Look for Eggs in Unexpected Places
Eggs aren’t just for breakfast any more. They’re appearing in unexpected places as restaurants nationwide are incorporating eggs into their lunch and dinner menus. Look for eggs on top of burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, pasta and pizza.
“We’ve been seeing consumers’ interest in eggs grow over the past two years. Recent studies confirm that eggs are a healthy source of lean protein and concerns have eased about cholesterol,” says Katie Coyle, Director of Consumer Affairs for the Iowa Egg Council.
From a consumer’s point of view, eggs are a natural choice for nutrients and vitamins. Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D plus all of the essential amino acids.
In addition, the American Heart Association (AHA) no longer limits the number of egg yolks a person can eat. The AHA instead recommends a person limits his or her cholesterol intake to 300mg daily, regardless of where the cholesterol comes from.
“Not only are eggs good for you, but they make you feel good. Eggs are a real comfort food, making ‘Breakfast for dinner’ an ongoing food trend,” says Coyle. “We’re also seeing recipe makeovers for foods like Buffalo Deviled Eggs or Breakfast Deviled Eggs and Breakfast Skillet. Poached eggs, not just hard boiled eggs, are now being used as salad toppings.”
Affordability and versatility are two more reasons eggs are the #1 U.S. food trend. Thousands of menus from more than 15,000 eateries were surveyed by Restaurant.com to establish food trends in 2014. Another reason eggs are trending is because farm-fresh eggs also can be locally sourced, and farm-to-fork dining is Restaurant.com’s No. 2 trend this year. In its survey of member restaurants, 62% reported that they featured locally sourced produce in 2013.
Even small town Iowa restaurants, like The Bistro on Broad in Story City, are sourcing food locally. “A Trio of Deviled Eggs,” offered as part of the eatery’s Valentine’s Day menu, were sourced from Red Granite Farm.
“Red Granite Farms has been growing fresh produce and eggs for seven years and selling direct to consumers through the local farmers market,” says Nicole Jonas, who manages day-to-day operations of her family’s perennial and vegetable farm. “Getting our eggs and produce into local stores and restaurants is a way we hope even more people can enjoy the food that is grown ‘right in their own backyard’ so to speak.”
Whether you choose to buy Farm Fresh Eggs or pick up a dozen from your local grocery store, the Iowa Egg Council encourages you to surprise your family by putting a few eggs in unexpected places. Today we’re sharing a recipe from the council’s site for Egg Lasagna. Also be sure to “feed your curiosity” and check out these egg recipes shared by the Iowa Food and Family Project.
- 12 Eggs
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 of a Red Pepper
- 1 small Squash
- 1 small Zucchini
- 6-8 medium Mushrooms
- 12 slices of Bacon (can used already cooked)
- 4 oz. Pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. Medium cheddar cheese, shredded
- fresh ginger, minced to taste
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. breakfast sausage (can use deer meat)
- In a bowl crack 6 eggs and whisk, mix half of the cream cheese in with the beaten eggs.
- Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit in a 9 x 13 cookie sheet pan.
- Lay one of the sheets on the cookie sheet pan and pour the egg and cream cheese mixture on it and bake at 350° until the eggs are done. Repeat this process with the remaining eggs and cream cheese and bake until done approx. 10-15 minutes.
- Flip the egg mixtures onto cooling racks.
- Slice mushrooms and red pepper in strips and then cut the strips into one-inch pieces.
- Take a zester and score the yellow squash and zucchini to take part of the skin off but leaving some for color.
- Cut squash and zucchini the same way you cut the mushrooms and red pepper.
- Mince the fresh ginger to your taste, and put in a skillet with the melted butter.
- Toss in the vegetables and cook until tender. Drain any liquid off.
- Cook your breakfast sausage and drain.
- If your bacon is the precooked then crumble all but 2 slices in with the sausage. If not, cook 10 slices and then crumble it into the sausage.
- Mix shredded pepper jack and cheddar together.
- In a 9 x 13 casserole dish lay your first layer of egg/cream cheese down, take half of the meat mixture and spread it on the egg, then put half of the vegetable mixture on and spread around, finally put half of the cheese mixture on top, then put the other layer of egg/cream cheese down and repeat the process.
- Sprinkle remaining crumbled bacon on top and bake in the oven at 350° until cheese is melted and golden brown and bubbly.
- Let cool for a little bit after pulling out of the oven and cut into squares.