Eggs are great for diabetics since they are affordable, easy to find and full of healthy nutrients. It is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which helps with our gene expression, metabolism, immunity and moods. The incredible, edible egg contains antioxidants for maintaining good eye health, something most diabetics need. Avoid Egg Beaters® at all costs, it is a heavily processed food-like item with low-quality ingredients by the mega food producer ConAgra. Take the extra 10 seconds to crack your own eggs, your body will thank you. Buy local, organic, pasture-raised eggs if you can afford it. These also taste better.
PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER
Follow the instructions below to make this savory meal. An easy short-cut to this meal is buying roasted red peppers in a jar. Trader Joe’s has a few kinds on the shelf for your choosing. I prefer to buy the organic red peppers to fire-roast myself on the stove-top. It’s fun to do and easy, so long as you do not set off the fire alarm in your abode. Trader Joe’s affordable white wine is great for many recipes. Some wines are better cooked with than drank (sorry, not sorry Charles Shaw!). You can always poach with fresh filtered water and a 1/4 cup of white vinegar instead of wine.
It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.
Optional: Wash and clean the exterior of your red pepper(s). Place on a small burner on medium-low heat. Turn every 3-5 minutes with a pair of tongs to allow an even amount of charring per side. Take caution to not let it burn for too long. A burnt pepper will turn from black to ashy grey. This indicates the pepper is too hot and the taste is getting bland/burnt. If you do not have a gas stove, you can place the peppers on a cookie sheet and broil on the top rack of your oven.
Once all the sides are evenly charred, remove from the heat and place on a cutting board to cool. After 10-15 minutes the pepper will be cool enough to handle. Use your fingers to gently rub the blackened skin from the pepper. Do not rinse it under water since this will dilute the flavors and nutrients gained from roasting. Cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds and fleshy interior. Then slice the pepper into thin strips. Use about a quarter red pepper per egg on a cracker. Save the unused peppers in your refrigerator.
One of the secrets to getting a nice poached egg is to use a fresh egg. Old eggs tend to fall apart the minute they hit the hot water. An easy way to tell if your egg is fresh or not is to float it in some cold water. In the picture below, the egg on the left will make a loose mess when dropped into water, while the egg on the right will hold together. As eggs get older they develop an air pocket inside that grows. This is why the egg on the left floats different than the one on the right in the picture below. Another secret of poaching eggs is the temperature of your egg. A room-temperature egg poaches the best. I like to pull eggs out a few hours before poaching or the night before. A good egg will not go rancid when left on the counter for 12 hours. Just keep it in the shade and away from sunlight.
A trick to getting the freshest eggs is to look for the “egg birthday” in the grocery store. There’s a number on the side of the egg carton that ranges from 001 to 365. These numbers match to the calendar day when the egg was packaged and is called the “Julian date”. The number 001 means it was packed on January 1st, while 365 means the last day of the year. In some stores, the eggs can range up to 45 days since they were packed – and that’s an old egg by our standards. Try to pick eggs with the smallest difference between the packaged and current dates. And keep in mind that the numbers reset toward the end of the year.
Prep a cold bath for your poached eggs by filling a bowl with cold, filtered water and ice cubes. Place next to your pan for poaching.
Fill your deep skillet or medium-sized sauce pan with cold, filtered water or white wine and water. If you are just using water, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar. The wine has enough acidity that it does not need vinegar. Bring the poaching liquid to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. If you have poaching pods, lubricate the insides with a light coating of olive oil. Spray olive oil works well for this application. Then crack an egg on your flat counter and drop one egg into each poaching pod. Place the egg and pod into the poaching liquid. Allow to cook on a low rolling boil for 5-6 minutes. Place into the ice bath to stop the cooking.
If you do not have poaching pods, do not fret. It’s easy to crack your eggs into a measuring cup before pouring into the poaching liquid. Give the eggs a fair amount of room from each other and only do two at a time. Pouring them in slowly makes for the tightest eggs. Remove with a slotted spoon after 5-6 minutes. Place into the ice bath to stop the cooking.
Store one or two days worth of eggs in the cold bath. Microwave in 1 cup of water to reheat for about a minute. Place some red pepper slices on a cracker, then your poached egg with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of black pepper and salt.
Optional: If you’re trying to cut your calorie intake, skip the cheese. Likewise, if you’re having a hard time getting your weight loss started, skip the cheese. Parmesan is tasty and adds a salty element to this easy dish. Trader Joe’s has excellent choices for parmesan and grana padano in whole chunk forms. A simple box grater makes easy work of freshly shredding the cheese. Only shred what you need since it tends to dry out if sitting in your refrigerator for too long.
Microwave: The quickest and easiest way to poach an egg(s) is in the microwave. Use one microwaveable bowl per egg. Fill the bowl with 3/4 cup of water. Crack an egg on a flat counter surface then place into your bowl(s). Cover the top of the bowl with a small plate. Place the bowl into your microwave for 45-90 seconds on high. Check the egg white at second 45 to see if it has firmed up. Since the power of microwaves varies greatly, it helps to check it then continue microwaving in 20 second increments. Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and place into an ice bath for storage or eat it immediately. Never use any plastic in a microwave, even if it is labeled for microwave use. Only use glass or ceramic containers in the microwave.
Serving Size: The 1,500 calorie meal plan gets two crackers and two eggs per serving. The 2,000 calorie meal plan gets three crackers and three eggs per serving. Divide the parmesan and red peppers evenly per servings.