While I was eating a salad at a restaurant recently, my preschooler reached over and pointed to my plate. “What’s that?” he wanted to know, intrigued. He was pointing to a hard-boiled egg that had been cut in half. I told him what it was, extending it to him on the end of my fork. He happily gobbled it up and searched the plate for more. The other half was buried under some lettuce. Something about the way he inhaled that second half made me think of a snake. We blow through a fair number of eggs at our house. They’re cracked into pancake batter or scrambled for breakfast. Occasionally I cook them sunny side up to top a salad, like this dish. But rarely are they hard-boiled unless it’s Easter and we’re going to dye them.
“Can you make these at home?” he asked. Of course I can. And why not? Hard-boiled eggs are easily portable – perfect for the lunchbox (for the sandwich-fatigued), great for a protein-packed snack and an easy on-the-go breakfast. Why I didn’t think to introduce them to this child before this moment is beyond me.
Like many of you, I’m trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian main dishes. However, I struggle with the protein component. I’m a little gun-shy with soy and we can only handle so many beans at a time. Hard-boiled eggs can be a great solution here. This week, I whipped up some pesto with arugula and basil, tossed it with whole grain spaghetti and grated the hard-boiled egg over the top for protein.
Though I thought the finished dish looked great topped with a fluffy mountain of grated egg (see photo on the righthand side bar under “featured recipe”), the kids weren’t so sure. For them, I sliced the egg and lined it up along the edge of the dish so they could see very plainly what is was. I’m not generally a fan of hiding vegetables, but I did have a guilty moment of glee having realized they each consumed about 1/2 cup of arugula without evening knowing it. I also added some “meaty” sauteed mushrooms for a color contrast and texture variation. If you’re not a mushroom fan, just skip them.
I hope you are enjoying the spring weather. Before you know it, farmers’ markets will be back in the swing of their warm weather schedules. Hard to believe another school year has practically slipped by and another summer is staring us down…ahhh. Until next week, be well.
What’s in Season?
What’s for Dinner?
- Whole Grain Spaghetti with Arugula Walnut Pesto and Grated Egg
- Asparagus Artichoke Tart with Quinoa Crust
- Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
1/2 pound asparagus
Large bunch basil
2 cups arugula
8 oz. mushrooms
14 oz. can artichoke hearts
Thin whole grain spaghetti
1-1/2 pound flank steak
4 oz. goat cheese
*If making the arugula walnut pesto for the spaghetti, you can reserve some for the asparagus tart later in the week. Alternatively, you can buy store bought pesto for the tart crust.