As a food loving dietitian, sometimes I get excessively passionate about nutrition. There was that time I almost got in a fight with a triva host after he asked a nutrition question I got wrong (but trust me, I was right!). Then there was that time the guy sitting next to me on a plane made the mistake of asking about my nutrition book, then had to suffer through my 1,000 mile speech on whole foods and intuitive eating. Most recently, I woke up the entire neighborhood up shouting for joy when news broke about the recommendations to stop warning against cholesterol in the dietary guidelines. What can I say? I like eggs.
If you're just getting used to the fact that eggs are no longer villified, you'll be shocked to learn eggs have a multitide of health benefits. Yes, even the yolks! It makes sense when you think about it, since an egg contains all the nutrients needed for a chicken to grow. And although some people with a high risk of heart disease or diabetes should continue to limit yolks to less than three a week, for everyone else, eggs are a go!
Eggs are the best food source of choline, a critical nutrient for cell membrane structure and in the nervous system. They are also a very good source of selenium, which supports healthy thyroid function. Studies show about 40% of the people have suboptimal levels of vitamin B12 - not a good thing at all since a deficiency has been linked to everything from cognitive decline, cardiovascular disease, and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. One egg contains about 25% your daily needs of B12 and is one of the best vegetarian sources. There are also a couple surprise nutrients in eggs, like bone-building and mood-enhancing vitamind D and even heart healthy omega 3 fats!
The nutrition of an egg is affected by the diet of the hen that laid it, which is which I recommend pastured and organic eggs. Studies show they contain about double the amount of omega 3 fats and vitamin E. Bonus points if you buy local!
To highlight eggs in this column, I thought about sharing a frittata or omelet recipe, but I mean, y'all already know how to do that! I've been eyeballing eggs on pizza since I had a seriously delish breakfast pizza at a local eatery. Have you tried it? The runny yolks mingle with the toppings and the crispy crust. It's soooo good! After seeing a gorgeous picture of an eggs and roasted pepper tart in the Jerusalem cookbook, I thought to myself, "You know, that would make a great pizza." Of course, I think that with most recipes! ;)
To cook the eggs properly, make sure the rack is placed in the top third of the oven. I accidentally left mine in the bottom and had to broil it quickly to set the whites which unfortunately overcooked the yolks a bit. There's nothing worse than sticking your fork into an egg yolk and not getting any run!
Tired of the same old pizza toppings? Try adding an egg to top off this whole grain crust! Tweet this
Whole Grain Pizza with Roasted Peppers and Eggs
Makes 1 large pizza (serves 6)
- 3 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and sliced
- 2 yellow onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half moons
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 premade ball of whole grain pizza dough
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a large bowl, toss together peppers, onions, olive oil, cumin, thyme and season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Spread evenly on two baking sheets and roast 35-40 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Increase temperature to 500 degrees with the rack in the top.
- Sprinkle a pizza stone with a handful of cornmeal, grits or flour to prevent sticking. Place the round of pizza dough in the center. Starting around the outsides, press the dough into a flat circle, gradually moving in. Starting with the outside first keeps the dough from getting too thin in the center. Once the dough has been flattened, spread it with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Top with peppers, onions and crumbled feta. Using a spoon, create four wells in the peppers. Crack four eggs into the wells. Place in the oven and bake 10-12 minutes until crust is golden and crispy and egg whites are set while yolks are still runny.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting into slices and serving.