Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free Range and Nutritious Eggs and Spinach from My CSA

Photo (Lexi Van de Walle): Chubby Bunny Farms Free Range Eggs and Sauteed Spinach

On Tuesdays for the next five months, beginning yesterday, I will be getting my weekly delivery of farm grown vegetables, fruits and eggs from Chubby Bunny Farms via my subscription to Chubby Bunny NYC CSA. As a supporter of community supported agriculture and locavore chef, I love getting a box of farm food every week. I but can never really be sure what will arrive in my box of fruits and veggies – although I do know for sure that I will be getting 6 organic, free range eggs with bright orange yolks (Dan and Tracy, the Chubby Bunny Farmers, feed their chickens grass, bugs, kelp seaweed and organic grain which helps make for a very nutritious egg -- check out the health notes below).

When I have time on my hands, I make some elaborate meals always keeping the focus on the fresh ingredients with relatively simple recipes. This week, I was only able to enjoy a quick and easy meal before hopping on a plane to West Palm Beach for a long weekend with my husband and his work colleagues.

Before leaving for the airport, I made a super simple, yet delicious, sautéed spinach with garlic and nutmeg with two Sunnyside up fried eggs followed by a bowls of locally-grown strawberries with a hint of granulated sugar to bring out the natural sweetness.

RECIPES

Sautéed Spinach with More than a Pinch of Nutmeg

The secret to this recipe is the generous amount of ground nutmeg – I learned this tip for making delicious sautéed spinach from Michael Lamonico in early 2001 when I had dinner at his Wild Blue Restaurant on top of the World Trade Center. Try it!

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pound of local spinach

1 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Fill a large pot with cold water and rinse sand and dirt from the spinach. Remove thick stems and dry leaves on paper towels to remove excess water. Mince garlic and grate nutmeg and set aside. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and sauté garlic for 45 seconds, reduce heat to medium and add spinach in batches to wilt, stirring to incorporate raw leaves with wilted leaves. When all the leaves are wilted, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Serve.

Eggs Sunnyside Up

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Break open eggs into the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook slowly until the egg whites are completely set and the yolks begins to thicken, but are not hard. Serve eggs over cooked spinach.

HEALTH NOTES

Struck by the bright orange yolk of the Chubby Bunny Farm eggs, I did a little research on the nutritional content of farm vs. supermarket eggs and found an informative study and article by a friend of mine that proves that well fed hens produce more nutritious eggs (the orange in the free-range yolk comes from beta carotene – there’s 7 times more beta carotene in free range eggs due to the hens diet!) According to my friend, Tabitha Alterman, a writer/editor at Mother Earth News Magazine, in her article “Meet Real Free Range Eggs” free range eggs, where hens are raised outside in a pasture and eat greens and grubs, are significantly more nutritious than conventional “supermarket” eggs largely because of the diet of the hens (hens raised to produce supermarket eggs live in cages and eat a diet primarily of less nutritious corn and soy meal)

According to Mother Earth News’ egg testing project in 2007 where they compared eggs raised on 14 different farms with supermarket eggs the study revealed that the free-range eggs have a higher vitamin content and ... 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E and 7 times more beta carotene!!!

2 comments:

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Aren't local eggs so much better than the store bought alternatives? I remember the first time I got local eggs, I couldn't get over how yellow and solid the yolks were, and that was before I even tasted them!

I love simple sauteed spinach, but have never thought to put nutmeg in it, I'm going to have to try that, thanks!

Alexa Van de Walle said...

Jennifer -- Love your blog name -- I'll check it out. Experiment with the nutmeg starting off with a generous pinch and adding more as you taste it. Bon Appetit!