In general, you need to eat a wide variety of vegetables, including plenty of the bright- and deep-colored ones, to get all the vitamins, minerals and fiber that veggies have to offer. With the exception of soy foods, though, the protein in plant foods is incomplete. It lacks one or more of the protein building blocks that your body can’t make.
You can mix and match different plant foods to make their protein complete. But even many vegetarians find that it’s easier to simply include a complete protein source, such as eggs or milk foods, in their meals. Nutrient-dense eggs provide not only some of the highest quality protein available but, except for vitamin C, eggs also contain varying amounts of all the essential vitamins, including those that are not abundant in plant foods.
It’s simple to combine eggs and veggies in satisfying entrees. For instance, you can turn a salad into a quick-fix main dish by starting with greens -; the darker green, the better nutrient content. Toss with other vegetables, perhaps whatever is coming up in your home garden or is most appealing at the store. Then, top with wedged, sliced or chopped eggs to add the protein you need. Finish the unique salad off with a hurry-up, homemade hot dressing. This salad is especially easy to make if you keep a dozen hard-cooked eggs chilled in the fridge. You can store the eggs for a week after cooking and use them for handy snacks, too.
Warm Mimosa Salad
6 cups loosely packed, torn mixed greens (about 9 oz.)
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 small or 1 medium zucchini, cut into julienne strips (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1 medium)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large tomato, wedged (about 7 to 8 oz.)
Tear greens into large bowl. Add eggs. Set aside. In 10-inch skillet or large saucepan over medium heat, cook zucchini and onion in hot oil, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. In small bowl, stir together vinegar, mustard, seasoning, sugar and garlic powder. Pour over vegetables in skillet. Stir in tomato and cook until heated through, about 1 minute more. Pour over reserved greens. Gently toss until evenly coated with dressing. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving of 1/6 recipe using romaine, leaf lettuce and corn oil: 162 calories, 10 gm total fat, 213 mg cholesterol, 165 mg sodium, 448 mg potassium, 9 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamins A and C, riboflavin, phosphorus
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