Give your immunity a boost with eggs
Over the cooler months, the number of Australians with a vitamin D deficiency increases to 36 percent. This is compared with 14 percent over summer. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones. But what you might not know is that it also plays an important role in regulating your immune system. So, with COVID still lurking about and cold and flu season on the way, how can you keep you D levels up? The answer lies in eggs.
Eggs are one of the few foods that naturally contain high amounts of vitamin D. One serving of two eggs provides you with around 82 percent of your recommended daily vitamin D intake. But that’s not all that eggs can offer you. These perfect little packages of goodness also contain vitamins A, B2, B5, B12 and E, as well as minerals such as iron, selenium and iodine. Plus, they offer other important nutrients, including choline and protein.
By combining eggs with other healthy ingredients like lean proteins and vegies, you can dish up decidedly delicious and nutritious meals at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try these recipes from Australian Eggs to keep your vitamin D levels up and your immune system fighting fit. Just make sure you choose wisely and opt for free-range or barn-laid eggs.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow or red capsicum, halved, deseeded, sliced
1 cob sweet corn, kernels removed
⅓ cup coriander leaves, chopped
200g mini roma tomatoes, halved lengthways
8 large eggs, at room temperature
Diced avocado, coriander leaves and lime wedges, to serve
1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Heat oil over medium heat in a 20cm non-stick ovenproof pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft, then add capsicum and corn, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until capsicum softens. Stir in chopped coriander.
2. Spread mixture evenly over base of pan and scatter tomatoes over mixture.
3. Whisk eggs in a jug then pour egg mixture over vegetables. Shake pan to evenly distribute egg. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until almost set.
4. Place pan under hot grill for 3-5 minutes or until top just sets. Stand for 5 minutes, transfer to a board. Cut frittata into wedges. Serve with salsa, avocado, coriander and lime.
Cauliflower steaks with herbed scrambled eggs
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1.5cm-thick steaks
Olive oil spray
½ cup milk
35g butter, chopped
1 cup mixed chopped herbs
60g baby spinach
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
Lemon wedges, to serve
Steamed brown rice and tomato salad, to serve
1. Preheat a grill pan or char-grill on high. Spray cauliflower with oil and place on heated grill for 5 minutes on each side or until charred and tender.
2. Meanwhile, place eggs and milk in a large bowl. Whisk until frothy and combined.
3. Melt butter in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add egg mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Stir in herbs and remove pan from heat. Season egg mixture with salt and pepper.
4. Serve cauliflower steaks with herbed scramble and spinach. Scatter with extra herbs, spring onion and lemon wedges. Serve with steamed brown rice and tomato salad.
Ham and vegetable slice
1 tbsp olive oil
200g cup mushrooms*, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
4 large zucchinis
100g leg ham, roughly chopped
200g feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper
125g cherry tomatoes, halved
Mixed salad greens, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 7-cup capacity baking dish. Heat oil and butter in pan over high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until golden. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and capsicum. Cook until tender. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, run blade down length of zucchini, forming ribbons. Line baking dish over base and sides with zucchini, overlapping slightly. Place ham in base over zucchini.
3. Whisk eggs and add vegetables and feta. Season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into baking dish, spreading evenly. Place tomato halves over bake, cut side up. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and set. Serve with salad greens.
*Mushrooms also contain vitamin D. To increase the amount of D in your mushrooms, place them in the sun for 15 minutes and they’ll “supercharge” with vitamin D.