Eggs for Easter Brunch

Eggs, which embody the renewal of spring, are perfect as both decoration and a dish on the Easter table. For a festive brunch dish that is colorful and tasty as well as healthful, try an easy-to-make frittata, an egg dish Italian in origin, but now adapted in many countries, from Spain to Vietnam.

Health-conscious people used to worry about eating egg yolks, which are high in cholesterol. But it is saturated fat—not the cholesterol in food – that raises the cholesterol level in our blood. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests a limit of three or four eggs a week for healthy adults. If eating high cholesterol foods is strictly off-limits, use cholesterol-free liquid egg substitutes and the whites alone.

Instead of the ham or other forms of pork so often found in frittatas, the Asian-style version below uses shrimp and other, more healthful ingredients.

The broccoli called for contains sulforaphane, one of the many powerful phytochemicals that help protect us against cancer and other serious illnesses. The scallions and red onion offer other phytochemicals, as do the garlic and ginger.

Scientists who study phytochemicals believe that the power of each individually is magnified – what they call a synergistic effect – when they are combined, as in this particular recipe, Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp. The frittata is one of four found in AICR’s The New American Plate Cookbook, which features 200 health-protective recipes for dishes ranging from soup to dessert.

Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp - Makes 4 servings.

2 cups 1/2-inch pieces of broccoli florets
2 or 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
5 oz. peeled cooked shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2-cups)
1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. cold water
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
Canola oil spray

In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, scallions, onion, bean sprouts, shrimp, sesame oil and pepper. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg white and flour until the lumps are almost gone, about 2 minutes. Pour it over the vegetable mixture, mix well with a fork and set it aside.

Preheat the broiler.

In a cup, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon cold water. In a small pan, bring the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar and broth to a boil over medium heat. Stir cornstarch mixture to re-blend, add to the hot liquid and whisk until the sauce is thickened and translucent.

Coat a large, ovenproof skillet with canola oil spray and heat over medium-low heat. Stir the egg/vegetable mixture and transfer to the skillet, smoothing the mixture into an even layer. Cook about 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the bottom is browned. Place the skillet under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the top is browned and the center is almost dry. Loosen the frittata from the skillet with a spatula and slide it onto a serving dish.

Cut the frittata into quarters and serve with the warm sauce spooned over the wedges.

Per serving: 197 calories, 7 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 14 g. carbohydrate, 20 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 245 mg. sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) offers a Nutrition Hotline online at www.aicr.org or via phone 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, MondayFriday, at 1-800-843-8114. This free service allows you to ask questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A registered dietitian will respond to your email or call, usually within 3 business days. AICR is the only major cancer charity focusing exclusively on how the risk of cancer is reduced by healthy food and nutrition, physical activity and weight management. The Institute’s education programs help millions of Americans lower their cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. Over $82 million in funding has been provided. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Article Posted: March 20, 2006

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