Steal the Gold!

Egg yolks are the 'gold' in these recipes

Eggs are healthy. Enjoy these tasty recipes.

Eggs have gotten a bad reputation the last 20 years. Now the American Heart Association says its okay to have three to four eggs a week. Eggs are a great, inexpensive source of protein. If you are watching your budget, a dozen eggs gives you as much protein as 1.5 pounds of steak, for about a dollar a pound or one-tenth the cost of steak.

Spring is the time when chickens biologically start working overtime making eggs and you can often find great buys on them this time of year. The yellow yolk of the egg is often referred to as the "gold," so win your own "gold" medal by trying these easy, low-salt egg recipes!

Simple Hard-Cooked Eggs:

Warm eggs before cooking by rinsing with hot tap water. Put eggs in a pan in a single layer and cover with cold water. Heat the water to a boil, remove pan from heat right away and cover the pot with a lid. Let the eggs sit in the water for about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Drain eggs in a sieve and rinse with cold water to cool quickly. Refrigerate.

Egg Salad Sandwich Filling

3 hard-cooked eggs, cooled

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 stalk celery, diced

¼ tsp dried mustard powder

1/8 tsp paprika

Peel and chop hard-cooked eggs. Add other ingredients and stir gently. Use this filling to top a cracker or serve as a sandwich on bread or pita. Add sliced cucumber or a lettuce leaf for more crunch.

Fluffy French Toast

3 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup milk

6 slices stale bread

In a shallow dish, beat eggs slightly. Add sugar and milk. Soak the bread in the egg mixture, turning over to coat both sides. Grease or use non-stick spray and heat a griddle or fry pan. Brown bread on one side, then flip and brown other side. Serve with butter, margarine and syrup or fresh strawberries. Freeze any leftover French toast and for a quick treat, just reheat in the microwave.

Quick Quiche (with or without crust)

8-10 asparagus spears, cooked

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

1 tablespoon flour

2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 tablespoons fresh basil)

½ cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon oil

5 eggs, beaten

½ cup milk

pinch of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

(prepared pie crust, optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a pie pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with oil. Toss Swiss cheese with flour. In a frying pan, cook the onion until tender, but not browned; add basil. In mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, nutmeg and cooked onion. Add Swiss cheese. Pour egg mixture into pie pan or prepared pie crust. Arrange asparagus like spokes of a wheel on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serves 6.

The information in this column is meant for people who want to keep their kidneys healthy and blood pressure down by following a low-sodium diet. In most cases, except for dialysis patients, a diet high in potassium is thought to help lower high blood pressure. These recipes are not intended for people on dialysis without the supervision of a registered dietitian.

[Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The 2014 recipient of National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition’s Susan Knapp Excellence in Education Award, she has a Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. See more of her recipes at www.nwkidney.org.]

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