The Heart of New Ulm people have been promoting how to make healthy substitutions. I have been consistently learning how to make better choices in what I put into my body. I love it when I find a substitution that doesn't make me feel like I am missing something. Those are the good types of changes. Sometimes, the replacements turn out to taste better. These are the best types of modifications.
I use olive oil instead of butter. Sometimes, I don't even use olive oil and opt for the water method of sauting. Pop never crosses my lips. That one is easy because I think soda is disgusting. The only drinks I ever drink are tea, water or wine. I try to limit wine to the weekends; but, often times I fall short on this goal.
I rarely eat meat of any kind. I do use some of the meat substitutes out there. However, I prefer to eat portabella mushrooms or other meaty hearty vegetables instead. I don't think eating the meat substitutes is always healthier than finding a whole food which satisfies the same craving. I have seriously limited my cheese intake. Eating less cheese is the hardest healthy choice I make.
A tasty and low-fat egg white omelet.
Avocados are my favorite substitutes for cheese. The fake cheese substitutes aren't all that healthy for you and really don't taste that great. Make sure you look at the ingredients, often times they are filled with oil.
Sometimes, I just have to use real cheese. I don't think I could ever completely eliminate cheese entirely. I choose to eat really great cheese only. I don't eat the processed nacho cheese type of cheese. I would love to get my hands on that great Camembert style of cheese made in Mankato from the Alemar Cheese Company. That is cheese worth eating.
I am living on an 80/20 scale with my healthy choices. I try to eat only whole foods 80 percent of the time. Then, if I eat something processed or something with meat or use oil in cooking, I don't feel guilty. I rarely eat eggs. Eggs are so high in cholesterol and contain saturated fat. I have been doing a great job of keeping my cholesterol at a good level. When I do eat eggs, I opt for egg whites instead of yolks. Eggs whites have 17 calories, no saturated fat, more protein than yolks, and no cholesterol. Egg yolks have 59 calories, 1.6 grams of saturated fat, less protein than whites, and 210 milligrams of cholesterol. So, if you take the yolks out, you are getting a much healthier option.
Egg white omelet
Time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Five egg whites
4 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Saut the onions and tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are soft, smash them down with a potato masher or fork. Add salt and pepper. Scoop this into a bowl and set aside. Mix egg whites together with some salt and pepper. Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Pour in the egg whites. Once they are almost completely cooked, scoop in the tomato and onion mixture onto one half of the omelet. Fold over the other half. Cut this in half and serve each half with cilantro and salsa on top.
I find that I don't even miss the yolk. At first, I just wasn't eating eggs at all. Then, one morning we were eating breakfast out at a restaurant. I saw an egg white omelet on the menu. I figured I would give it a shot. The chef filled the omelet with tons of vegetables and seasoned it to perfection. The flavor was amazing. If it weren't white, I probably wouldn't have noticed the difference.
This morning I decided to try this egg white version of an omelet out on Claud. Claud would definitely notice the color. So, I had to fix that somehow. I hoped he wouldn't miss the flavor of the yolks. If you add a lot of flavorful fillings to an omelet, the eggs end up being just a wrapper anyway. I sauted onions and tomatoes, cut up some avocado, and got the salsa out to pour on top. I figured the salsa might mask the color. Potatoes and orange wedges accompanied the omelet.
When it was finished, I brought it into Claud to eat. He ate it quickly without saying a word. When I grabbed his empty plate, I said, "That was an egg white omelet." He said, "I know." I didn't believe him. I think he would have said something because I have never made an egg white omelet before. All I know is that he really liked it, whether or not he knew.
Substitutions are terrific, but sometimes you have to splurge. For example, I will never change my eggs benedict breakfast tradition, which I have for every one of my birthdays and for Mother's Day each year. Yes, we use about four sticks of butter to make this and probably about 15 yolks. I will also never substitute whole eggs for Christmas breakfast. Each year for Christmas breakfast, we make cheesy scrambled eggs and layer it on top of a thick piece of toasted French bread. Sometimes, if we are really lucky, we will shave on a bit of black truffle. If we aren't that lucky, we drizzle on a bit of truffle oil. Either way, they taste delicious. We serve this with smoked salmon and wash it down with champagne or mimosas. This fits into my 80/20 plans. In fact, I apologize for even making you think of diet at Christmas time. Save this recipe for another time. Whatever you enjoyed for your Christmas breakfast, I hope you are filled with joy, love, happiness and peace.