Tuna or salmon stuffed eggs res­cue lunch box

Eggs are low-carb, high-pro­tein and gluten-free

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - SARA MOUL­TON

If it’s al­ready time to start gear­ing up for school — and if you’re open to re­think­ing the typ­i­cal lunch box fare, con­sider los­ing the sand­wich and em­brac­ing the stuffed egg.

There’s noth­ing more el­e­men­tal and sat­is­fy­ing than good bread, but the stan­dard loaf is loaded with empty calo­ries. Eggs, by con­trast, are low-carb, high-pro­tein and gluten-free. And just about any­thing you can slide be­tween two slices of bread can also be stuffed into a hard-cooked egg.

Still, I’m not talk­ing about the typ­i­cal ver­sion, loaded with mayo and a sprin­kling of pa­prika. I mean eggs filled with any num­ber of more sub­stan­tial, and tastier, in­gre­di­ents — from tuna or av­o­cado to chicken or roast beef.

First, how to boil an egg. As a stu­dent of Ju­lia Child, I spent decades “boil­ing” eggs the way she taught us, which was, in fact, not to boil them. She started by putting the eggs in a pot of cold wa­ter, then brought the wa­ter up to a boil. Next she turned off the heat, cov­ered the pan and let the eggs sit un­til they were hard-cooked. Fi­nally, to stop them from cook­ing, she pulled the eggs out of the pot and chilled them briefly in a bowl of ice wa­ter. This method re­sults in egg whites that are more ten­der than if they had been con­ven­tion­ally boiled.

Then a few years ago, I heard from a couple from Chicago who sug­gested steam­ing the eggs. This method turns out to be eas­ier to time than the no-boil method be­cause you don’t have to wait for the wa­ter to heat up. But much more im­por­tant is the end re­sult: the whites are ridicu­lously ten­der.

Hard-boiled Eggs

MAKES 6 HARD-BOILED EGGS 6 large eggs

Start to fin­ish: 40 min­utes (5 min­utes ac­tive)

Fit a col­lapsi­ble steamer inside a medium saucepan and fill the saucepan with about 1 inch of wa­ter or to just be­low the level of the steamer bas­ket. No wa­ter should be touch­ing the eggs. Put the lid on top of the pan and bring the wa­ter to a medium-high boil over medium-high heat.

Us­ing a large, long-han­dled, slot­ted spoon, place the eggs in a sin­gle layer in the steamer, be­ing care­ful not to burn your hand with the steam. Steam the eggs for 12 min­utes. Trans­fer the eggs to a bowl of ice and wa­ter and let them cool com­pletely. This will take 20 to 30 min­utes.

When they are cool, crack them all over and peel un­der cold run­ning wa­ter, start­ing at the wide end of the egg and mak­ing sure to get un­der the mem­brane (which makes it eas­ier to peel the egg).

Tuna or Salmon Stuffed Eggs

SERV­INGS: 12 STUFFED EGG HALVES One 3.5 ounce can tuna or reg­u­lar salmon, or smoked salmon, drained 6 large hard-boiled eggs ¼ cup may­on­naise 1 ta­ble­spoon fresh lemon juice 2 ta­ble­spoons minced cel­ery, plus cel­ery leaves for gar­nish

In a medium bowl mash the tuna with a fork un­til it is in small flakes. Cut the eggs in half and re­move the yolks. Add the yolks to the tuna and mash the mix­ture well. Stir in the may­on­naise, lemon juice and cel­ery; salt and pep­per to taste. Mound a heap­ing spoon­ful of the yolk mix­ture into the cav­ity of the whites and gar­nish with the cel­ery leaves.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 86 calo­ries; 56 calo­ries from fat; 6 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 99 mg choles­terol; 68 mg sodium; 0 g car­bo­hy­drate; 0 g fi­bre; 0 g sugar; 7 g pro­tein.

Gua­camole Eggs

SERV­INGS: 12 STUFFED EGG HALVES 1 medium ripe Hass av­o­cado (about ¾ cup) 6 large hard-boiled eggs 3 ta­ble­spoons minced scal­lions 2 to 3 tea­spoons minced ser­rano chili (with the seeds and ribs) or to taste 1 ta­ble­spoon may­on­naise 2 to 3 tea­spoons fresh lime juice, or to taste Coarsely chopped cherry toma­toes, sprin­kled with kosher salt for gar­nish

In a medium bowl mash the av­o­cado with a fork un­til it is mostly smooth with a few lumps. Cut the eggs in half and re­move the yolks. Add the yolks to the av­o­cado and mash the mix­ture un­til it is smooth. Stir in the scal­lions, chili, may­on­naise, lime juice and salt and pep­per to taste. Mound a heap­ing spoon­ful of the yolk mix­ture into the cav­ity of the whites and gar­nish with the chopped toma­toes.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 62 calo­ries; 43 calo­ries from fat; 5 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 94 mg choles­terol; 64 mg sodium; 1 g car­bo­hy­drate; 1 g fi­bre; 0 g sugar; 3 g pro­tein.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Stuffed eggs with tuna, topped with dill, and gua­camole, topped with toma­toes.

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