The Incredible Edible Egg

eggWhat is better than a fried egg? Or a scramble with sausage, bell pepper and smoked gouda? Or a poached egg on a bed of mixed greens?

I could go on and on about the awesomeness that is the egg like Bubba does with shrimp. It is amazingly versatile and packed full of protein. Like the late 1970s ad said, it truly is “The Incredible, Edible Egg”.

And so this week I have turned to the egg to replace the Clif Builder’s protein bar in my lunch box. While the bar has 20 grams of protein, it also has 20 grams of sugar. It is far from being evil but my coach Peter is right in pointing out that there are much better ways to consume the same amount of protein everyday.

So I made a small supply of hard-boiled eggs this past Sunday night to bring to work. They take a bit more time and effort to prepare but two eggs deliver 12 grams of protein and only 1.2 grams of sugar.

Rather than boiling them, I tried baking them in the oven, which is a technique advocated by Alton Brown of Food Network fame and clearly explained on Family Fresh Meals. Here is the recipe:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • Place eggs in a muffin tin to prevent them from rolling around and easily clean-up in case one breaks.
  • Cook the eggs in the oven for 30 minutes at 325º.
  • After 30 minutes, remove them from the oven and immediately submerge them in cold water for 10 minutes.

The eggs come out pretty much perfect.  You may find there are one or two little brown spots but they don’t affect the taste at all. The eggs are also really easy to peel. If you are going to store them, dry off the eggs and keep them in their shells. They will stay good for a few days in your refrigerator. Pretty incredible, right?

# of days to Freeze Fest: 114

My Lunchbox

Over the last year or so, I have made a conscious effort to bring lunch to work. This daily habit helps me save money and eat healthier.

thundercatsFor better or for worse, in the months of August and September I got into a rut of not preparing anything ahead of time and just going to the cafeteria in my office building to get a wrap, which while accompanied by fresh veggies also usually led to the purchase of a cookie to round things off. (Shh, don’t tell my coach.) It was embarrassing to look at my credit card bill and see how many line items were charges at Isabella’s Cafe. And it was all money that could have been better well spent.

After a week out of the office on a business trip to Texas that was spent eating at Panera everyday, I decided that starting Monday, September 30th I was going to follow a simple rule: bring lunch everyday to work unless someone else buys it for you.

Today marked the start of week three and I have happily brought lunch into the office 9 of the past 11 work days and on the other two work picked up the tab.

So what does my lunch consist of? Well I prefer a simple cold lunch that is easy to put together in the morning and doesn’t require microwaves or a big production when I am in the office. I still haven’t got out of the mindset from grade school that lunch is a sandwich and some snacks.

Twenty years later, I find myself  bringing a lunch box to work again, though not as cool as the ones I had as a kid. And since I try to keep Paleo, the white bread and bologna has been cast aside. In its place are baby carrots, celery sticks, almonds, plantain chips and some main source of protein.

The last two weeks I have bought a package of chicken drumsticks as my protein. Here’s the simple recipe I follow to bake them:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Toss the drumsticks in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary.
  3. Arrange them in a lightly greased baking pan.
  4. Cook for 30 minutes at 400° F and then turn the drumsticks over and cook for another 30 minutes at 400° F.

They come out perfectly cooked and they have turned out to be really delicious when served cold. They could definitely be more elaborately prepared but I need to do more research into recipes for a sauce to marinate them in. Or perhaps there is some form of Paleo breadcrumbs?

My lunch box also contains a banana or apple as snack for later in the day. I am also on the hunt for additional ideas of what to pack as I was recently advised to ditch the protein bars in favor of more natural sources of protein.  This week I am bringing hard-boiled eggs but welcome recommendations.

# of days to Freeze Fest: 116