It’s World Egg Day and we are eggstatic!
What’s better than an egg? It might be the perfect food; versatile enough to be eaten at any time of time and delicious enough to never get bored of.
This World Egg Day, Bord Bia have partnered with trainer Roz Purcell, Limerick All-Ireland Winning Hurler Cian Lynch and World Cup Women’s Hockey Silver Medalist Nikki Evans to promote the countless nutritious recipes that can be made with the humble egg as part of the Quality Assured Eggs Campaign .
The nutritional benefits of eggs are an important part in Roz, Nikki and Cian’s protein-rich diets. Perfect as part of a healthy, balanced diet, eggs are not only important to athletes and fitness fans but can help everyone enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Read more: Baked eggs, goat's cheese and dukka
We were lucky enough to interview Nikki Evans this week to get her take on World Egg Day. Nikki is a forward with the women's Irish hockey team, who made history earlier this year by advancing to the World Cup Final for the first time ever. The team stunned the country with their fantastic performances and ultimately took home silver after an intense match with the defending champions from the Netherlands
Nikki, an egg fanatic, told us that she is "Absolutely delighted to be teaming up with Bord Bia for the launch of World Egg Day. It’s funny, because I get slagged by team mates in Germany for the amount of eggs I eat, usually about twenty a week!". Read on to hear more about Nikki's eggsellent cooking tips and training secrets..
What’s your favourite egg dish or recipe?
"How long do you have?! A big thing for me about eggs is that I don’t just eat them for breakfast, I love them for lunch and dinner too. I’m so busy at the moment because I work part-time as a lawyer, as well as playing professional hockey in Germany, so I don’t have much time on my hands. As eggs are so quick and easy, I love just using up whatever fresh foods are in the fridge and throwing them together with some eggs to make a fast, nutritious meal. I have to say though, my pre-game meal is always eggs with avocado, tomato and fresh bread. No matter what time of day, I’ll always have that before a game."
How important are eggs in your diet?
"Eggs are particularly for me at the moment, because I always know that I have some in the fridge to eat. It doesn't matter what time it is, even if I’m coming home from training late at night, knowing that they’re always there for me to eat means I'm always able to eat something quick and nutritious, so they’re definitely really important to my diet."
How important is your diet to your fitness and training?
"I'm an elite athlete, but also an amateur athlete, so we don’t get all our meals cooked for us. Moving out of home to Germany last year was a good challenge for me because I’ve had to learn to cook all my own food. To play at such a high level, it’s important to eat the right foods so when I’m working and training this much, I need to make sure that I’m well planned and prepared.
At the start of the week, I look at my forward and see how busy the week is and where I’m going to be. Then I work backwards from that so I can figure out when I’m going to eat. I break the week into two, work and training, so it’s really full on for me at the start of the week. I prepare some things before the start of the week and then restart before the end of the week as I’m going into matches and things like that. As an athlete, nutrition is a really big part of my life."
What’s your guilty pleasure?
"Trust me, there's been many times that I’ve wanted to go to the chipper! But personally, qualifying for the Olympics next year is my ultimate goal. It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a young child to qualify and compete for the Olympic games. Even after all the success this year at the World Cup, this goal hasn’t changed for me. After getting so close for London and Rio, Tokyo is third time lucky for me! So that all motivates me to keep going and eat healthily. I do love pizza though when I’m home, definitely stone-baked pizza with garlic dip. The garlic dip is essential – what’s the point in pizza without garlic dip? That’s definitely my guilty pleasure!"
What’s your top food tip?
"Getting organised is such an important part of eating healthily, especially when you’re working. We’re coming in to the winter months now and it gets more difficult to keep motivated, but if you’re organised and have food in your fridge, you'll be stay on track. Even if you're not too organised, you can always have eggs! So definitely organisation and having a well-balanced diet are my top tips."
Do you like to cook?
"I do enjoy cooking and my culinary skills have definitely improved since I moved out of home, they had to! Cooking takes time and I like to try different things when I can, but last year a really funny thing happened. I wanted to try to make a sweet potato fish pie, with lots of different, fresh fish in it. I bought all the ingredients and spent hours preparing enough for eight people, even though it was only for me but I was going to eat it for a few days. So I made the fish pie, ate some and it was really good, but I accidentally left it in the oven overnight and forgot to put it in the fridge. So it wasn’t looking so good the next morning and I had to throw the whole pie in the bin. It was truly tragic! I’d blown my whole food budget on making a fish pie for the week and then I had to throw it in the bin, it broke my heart to do that. All the girls on the Irish team laughed at me for days and they actually still laugh at me about it. So I do like to try new things, but I try to remember to put them in the fridge now!"
"I’m going whip up a good few things on World Egg Day in celebration of my favourite food! It’s on Friday and my favourite thing is breakfast, so I might do poached eggs with avocado or protein pancakes with banana and oats. I have a good friend from Spain on the hockey team in Hamburg and she loves making Spanish tortilla, so I think we’ll have to make that this World Egg Day, maybe for lunch or dinner."
World Egg Day takes place Friday 12th October and Bord Bia is on a mission to inspire the nation to #CrackOn and try some new delicious egg recipes. Visit Bord Bia for more egg inspiration.