I can remember when words like “cholesterol” and “heart attack” were said in the same breath as “egg yolks,” and experts warned if you ate more than a certain number of eggs a week, you could sit back and wait to feel chest pain.
As someone who had eaten her fair share of eggs, it didn’t sound right. But not wanting to take any chances, I became an less-yolk cook. I stopped eating my favorite sliced egg and tomato sandwiches, used one hard-boiled egg instead of five in potato salad and substituted egg whites for whole eggs in baking. Chocolate chip cookies had a funny anemic look, and two-egg cakes lost their sunny appearance, but it seemed a small price to pay for the supposed health benefits. The sell-by dates on eggs were a joke. A carton of eggs could linger in the refrigerator for months.
In one of those about-faces so typical on the nutrition front, the latest news is that eggs have now regained a place on a healthful diet. Of course, it’s not all right to wolf down four-egg omelets, but for healthy people, an egg a day is OK.
For dieters, eggs may help lose weight. In a study of people on calorie-controlled diets, those who ate two eggs for breakfast lost more weight and felt peppier than those who ate bagels, even though both groups ate the same number of calories. A nice little bonus, which might explain the weight loss, is that the egg-eaters felt fuller longer, and by the end of the day, they ate fewer calories.
I still can’t bring myself to make a cake that calls for a dozen eggs or a custard with eight yolks, but I’m back to eating egg sandwiches and baking two-egg cakes.
Here are three of our favorite egg recipes: one perfect for breakfast or brunch, one for lunch and one for dinner.
—By Jean Kressy