Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

CURRIED LENTILS AND EGGS

1 cup dried red lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

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2 carrots, cut in ¼-inch dice

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 pound tomatoes, diced

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 large eggs

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the inside of 4 ramekins with cooking spray.

2. Combine the lentils with 3 cups water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes; drain and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion, garlic, curry and cumin and cook, stirring often, until the onions just begin to soften, 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery, tomato and ½ teaspoon of the salt, cayenne (as desired) and simmer, stirring occasionally, adding 1 tablespoon of water if the pan dries out, until the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Combine with the lentils.

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4. Spoon the lentil mixture in the ramekins; hollow out a well in the center of each. Crack an egg into the well; place the ramekins on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and bake until the whites are set, about 25-28 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 332 calories, 22 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 566 mg sodium

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ASPARAGUS AND SWISS CHEESE FRITTATA

8 large eggs

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½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound) trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the cheese.

3. Heat the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium high; add the onion, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes until somewhat softened. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring, until somewhat softened, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until just bright green, about 2 minutes.

4. Pour in the egg mixture and stir gently. Allow to cook (without stirring) until the eggs just begin to set, about 5 minutes. Loosen the edges lightly with a spatula. Transfer to the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked through and the top is lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, loosen the edges, allow the frittata to cool 5 minutes and invert it on to a plate. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 337 calories, 25 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 21 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 504 mg sodium

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SPRING EGG NESTS

3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed

1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar

½ cup parsley, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

12 large eggs

 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine the potato, cheese, parsley and salt in a large bowl; divide evenly among the muffin cups. Use your fingers to press the mixture up the sides and on the bottom of each muffin cup to form the nests. Bake 15 minutes, until brown and crisp. Allow to cool in the pan at least 15 minutes.

3. Crack an egg into each nest; bake until the whites are set, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 142 calories, 10 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 249 mg sodium

 

TIP:  The lentil mixture and potato nests may be prepared a day in advance and the eggs added just before baking.