I was looking through my grandma’s old cookbooks and came across a cultural gem, Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers–Vegetables, published in1963. It’s a wonderful snapshot of how America used to eat vegetables–usually in small portions with lots of cheese, mushroom soup, cream sauce, and buttered bread crumbs (according to over 2000 home economics teachers!) Hard-boiled eggs were also a common ingredient in these recipes, which intrigued me since I had never eaten hard-boiled eggs in a casserole. I had to try it!
The verdict? Hard-boiled eggs chopped over asparagus, peas or zucchini is really tasty although I could do without the mushroom soup and oxalate-filled crumb toppings. I decided to experiment a little and came up with this yummy, low oxalate casserole. The onion in the sauce takes a little extra work, but it’s so good, it’s worth it. Especially since the rest of the dish is so easy (skip the white sauce step and it’s ultra easy!).
My picky eaters dissected this dish, but after a slow start (Cameron would only eat the peas at first and Aidan ate everything else on his plate but the casserole), both boys agreed to try the eggs and cheese part and loved it. They both ended up eating healthy-sized portions and wolfed it down the second time I served it.
Eggs and Peas with Onion Cream Sauce
1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup water
8 ounces frozen green peas* (about 1 cup)
8 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and shelled
1/2 cup heavy cream, sour cream OR plain yogurt (see note)
1 tablespoon butter AND one tablespoon cornstarch (optional, see note)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 ounces Swiss cheese
Place the sliced onion in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil and boil for five minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Meanwhile put the peas in a 2-quart casserole. Slice the hard-boiled eggs and place over the peas. When the onion is tender, place it in a food processor or blender (with left-over water) and puree. Melt the butter in the warm saucepan and add the cornstarch. Mix well and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the cold milk, stir well, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. When the white sauce boils and thickens, add cream, salt, pepper, and onion puree. Stir the sauce well then pour over sliced eggs. Sprinkle the casserole with Swiss cheese, then place it under the broiler for about 3 -4 minutes until it is browned. Serve immediately.
Yeild: 4 main dish servings or 8 side dish servings
Note: If you don’t want to bother making a white sauce, replace the cream with sour cream or plain yogurt, reduce the milk to 1/4 cup, and leave out the butter and cornstarch. When making your sauce, simply mix the sour cream, milk, onion puree, salt and pepper in the warm sauce pan, then pour over the egg mixture. You will have to broil the casserole a little longer, but it’s still quite yummy (especially with sour cream) and only a little runny.
*Oxalate Note: Green peas are a “lower medium” oxalate vegetable with 5.7 mg. oxalate per 1/2 cup. All other ingredients are low oxalate or very low oxalate.
Variations: This is also good with steamed asparagus or sauteed mushrooms instead of peas. I haven’t tried it with sauteed zucchini yet, but that’s next on my list.
Other Diets: This recipe may also be appropriate for gluten-free (make sure the sour cream is GF), vegetarian, and controlled carbohydrate dieters.