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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, August 30, 2010

If you are not eggs-actly sure...

Such a week for meat and eggs. Recalls and more recalls. And a perfect, but unexpected topic to discuss today. I love eggs and look forward to having them on the weekends. I like them for any meal, not just breakfast. The French say there are about 1000 ways to cook eggs. I know about 10 and so eggs seemed to offer me an endless culinary adventure, until this week.

I am very careful about where I buy my eggs and feel safe and at peace with the ones I eat. That is the key. Ask, ask, ask and question everything, even what I share here. This issue goes way beyond our health, safety and enjoyment of eggs. There are dozens of articles and news clips available and so educate yourself on eggs and their whole story from hen to your hand. There are some reference books listed, too, on Our Little Green Book tab. Ultimately, you and you alone have to be at peace with what you buy and either put in or on your body. I have found my "pieces of peace" and want you to find yours, too!

If you are not exactly sure about this whole egg recall mess or if you are setting out to lower your consumption of eggs for whatever reason, it is pretty easy to do, and tasty, too. If you bake a lot, here are some simple substitutions:

1. For each egg in the recipe, substitute 3 tablespoons of applesauce or mashed banana. Most everything will turn out the same and be nice and moist to boot.

2. You can also use flax seeds and water in place of eggs. Use 2 parts warm water to 1 part flax seed and put in a blender for about 15 minutes. Then, blend away and really grind this up until smooth. One tablespoon of this mix equals 1 egg. Refrigerate any leftovers and use up within 10 days to 2 weeks.

I have never tried the actual "egg replacement" products and so I cannot comment on them.

I have had "tofu" egg salad and it is quite good. The secrets to tofu? First, it must be organic and second, the seasonings should be bold. It can absorb whatever flavors you like and be absolutely delicious.  And so, I took this recall as a chance to adventure a little into the tofu unknown. I am still on shaky ground with tofu or I guess I should say, I am in the skill-building stage! The ultimate challenge for me was to find a yummy "scambled'' recipe. By George, I believe I've done it. If you are not feeling the adventure, these would be delicious made with real eggs, too.

Denver Tofu Scramble

1 tablespoon unsalted butter*
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced sweet onion
2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1/2 pound organic tofu, firm or extra-firm
1-1 1/2 teaspoons good quality curry powder
sea salt and fresh black pepper

In a skillet, melt butter and add in garlic and onion, Saute for a few minutes and then add in peppers and saute until they just lose that "raw" state and are still crispy. Drain tofu and crumble or cut into small cubes. Toss with curry powder and add to skillet. Stir to mix well and cover for about 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Taste and adjust curry. You may want to sprinkle on extra. Season with sea salt (little sprinkle should do it) and fresh black pepper. Serves 2

*Note: For a more Indian presentation, I use butter or ghee as the fat and serve with naan. For a more Asian finish, toasted sesame oil as the fat would be delish, perhaps with a splash of soy sauce and served with rice. For more South of the Border flavors, use olive oil and serve with salsa as pictured here. I didn't have any tortillas on hand though and used my favorite cracker.

You can also cut loose and add in other veggies like mushrooms (saute with onion), tomatoes, corn, spinach, broccoli or whatever suits your fancy. I also like this served in wraps, nestled in tomato or avocado halves, scooped on crackers or chilled with a little mayo added in, like a curried "egg'"salad. Once you get the flavor to your liking, the options are endless.

For a weekend breakfast, this is really good served with home fries or sweet potato fries, which I just realized I have never shared that recipe for...will do later in the week!

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