(NewsUSA) – Is there such a thing as comfort food, convenience, fun and good nutrition all wrapped up in one? Yes. It’s egg salad. Just keep hard-cooked eggs on hand in the fridge and you can quickly and easily whip up a soothing salad whenever you like.

Depending on your mood, you might prefer to make the simplest of all egg salads – just chopped eggs and mayo – or you might find a colorful, multi-ingredient salad more appealing.

Start with a moisturizing ingredient. If you’re out of mayo, consider plain or lemon-flavored yogurt, sour cream or your favorite creamy salad dressing. Stir in a dash of herbs or a seasoning blend, lemon juice, mustard, pickle relish or anything else that goes along with the flavoring ingredients you’ve chosen.

To flavor your egg salad, you can add almost anything you like – chopped or shredded veggies fresh from the garden or market, shredded cheese, chopped nuts or olives. Maybe you’d prefer an egg-potato, egg-rice, egg-chicken or egg-tuna salad. For an economical combo, inexpensive eggs plus leftovers are a good choice. See what’s on hand in your fridge and cabinets to decide.

Simply stir everything together, then dish up the salad on lettuce leaves, in tomato or bell-pepper cups, between slices of toast or bread, stuffed into pita pockets or wrapped in tortillas.

No matter what you use to flavor your salad, the eggs provide the highest quality protein of any food along with lots of vitamins and minerals. To round out a balanced meal, enjoy your egg salad with whatever food groups aren’t already in the salad.

If you serve this Vegetarian Egg Salad as a sandwich, you need only a glass of milk and some fruit. What could be easier?

Vegetarian Egg Salad

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs,*chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped zucchini (about 1/4 medium zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot (about 1/2 medium carrot)
  • 2 tablespoons finely
  • chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green
  • onion with top
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread,
  • plain or toasted
  • Lettuce or baby spinach leaves

Instructions

In small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, mustard and dill. Add eggs, zucchini, carrot, celery and onion. Toss until evenly coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors. Spread about 1/2 cup egg salad on each of 2 bread slices. Top with lettuce leaves and remaining bread slices.

*To hard-cook: Place eggs in single layer in saucepan. Add enough tap water to come at least 1 inch above eggs. Cover. Quickly bring just to boiling. Turn off heat. If necessary, remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling. Let eggs stand, covered, in the hot water, 15 minutes for Large eggs (about 18 minutes for Extra Large eggs, about 12 minutes for Medium). Immediately run cold water over eggs or place them in ice water until completely cooled.

To remove shell: Crackle shell by tapping gently all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Then peel, starting at large end. Hold egg under running cold water or dip in bowl of water to help ease off shell.

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Nutrition information per serving of 1/2 recipe without lettuce: 255 calories, 10 g total fat, 213 mg cholesterol, 563 mg sodium, 323 mg potassium, 31 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, phosphorus, zinc, dietary fiber