I adore hard-cooked eggs for several reasons: They’re cheap, ridiculously versatile, and great to have on hand—they last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days if peeled and about a week if left in the shell. They also now have a clean bill of health. This isn’t new news, exactly, but the 2015 federal nutrition guidelines (still under review as of this posting) have, well, eggs-onerated them in a big way, concluding that dietary cholesterol does not pose a serious threat to blood cholesterol or cardiovascular health. While diets should be tailored to personal needs, most of us can enjoy an egg or two a day without worry.

Not sure how to cook hard-boiled eggs? No worries; we show you how. Had trouble with peeling them? We have tips for that, too.

In this series I’ll share some fun, downright delicious ideas for how to use those hard-boiled eggs. Cook up a batch, and rest easy knowing you have the beginnings of something great within reach.

The first idea is the simplest. Maybe it’s not an idea so much as a plea: Embrace the hard-boiled egg as a snack. It’s rather perfect, really: Only 70 calories and 1.5g sat fat, plus 6g satiating protein. I count my daily calories and work hard to stick within a pretty tight allowance. A hard-cooked egg is my savior snack! Try one drizzled with Sriracha, or my favorite way—dipped into a tiny pile of smoked salt or flake salt.

The second idea is one that’s become my new favorite breakfast because it’s crunchy, creamy, hearty, and quick to throw together. It’s basically an embellished avocado toast with prosciutto and sliced egg. If you want to get fancy with it, call it a tartine (open-faced sandwich) and hold your pinkie out as you lift it off your plate. The egg bulks up this breakfast with lots of good protein, and the prosciutto—just one wee 1/4-ounce slice—adds salty, meaty richness. And the whole thing has fewer than 300 calories!

Egg, Avo, and Prosciutto Toast

1 thin (1 1/2-ounce) slice hearty wheat country breadCooking spray1/4 cup mashed ripe avocado (about 1/2 small avocado)Dash of kosher salt1 (1/4-ounce) slice prosciutto1 hard-cooked large egg, slicedDash of freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Lightly coat both sides of bread with cooking spray. Broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until toasted.

3. Cool toast slightly. Combine avocado and salt; spread over toast. Top with prosciutto and egg. Sprinkle with pepper.

SERVES 1CALORIES 295; FAT 15.8g (sat 4g, mono 7.8g, poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 12g; CARB 27g; FIBER 5g; CHOL 193mg; IRON 4mg; SODIUM 519mg; CALC 333mg

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