I typically prepare vegetarian dishes. However, I'm careful to balance these meals with healthy fats, like avocado, olive oil or nuts and seeds, a source of protein, such as legumes, tempeh or tofu, and a high fiber whole grain or starch, like, quinoa or sweet potatoes. These foods always befriend the veggie delights that manifest from under my knife. With so much variety to be had, and the cooperation of herbs and spices lending a hand, there is an endless assortment of marriages between all of these very basic yet nourishing whole foods.  

As I said before, some days I just need more. This is when I turn to trusty staples in my pantry or fridge, like wild caught canned salmon or tuna or free range eggs. Ahh the egg, once demonized as being an artery clogging cholesterol bomb, has persisted as a friendly, and extraordinarily versatile, companion to nearly any meal. The egg waved his white flag of surrender insisting he had come in peace simply to serve us with essential nutrients and various culinary properties. His resume is extensive including, but not limited to, experience in emulsifying, thickening, binding and foaming. Better yet the egg works well as a part of a team in baked goods, sauces, souffles, and salads, but he can also be a leader and command attention when acting alone, scrambled, over easy, poached or hard boiled. Any time of day, for a meal or a snack, the egg will happily serve.

Luckily I had a hard boiled little guy ready and waiting for lunch. Having decided on something savory yet light, I threw together this wonderfully simple and satisfying egg salad, perfect for cracker dipping and companion to the rainbow of veggies that made up my beet filled salad.  

Energizing Egg Salad for One

Clean, modest ingredients combine for a creamy, fluffy spin on egg salad. Delightfully different and well balanced, heart healthy fats and perfect proteins join forces to create a fresh tangy boost of energy. Enjoy over green salad, as an open face sandwich or dunk you favorite crackers.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1

1/4 avocado, mashed
1-2 tablespoons pickle juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
Fresh cracked pepper

Combine avocado, pickle juice and cilantro. Mix to desired smooth consistency. Fold in chopped egg. Season with pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Original recipe, Marissa Barneck, 2010