The Incredible Egg

Fast, Inexpensive, Versatile

Background Information About Eggs

Eggs are composed of about 10% shell, 60% white and 30% yolk. The egg is a powerhouse of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, and Riboflavin. Eggs are also very rich in protein. The have an even higher level of protein than meat. Eggs help to build and repair body tissue. Eggs are also a non-waste food. Twelve average-sized eggs weigh over 600 grams, just over 1 pound, with little waste.

Eggs assist dieters. Containing minimal amounts of carbohydrates, the average egg has only 85 calories. Full of nutrients, eggs can form the basis of many low carb recipes.

Babies and Children

Many babies have egg yolk as their first solid food; the egg yolks provide vital iron and Vitamin D, which are absent from their all-milk diet. Custards and whole eggs are a tasty, gentle, and nutritious follow up, as the babies grow older. An egg a day helps supply vital body building nutrients for their fast-growing bodies.
Fast Food

Eggs were our first fast food. You can boil them, fry them, scramble them or make omelets out of them to produce a quick nutritious meal.

Fresh Is Best

Eggs laid by free range birds, who are allowed to peck at dirt and sundry insects have a flavor long forgotten by many of us. Free-range eggs are full of color and flavor and are worth the effort to procure.

Basic Egg Chemistry

The chemistry of eggs is complex and an understanding of how and why eggs do what they do is helpful for all cooks.
Eggs hold air, and their ability to foam is nothing short of miraculous. When whisked, eggs trap many millions of air bubbles. Souffles, meringues and very light sponges result from this unique ability. When cooked, the honeycomb structure solidifies and sets. (OK we will forget my last souffle effort. It still tasted all right.)

Many older chefs swear by using copper bowls. They believe the resultant egg mix is much more stable.

If you have heard it once you have heard it many times. Do not let one drop of yolk near the egg whites! Break the eggs in a separate container. Also make certain that all the utensils (including the mixing bowls) are dry. Water can flatten the mix as well.

We should not make the mistake of whipping eggs to solid peaks, this makes it difficult to fold the egg whites into mixtures. (The exception would be the Aussie pavlova but I am still working on the LC version of that recipe). Though a good substitute for sugar in many cases, Splenda still does not have all the properties which are in sugar.

Because they are sticky, eggs bind. Meatballs and hamburgers are just a couple of instances in which eggs are used to bind ingredients together. Eggs also bind your hands to the mixture, and the mixture to your board utensils. Still, experience soon gets the mixture right. I keep a bowl of warm water handy and frequently dip my hands in it to keep them clear of whatever mixture I am working with. (Make sure you shake off excess water before returning to the mixing or it may get sloppy.) Messy it may be, but I have yet to find a better way to fold and mix mince than with your God-given utensils, your hands. (***Note: “Mince” is the British term for ground beef.)

Beaten eggs are used to thicken soup, sauces and stews. Eggs do the same thing in custards. As they heat, eggs grab and hold liquids in suspension. Make sure you do not overheat or the mixture may curdle. If you are not sure, use a double boiler or put a smaller pot over a larger pot full of boiling water.

Mayonnaise would be impossible without eggs’ ability to grab and suspend oils. (Emulsification.) Vinegar and lemon juice are added to preserve and keep the oils in suspension.

In many Asian deep-fried dishes, eggs are used to coat the meat or poultry. This stops the oil from soaking into the meat. The secret is to use very hot oil and quick cooking, so the meat must be thinly cut.

Eggs are best bought for use straight away. Try to use them within a week or so. Keep refrigerated and bring the eggs to room temperature before using. Some concern is being shown about the incidence of salmonella in fresh eggs. Theories abound about battery confinement of the birds increasing the incidence of salmonella, but the jury is still out on this one. If at all concerned, keep away from uncooked eggs.

Basic Egg Cookery

For those whose total culinary expertise is cooking eggs here are the basics.

Soft-boiled Eggs
Most people like their eggs just set. Put enough water in the pan to just cover the eggs. Boil for about 3 1/2 minutes. Allow four minutes if the eggs are very fresh.

Hard-boiled Eggs
Hard-boil eggs 7-10 minutes. If the eggs crack in the water, quickly add a drop of vinegar and the contents will not spill out and spoil. When hard-boiled eggs are cooked, crack the shell and lower them into cold water. This prevents a dark ring from forming around the yolk. Cracked shells? Prick a small hole in the shell before cooking. Boiling the water too vigorously will bump the eggs together and crack them. Simmer gently. Bring the eggs to room temperature before cooking.

Fried Eggs
If cooking bacon, use the residual fat to cook your eggs, otherwise use a small blob of butter. Break the egg into a saucer and gently slide into pan. Let the egg set before repeating the process with additional eggs. Serve on a slice of ham or steak and cover with chopped onions, mushrooms or lettuce.

Poached Eggs
Bring the water to boil then turn the heat down to simmer. Use the saucer again and slide the eggs into individual poachers. Normally about four will fit in the pan. Sprinkle herbs, spices, crumbed bacon or finely chopped vegetables into the egg. Cook for about 3 1/2 minutes. Season and serve. Try cooking the eggs in wine for a change. Serve with chives and parsley.

