Saturday, February 6, 2010

Healthy Choices - Revamped Egg Salad and More

One of the cards that has always been stacked against me in my quest for a slimmer waistline has been the fact that in general, I just don't like fat-free foods...things like dressings, cheeses, mayonnaise. Things like that. I've always said they seem to try to overcompensate for the lack of fat by adding too much sweetness - in the form of either sugar or artificial sweeteners. I don't know if it's the non-fat part I hate, or the sickeningly sweet part!

On sandwiches, I am usually perfectly happy with mustard, but then comes that craving for one of those mayo-based sandwich fillings - tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad.... and as much as I've tried to like the low fat or fat free versions of those, I just don't, and I walk away from my plate feeling let down, somehow, and looking for something else to appease me.

Usually something chocolate.

When my daughter asked for hard-boiled eggs the other day - she LOVES them, but will only eat the whites! - my mind immediately thought "When was the last time you had egg salad?" I'm not a huge egg salad fan, but when the craving hits I really, really, REALLY want it! As the eggs were cooking on the stove, I browsed through the refrigerator, reading labels, calculating "points" (I'm doing the Weight Watchers thing again, and kind of in the WW Zone, so to speak!) I tried looking at alternatives for the big gob of mayonnaise that would have historically found its way into my egg salad. I know people use yogurt as a mayo substitute, but the thought of yogurty egg salad didn't appeal to me. What did I have on hand that could maybe cover up that yogurt flavor? Whatever it was, it would have to be good, because I was already hell-bent on making a healthy egg salad using one whole egg and a couple whites only. Not only would it have to cover up yogurt, it would have to cover up the fact that a couple rich, creamy yolks were missing, having been sacrificed to the dogs. (Insert dog burp and happy tail-wagging here)

This came to my rescue.

A nice spicy dijon mustard which would add flavor as well as a hint of yellow, tricking the eyes into thinking there were more egg yolks in the egg salad.

Dijon had an accomplice, too!

One of the most under-utilized items in my cupboard. I've never actually been sure if I liked them or not, but I always seem to have capers on hand.

I went on, measuring out some non-fat yogurt, a spoonful of mustard, and I did add a spoonful of mayonnaise for a little bit of luxury, then capers, scallion and salt and pepper. Stirred in my one chopped whole hard-boiled egg, and two hard boiled egg whites, pulled out a nice low-carb, multi-grain wrap and some fresh veggies, and this was my lunch:

And it worked! I really didn't feel like I was being cheated, and there was very little of that "diet" taste.

Here's my new egg salad recipe - even if you want to use whole eggs, this ended up being a great way to cut back on the mayo:

Lighter Egg Salad Wraps (2 servings)

1 whole hard boiled egg
2 additional hard boiled eggs, yolks removed (if doing the lighter version)
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp dijon mustard ( a nice spicy one)
1 1/2 tsp capers, drained and chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise ( I use a canola-based mayo)
Salt & pepper to taste
2 8" multi-grain low carb tortillas (or other bread item)
Cucumber Slices
Chopped fresh dill or paprika (optional)

Chop eggs.
Mix together yogurt, mustard, capers, scallion, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Stir in eggs.
Arrange sliced cucumber and lettuce on each tortilla and top with half the egg salad. Sprinkle with dill or paprika, if desired, roll up and serve.

But wait! There's more!

Yes, the whole inspiration for this egg salad actually came from something I had made the weekend before to use up some leftover salmon. Here's my Salmon Salad recipe (the dressing part actually makes a nice tartar sauce, too!)

Dijon Salmon Salad With Lemon and Capers
  • 4 or 5 oz. cooked salmon (about 1 1/2 cups, flaked), chilled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, dijon mustard and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in capers, dill and scallion.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. (This can also be used as a nice tartar sauce)
  5. Fold in flaked salmon.
  6. Serve on top of salad greens, in a sandwich, on a toasted English muffin, as a spread for cracker, etc....


Willoughby said...

I'm with you on the non-fat and low-fat dressings. They are always too sweet. I've tried to mask the flavor with a little hot sauce or vinegar, but then they just taste worse.

I like your twist on egg salad. I'm going to have to give a try the next time I make some!

thamesarino said...

I have to agree with the too sweet thing too! I really dislike that super sweet taste in the lower fat recipes...
Although in case you haven't tried it, I really like the Hellman's Olive Oil Mayo. It is half the fat and calories of the regular version(which happens to be my favorite). It does have a slightly different flavor, but to me it is way better than no mayo at all! I happen to have a tragic love of the mayo, in general.
I also LOVE Trader Joe's Dijon Mustard(it made me drool when I saw the photo, maybe I'm hungry? : ) ) which I try to use instead of mayo, but sometimes I just HAVE to have it! : )
Your recipe sounds delish! I will try it when I next get the hankering for some egg salad(which like you is only sometimes, but when it hits, I NEED it!!!)! : )

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I, too, can't stand fat-free. I don't think they're really any healthier, with the sugar and chemicals, and if they don't taste good that's even worse. Your compromise egg salad looks I have a craving!!

Chicago Mom said...

If you can believe it, I have never had egg salad. I love eggs though, so I am going to try your recipe!