What’s for Dinner Wednesdays: A Slice of the Sunshine Vitamin

With days growing shorter and fall approaching, it becomes increasingly difficult for many Americans to meet their vitamin D requirements.  Research shows 40 percent of people 65 years of age and older, even those living in sunny climates, are not getting enough vitamin D. So, today’s post focuses on a very “sunny” side of eggs—their natural vitamin D content.

Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of vitamin D, which plays an important role in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones.  The USDA recently reviewed the egg nutrient data and results show that one Grade A, large egg contains 41 IU of vitamin D, 65 percent higher than the amount reported in the last nutrient analysis. One large egg provides 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin D. Other natural dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and fish oils, beef liver, mushrooms and fortified milk. Some brands of orange juice, margarine and other products can also contain added vitamin D.

Adding more vitamin D, along with high-quality protein and 12 other essential vitamins and minerals is simple with eggs, and below is one of our favorite recipes—Italian Vegetable Custard. This dish is especially perfect for anyone with an abundance of tomatoes and zucchini in their garden this time of year. While one serving (1/4 of the recipe) already provides about 10% of the DV, boost vitamin D content further by adding a half cup of your favorite mushrooms which also naturally contain vitamin D.


Italian Vegetable Custard

Makes 4 servings

What You Need

  • 4 EGGS
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • 6 very thin tomato slices
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
  • ½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (2 oz.)

Here’s How

  1. HEAT oven to 450°F. BEAT eggs and flour in medium bowl until smooth. ADD yellow squash, zucchini and 1/4 cup olives; mix well. SPREAD in greased 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. BAKE in center of 450°F oven just until custard is set, about 10 minutes.
  3. MIX Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic salt; sprinkle over custard. TOP evenly with tomato, remaining olives, onion and Jack cheese. BAKE until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.

Nutrition Info (Per Serving)

calories: 237, total fat: 12g, saturated fat: 5g, cholesterol: 201mg, sodium: 424mg, carbohydrates: 19g, dietary fiber: 2g, protein: 14g, vitamin A: 727.9IU, vitamin D: 41.7IU, folate: 83.4mcg, calcium: 110.8mg, iron: 2.6mg, choline: 138.7mg