Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fried Egg in a Red Pepper Frame

Amazing things have been happening since I last wrote, namely my blood sugar has remained in the normal range on the gluten-free/dairy-free diet for over five weeks and my bloated wheat belly is melting away.  My doctor has reduced my Metformin by half and, if my BG remains normal, I will be allowed to go off of it completely in a few weeks.  In one week, I can begin to reintroduce aged cheeses to my diet and evaluate if my intestines have healed enough to tolerate these lower lactose dairy products.  This is all very exciting news!  Reading and learning more about Celiacs disease and meeting with a dietitian have occupied much of my time lately but, as much trouble as it has been to make this adjustment, it has been worth it.

Another simple addition to my daily routine is drinking an adequate amount of water for my body size and weight.  I learned just how important adequate hydration is when I saw my blood pressure drop significantly just by drinking more water!  Although my blood pressure isn't perfect yet, I learned that being chronically dehydrated can raise your blood pressure.  I was instructed to drink 1/2 of my body weight in ounces every day.  So, if you're dealing with high blood pressure, just don't take a pill, have a drink of H2O!

While being on this highly restrictive elimination diet for the past several weeks, I must admit it has been a challenge in the kitchen.  Naturally, I've increased my intake of vegetables (I didn't really have a choice, if I wanted to eat!).  Below is one of my quick, go-to recipes that is perfect for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.  I serve my framed egg over a salad that has been lightly dressed and sprinkled with roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  If your diet allows, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, lightly buttered toast points or crackers would be a nice addition, too.  (Note: If you have a gluten sensitivity and wish to add toast points or crackers, please be sure to choose gluten-free products.)

Fried Egg in a Red Pepper Frame
Makes 1 serving

2 eggs (at room temperature)
two 1/4" thick rings cut from a red pepper (any color pepper can be substituted)
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of cheddar cheese, optional

1.  Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet.  Place the red pepper rings into the pan and press down onto the hot surface with the back of a spatula for a few seconds (this may help the peppers to adhere to the pan).

2.  Gently crack an egg into the center of each pepper ring.  If necessary, again press down on each pepper ring with a spatula so the egg white doesn't seep under the ring, press only until the egg white solidifies a bit.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  After about 1-2 minutes, carefully turn over each egg with its red pepper frame and continue cooking until the yolks are cooked as desired.  Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving (doesn't include salad, cheese or any additional sides): 137 calories, 1.6 g carbohydrate (0.4 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar), 11.8 g total fat (2.6 g saturated fat, less than 0.1 g trans fat), 186 mg cholesterol, 355 mg sodium, 29.4 mg calcium, 111 mg potassium, 6.5 g protein.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, 2013