By Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN
The Egg Nutrition Center partnered with Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN to write this blog post.
A plant-based diet can be used to describe a variety of eating styles, ranging from vegan to vegetarian, plus diets that include relatively larger amounts of plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and relatively smaller amounts of animal products.
It’s important to note that a plant-based eating pattern doesn’t necessarily mean “plant-only.” Eggs are the perfect complement for just about any eating pattern. Pairing eggs with plant-based foods can help your body absorb more of the nutrients found in these foods, including Vitamin E and carotenoids, and can help meet daily protein requirements to support healthy muscles and strong bones. Eggs are themselves naturally nutrient rich with a good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients, including 6 grams of high-quality protein per large egg. Additionally, eggs are one of the only foods that naturally contain vitamin D (41 IU per large egg), which along with calcium, is critical for bone health. For pregnant and lactating women, eggs are one of the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient necessary for fetal brain development and brain function. Many of the nutrients, including Vitamin D, choline, and the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in the yolk, so be sure to enjoy the whole egg for the biggest nutrient boost.
Many seasonal fall vegetables can be paired with eggs for a balanced and complete meal.
Sheet Pan Meals
Fall is the perfect time to utilize your oven for making simple sheet pan meals with fewer dishes to wash. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of hearty root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, and vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli can serve as a base for baked eggs. Try this Eggs and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner using cauliflower for a seasonal twist on an easy weeknight meal this fall.
Put an Egg on It
Top just about any seasonal plant-based dish with an egg to add a source of high-quality protein. Sweet Potato “Toast” with Poached Eggs is a fun spin on classic eggs and toast that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous, try this flavorful Korean Bibimbap with fall sweet potatoes and riced cauliflower. Pizzas and flatbreads, like this Wild Mushroom Flatbread with Poached Eggs, pair well with a poached or baked egg.
Baking with Eggs
Eggs serve many different roles in baking, including acting as a binder and adding richness to casseroles, like this Winter Squash Casserole and adding structure and volume to souffles, like this Pumpkin Souffle.
Jessica Ivey, RDN, LDN, is a dietitian and chef with a passion for teaching people to eat healthy for a happy and delicious life. Jessica offers approachable healthy living tips, from fast recipes to meal prep guides and ways to enjoy exercise on her website, JessicaIveyRDN.com. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.