Rhonda’s Cooking

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Archive for August, 2010

Life is not over without eggs!

Posted by rhondascooking on August 21, 2010

Many of you may be in a panic because of the recent egg recall. Well, have no fear, yours truly is here to assure you that life is not over without eggs. I have been egg-free for five years now, yep you got it 5 years! Just like many of you, I was in a panic because I love to bake! There are lots of alternatives or substitutions for eggs, but it depends on your needs and/or recipe.

Though I think that this recall is tragic for the farmers’ income, I think that this would be a great opportunity for many people, especially those with challenges with high cholesterol, to take a break. I know many of you are saying, “eggs are good for you, they have plenty of protein.” Yes, but they are also packed with cholesterol; in fact one egg has about 200mg. Why is that an issue? Well, for a normal 2000 calorie diet we should only be consuming about 300mg or less cholesterol per day! So if you like to eat traditional egg omelets, that’s about 400 to 600mg, not including the cheese that you stuff inside the omelet! The other reason why you can benefit from taking a break from eggs is because many eggs come from chickens that have been raised in a cage, jammed packed wall to wall with hundreds of chickens that may have been boosted with antibiotics or other growth enhancers in order for the chickens to produce in a short amount of time. [If you haven’t seen, Food, Inc. you must watch it immediately!]

I’m not trying to make you turn against eggs. I know that organic, cage-free eggs have lots of nutritional value with the biggest being protein, as well as the fact that they are an excellent binder when baking. The intent of this article is for you to consider other alternative foods that can also provide similar nutritional benefits.

The following is small list of high protein foods:
Quinoa (keen-wah)
• Avocados
• Lentils (and other legumes such as red beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, etc.)
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Hemp seeds
• Nuts (almonds, Brazil, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, etc.)

If you are a baker looking for egg alternatives, the following list are a few of many options that have proven to work well in baked goods:
• Ground flaxseeds
• Tapioca flour
• Arrowroot flour
• Guar gum
• Ener-G Egg Replacer (see my egg-free pancake recipe)
• Xanthan gum

If you have any questions, please let me know!  I can definitely help because not only am I’m egg-free, but also gluten-free and vegan!

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Egg recall due to Salmonella outbreak

Posted by rhondascooking on August 21, 2010

Many of you may have heard about the recent Salmonella outbreak in eggs that was announced on August 13, 2010 voluntarily by Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa.  During a FDA on-farm record review and egg testing for  Salmonella, it was concluded that specific Julian dates of shell eggs produced by their farms have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  Since August 13th there have been a lot more recalls and updates on various egg brands throughout the country.  So if you are an egg consumer, it is vitally important to understand which eggs have been recalled, regardless of when you purchased the eggs.   Many people feel that because the eggs were purchased prior to the announcement that they may be okay, but that is not necessarily true.  According to my research, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that since May 2010, the number of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) infections, the same strand found in the recent egg recall has been increasing dramatically almost four-fold!

To date, the FDA has reported that eggs affected by the expanded recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. These companies distribute nationwide.

Eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Albertsons, Farm Fresh, James Farms, Glenview, Mountain Dairy, Ralphs, Boomsma, Lund, Kemps and Pacific Coast. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons, and loose eggs for institutional use and repackaging) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 229 and plant numbers 1720 and 1942.

Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton or printed on the case label. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1720 223.

For more information and to stay updated on the egg salmonella issue, visit the egg safety website for specific details.

Sources:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm222501.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223139.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/WhatsNewinFood/ucm222684.htm

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