Scrambled Eggs
Beat the eggs and season them with salt & pepper. For a softer mixture, add 1 tablespoon of cream per egg. Heat a knob of butter in the pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook very slowly, stirring until set. Remove while still slightly liquid, as eggs will stiffen on the plate. Variations: Add heated chicken, ham or shrimp pieces to the mixture before cooking. Use tomato, small quantities of cooked vegetables, or cheese for variety.

The omelet has been with us for eons. The Romans claim it, but the French also put up a good case. Often said, “The omelet is to haute cuisine as the sonnet is to poetry.”

I must confess to having an omelet maker, an electric device comprising two shallow wells, which I fill up with one egg and chopped whatever I have left in the fridge. Six minutes later – viola – a couple of tasty eggs.

Ah, you say far too easy. OK. There are really two types of omelet, flat and fluffy or French. The best pan for preparation is a nonstick pan with sloping sides. Just follow the instructions in the recipes.

Beyond The Basics: Recipes From Carb-Lite (


Omelet: Basic And French With Variations
Serves 2

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • pepper

Melt butter in a nonstick pan, spreading it over whole surface. Break eggs into small bowl, add other ingredients and whisk until nice and frothy. Pour half mixture into the pan and spread to edges. Cook over low to medium heat. With a spatula, loosen eggs from side of pan as they start to set. Add fillings at this stage. Swirl uncooked mixture through fillings and continue cooking. When firm fold in half. Cook another minute. Slide onto warm plate. Repeat for rest of the mixture.

Per serving: 259 Calories (kcal); 23g Total Fat; (80% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; 415mg Cholesterol; 573mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

***Note: Use this Basic Omelet recipe cooking directions as a general rule for cooking all omelets in this series.
Basic French Omelet
Replace 4 eggs with six egg whites. Prepare and cook as Basic Omelet.

Herb Omelet
To either omelet mix add 1 tablespoon of your preferred herbs.

Bacon & Onion Omelet
Finely chop and cook 1 slice of bacon. Add with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped scallions to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. 2 Serves 2.4 carbs, 0.3 fiber, 13.9 protein. perserve

Ham, Pepper & Parsley Omelet
Finely chop 2 tablespoons cooked ham and 2 tablespoons finely chopped capsicum (bell pepper). Add with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. 2 Serves 3.0 carbs, 0.4 fiber, 13.6 protein. perserve

Salami & Cheese Omelet
Finely chop 4 slices of salami. Add to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over Omelet.
2 Serves 2.3 carbs, 0.0 fiber, 18.5 protein. perserve

Roast Pepper & Olive Omelet
Finely chop and saute 4 tablespoons capsicum (bell pepper). Add with 4 finely chopped olives to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. 2 Serves 3.0 carbs, 0.4 fiber, 13.6 protein. perserve

Tomato & Onion Omelet
De-seed and finely chop half of a tomato. Add with 1 tablespoon of finely chopped scallions to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. 2 Serves 2.1 carbs, 0.2 fiber, 12.9 protein. perserve

Spanish Omelet
Finely chop 1 tablespoon each corn, carrot, zucchini, capsicum (bell pepper) or any other leftover veggie or salad ingredient to either omelet mix. Cook per instructions. 2 Serves 3.0 carbs, 0.3 fiber, 13.1 protein. perserve


The thought of Souffles strikes fear into the most hardy of cooks. Practice makes perfect.

Canadian Souffle

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons pimiento, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 pound Canadian bacon, diced

Butter the bottom and sides of individual souffle dishes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Beat in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, pimento, chives and mustard.

Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into yolk mixture; fold in Canadian bacon. Turn souffle into souffle dishes.

Bake at 350°F-180°C 25-30 minutes. Souffle is done when a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Per serving: 433 Calories (kcal); 35g Total Fat; (71% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 292mg Cholesterol; 1161mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 5 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Grand Marnier Souffle

A nice dessert souffle. A perfect dessert to delight guests with! They’ll never guess you’re dieting!!

Serves 6

  • 6 souffle dishes – cups
  • 2/3 cup Splenda
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 cup water, separated
  • 1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 dash salt

Prepare a souffle dish by adding a waxed paper or foil collar which extends 2″ (50mm) above the dish.

Heat the Splenda with 1/4 cup water. Beat egg yolks in large mixing bowl. Pour in syrup in a thin stream, beating constantly.

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water for 5 minutes. Heat until dissolved. Beat into egg yolks. Add Grand Marnier.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until stiff.

Whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into yolk mixture. Gently fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Pour mixture into souffle dishes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Overnight is even better.) Remove collar before serving.

Per serving: 293 Calories (kcal); 18g Total Fat; (60% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 210mg Cholesterol; 142mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates


Victorian Egg Board
Egg Cook Book by Peter Russell Clarke
The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander

Return to The Aussie LC Gourmet.

Return to CarbSmart Magazine Home.

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