We've been eating eggs for a very long time. Ancient Romans ate peafowl eggs, the Chinese ate eggs from pigeons. The Phoenicians enjoyed ostrich eggs; eggs from plovers, partridges, gulls, turkeys, pelicans, ducks, and geese have all provided sustenance to various cultures throughout history.
Yet thanks to our penchant for health science that consistently is proven wrong, then right, then wrong again, eggs got a bad rap. Accused as being unhealthy for their cholesterol, eggs became a bit of a no-no – which was probably good news for animal-rights advocates and for plenty of hens themselves. But the egg-eating public was steered away from an excellent source of protein, all the while with little actual risk of boosting one's cholesterol.
As the Harvard School of Public Health notes, eating unhealthy fats has a much larger effect on most people’s cholesterol levels than eating food that contains cholesterol. In other words, it's saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, that raises the body's cholesterol. In addition, eggs have nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate. As I wrote in Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners (and where I first wrote about these recipes), protein quality in an egg is so high that scientists often use eggs as the standard for measuring the protein quality of other foods. So with that in mind, I made these recipes with protein in mind; in each version, mayonnaise is exchanged with healthier alternatives that happen to be tastier too.
Each of these recipes is based on using half a dozen hard-boiled eggs; many of them come out very stuffed, adjust servings as you like.
Wasabi and sesame eggsMash the 6 yolks with: ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt; 1½ teaspoons wasabi; 1 tablespoon sesame seeds; 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Stuff the eggs and top with minced pickled ginger.
Per egg: 82 calories; 1 g carbs; 8 g protein; 6 g fat.
Hummus eggsMash the 6 yolks with: ½ cup hummus; 2 teaspoons olive oil; lemon, hot sauce, and salt to taste. Stuff the eggs and sprinkle with cayenne or smoked paprika.
Per egg: 117 calories; 3 g carbs; 8 g protein; 9 g fat.
Salmon and horseradish eggsMash the 6 yolks with: ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt; 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish; ¼ cup minced smoked salmon; fresh dill, salt, and pepper to taste. Stuff the eggs and garnish with more fresh dill.
Per egg: 87 calories; 0 g carbs; 9 g protein; 6 g fat.
Guacamole eggs(Pictured above) Mash the 6 yolks with: 1 medium avocado; 2 tablespoons salsa; lime and salt to taste. Stuff the eggs and garnish with chopped cilantro. (Alternatively, just use avocado, lemon and salt; top with dill and fresh tomatoes.)
Per egg: 118 calories; 3 g carbs; 8 g protein; 9 g fat.
Eggs tonnatoMash the 6 yolks with: One 5-ounce can of tuna (in water), drained; 6 anchovies; 1 tablespoon capers; 1 tablespoon olive oil; lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Stuff the eggs (they will be overflowing) and garnish with capers.
Per egg: 112 calories; 0 g carbs; 11 g protein; 8 g fat.
Classic, remixedMash 6 yolks with: ⅓ cup low-fat cottage cheese; 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard; sea salt to taste. Stuff the eggs and sprinkle with smoked paprika or cayenne.
Per egg: 91 calories; 1 g carbs; 8 g protein; 7 g fat.
Recipes adapted (and used with permission) from a book I co-wrote: Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners