After Thanksgiving I bet some of you are weak with tummy ache and the last thing you want to do is eat another helping of honey glazes ham or roasted turkey with all the fixins’. So how about some very light meal ideas that you can easily interspersed with leftovers.
But Eggs? Am I really going to write an entire post on eggs! You betcha. The French are googoo-eyed over eggs. They have tons of recipes for meals that put eggs at the center of the plate (as a lighter alternative to replace meat), and not only for breakfast. After all, there is an entire chapter on eggs in Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
I won’t go through her recipes for you here as you can just as easily buy her book. Rather I’d like to share some old traditional (I learned them from my belle-mère) French ways of eating light after a heavy night of indulgence, which is one of the simple ways the French have learned over a millennium of practice to eat right.
So, if you made pies and deviled eggs and biscuits for Thanksgiving, grab a few of your left over eggs, or run out to the farmer’s market and buy a dozen fresh ones, and give one of these very simple, light egg recipes a try. (And let me know how it turns out!!)
This is the perfect way to not only eat lighter, but use up a few of your leftovers. Cut up some ham/turkey; whip three or four eggs together with some light sour cream. Place some leftover greens – green beans perhaps – and a thin layer of leftover dressing at the bottom of your pastry, dab a little cranberry sauce in, then grate some cheese over it all and bake for 20 minutes. (See our video on making the perfect French quiche)
Making an omelet is easy. Crack as many eggs as you want for your meal into a pan of sizzling butter. Add your other ingredients. Cook on medium heat until bubbling on the side facing up. Then with a spatula, turn half the omelet over on its side. (This part takes some practice.) You can use most your leftovers in this as well: turkey, cranberry, ham, greens.
On a bed of lettuce, spread on some fresh blanched green beans, add a boiled egg per plate cut into rounds and decorate with grated carrots, cherry tomatoes or a sprig of parsley.
4. Scrambled eggs
Breakfast for dinner? Pourqoui pas? I think this is a much more European idea than it is an American one. But why not give it a try if you haven’t already indulged in the pleasure. You can always accompany the eggs with some more leftovers to help clear out those you weren’t able to send home with the in-laws or the kids. The French eat eggs for dinner several times a month. It’s a super easy way to get protein and calcium into your diet.
Plus, it’s always better to eat light at night!
5. Eggs à la coque
I learned this one from my new nieces and nephews when I took care of them for an extended period this summer. Eggs à la coque to the French child is scrambled eggs or pop tarts or peanut butter to the American. They like the look of it, the fun in dunking and apparently the taste too.
A la coque is a three-minute boiled egg (soft boiled) placed in a tiny egg throne and served with its head decapitated. How much more French could an egg get?!! (This joke doesn’t go off well with my parents-in-law, but I thought it couldn’t hurt an Anglo-Saxon reader. :)) The best thing about these eggs, if you like fried eggs sunny side up, is the wonderful possibilities for dipping your fresh bread or les mouillettes (small finger size slices of bread) into the yolk.
Garnish with a green salad or some leftover Thanksgiving dressing and macaroni and cheese and you have an additional lighter alterative to yet another plate of the Thanksgiving feast.