I work with a lot of people who want to eat healthier (I am a dietitian after all, so this does make sense). Some of the biggest challenges of the people I work with are that they are busy and feel that they don’t have time to eat healthy or prepare healthy foods. Who isn’t busy these days? A few people aren’t, but I suggest you don’t admit that to the rest of us.
So, when I am helping people who are trying to balance work, family, “me” time, fitness, other activities along with a healthy diet, I believe that is it sometimes okay to have short-cuts such as microwavable frozen brown rice or vegetables: a quick, easy, convenient way to get healthy food on the plate for the family.
So, earlier this summer on our weekly trip to Costco, a new item caught my attention this fir the bill for “quick and easy”: pre-packaged, peeled, hard-boiled eggs. Two–dozen for $3.99. I often mention to my clients that a hard-boiled egg can be part of breakfast out-the-door or a quick afternoon snack. I suggest boiling some on Sunday for the week. It isn’t hard to do (with Albuquerque’s high altitude it does take some practice to get it right), but it does take time, and it is sometimes messy when it comes to peeling. Also, the kitchen and fridge stink a bit after the boil.
These hard-boiled eggs were also useful on a road-trip we took in mid-August (in rural New Mexico and Arizona) when we packed a cooler of snacks to include our water, fruit, string cheese and these eggs. We had our breakfast at the hotel, had our snacks through the day and our dinner out in the evening.
Now, I know that some people feel this is a ridiculous item – pre-cooked, pre-peeled, eggs? How hard is it to boil and peel an egg?! No one is saying it is hard. It isn’t. Anyone who can navigate the internet and read directions can find out how to make a hard-boiled egg. Members of my family would make a two or three at a time, several times a week. So, rather than boiling some eggs here and there during the week, we have chosen to use less energy, and spend less money and save time by purchasing this convenience item. To some people think it is silly, but for us it gives us more time to wash the fresh fruits and veggies that we also pack for lunch and snacks. Also, it can cut your deviled egg preparation time down dramatically!
The big question for these pre-packaged eggs: how do they taste? Answer: if you didn’t know, you couldn’t tell. The whites aren’t rubbery; the yolks don’t have a greenish-gray line (maybe that would be the giveaway). They tastes just like…eggs. There are real eggs, so they taste like real eggs. Go figure. And, no they are no more “slimy” than regular hard-boiled eggs, which are pretty slimy in my opinion. Try picking up a deviled egg from a plate some time.
When it comes to convenience foods, sometimes I take shortcuts. As a rule, the shortcuts are “real” food and help me cut down on prep time: frozen vegetables, frozen brown rice (6 minutes vs. 55 minutes), a rotisserie chicken vs. my own roasted chicken (10 minutes vs. 90 minutes or more). But as a rule I don’t take shortcuts that will substitute a processed food. For example, I make my own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (not the un-crustables in the freezer aisle) and I make my own cookies, brownies and cakes from scratch (so no buying cookie dough or a cake or brownie mix).
November 2 is National Deviled Egg Day – try this yummy recipe from Cooking Light: Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Herbs, and with the pre-packaged, pre-cooked, pre-peeled eggs, you get to skip Step 1, and go directly to Step 2. Quick and easy.
Okay, now…judge away. What convenience foods to you use?