Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Olive Oil Hunter News #160

Chilaquiles with fried egg

Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs Recipe, Spotlight on Salsa and Homemade Chips, Emotional Healing After a Loss and A Woman’s Edge When it Comes to Exercise

Mediterranean recipes aren’t the only ones enhanced by extra virgin olive oil. I love to use it in all my dishes, from Asian to South American and all points in between. In fact, even recipes that call for a “neutral” oil will be more flavorful with EVOO. My chilaquiles are the perfect example, and when you use olive oil to make this zesty tortilla chip breakfast, you’ll also get the health benefits of its polyphenols. In this edition of the newsletter, I’m also sharing a new study’s strategies for coping with grief, something we will all face at different points in our lives, as well as research on the different exercise needs of men and women.

Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs

  • Chilaquiles with fried egg Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs

    This Mexican dish, which dates back to the early Aztecs, is as delicious as it is easy to make. My fast-and-furious version uses prepared salsa and packaged tortilla chips for the quickest prep, but if you have a few extra minutes, it’s even more amazing when you make your own chips (see Quick Kitchen Nugget) and salsa—click to check out my salsa recipes. I love chilaquiles with fried eggs, but you can personalize your dish with another protein or beans. 


    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use, plus more for drizzling
    • 1 small onion, slivered
    • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 cups salsa (about 32 ounces), red or green
    • 4 cups tortilla chips
    • 4 large eggs
    • 4 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
    • 1 avocado, cut into small chunks
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • Hot sauce 
    • Sour cream


    Step 1

    Heat a very large frying pan and, when hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onions, and the tomatoes. Sauté until the onions soften. Pour in the salsa and heat through. Add the chips and stir to coat; allow them to soften over low heat while you make the eggs.

    Step 2

    Heat a rimmed griddle over high heat and, when hot, pour in the remaining olive oil. Crack each egg into a separate area of the griddle and allow to fry, undisturbed, for 3 minutes.

    Step 3

    Spoon servings of the chilaquiles onto 4 plates and top with equal amounts of cheese, avocado, and cilantro. Use a wide spatula to top each portion with a fried egg and then drizzle with olive oil. Pass hot sauce and sour cream on the side.

    Yields 4 servings

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Choosing Salsa

Healthy Ingredient Spotlight

Choosing Salsa

There’s no shortage of jarred salsas on supermarket shelves, and many are excellent alternatives to making your own. Read labels and choose brands with only the essentials—typically tomatoes, onions, chiles, garlic, vinegar, cilantro, and spices. Steer clear of any artificial flavors—the core ingredients should have enough flavor on their own! Also, pay special attention to the salt content so you don’t go over nutritional guidelines. 

Quick Kitchen Nugget: Homemade Chips

Quick Kitchen Nugget

Homemade Chips

Originally, chilaquiles were created as a way to use leftover fresh tortillas, and if you can spare the time, making your own chips is a great way to go. Start with a stack of twelve 6-inch blue or yellow corn tortillas. Cut them into 6 triangles, place them in a bowl, and toss them with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper and arrange the tortilla pieces in one layer in the pans. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes.

For Your Best Health: Emotional Healing After a Loss 

For Your Best Health

Emotional Healing After a Loss 

Navigating the turmoil of losing a loved one is one of the most emotional—and universal—life experiences we go through. Grieving is different for each of us, and there’s no one healing road map or timetable to follow. But a new study found that there are simple activities that can help improve mood and emotional well-being.

“We were conducting a larger study that looked at how daily behaviors affect emotional well-being and day-to-day functioning, and we realized that a significant number of study participants were dealing with the traumatic loss of a loved one,” said Shevaun Neupert, PhD, the study’s corresponding author and a professor of psychology at NC State University. “Our study suggests there are specific things people can do to bolster their emotional well-being following a traumatic loss. This gave us an opportunity to gain insights into how daily behaviors in the wake of a loss can influence our emotional well-being.”

For the study, researchers worked with data from 440 adults between the ages of 50 and 85, and 356 of those participants reported the traumatic loss of a loved one. Study participants completed a daily diary survey for 14 consecutive days with questions designed to document changes in each of their day-to-day lived experiences and mood.

“The survey questions also helped us capture information related to subjective age, or how old people report feeling each day,” Dr. Neupert said. “Do they feel older than they actually are? Younger? And how does that correlate to their mood or emotional well-being?”

“One of the study’s big findings is that activities we call ‘uplifts’ can have a significant impact,” says Ali Early, co-author of the study and a former undergraduate at NC State. Uplifts are activities that can improve our mood, such as completing a task, getting enough sleep, dining out, spending time with family, and visiting, phoning, or writing to a friend.

“Uplifts were good for everyone, but there is some nuance in not only who is most impacted but when the uplifts are most powerful,” Dr. Neupert said. “For example, we found that the positive effect of uplifts was more pronounced for people who had experienced traumatic loss, and especially so on days when they reported feeling older…There are things we can do, which are accessible for most people, to improve our moods. And those things can help us most on days when we most need it.”

The study, “Traumatic Losses Permeate Daily Emotional Experiences: Roles of Daily Uplifts and Subjective Age,” was published in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

Fitness Flash: A woman’s Edge When it Comes to Exercise 

Fitness Flash

A Woman’s Edge When it Comes to Exercise 

There is a gender gap between women and men when it comes to exercise, but this one is in favor of females, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It showed that women can exercise less often than men yet receive the same or even greater cardiovascular gains.

“Women have historically and statistically lagged behind men in engaging in meaningful exercise,” said Martha Gulati, MD, director of preventive cardiology in the department of cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, the Anita Dann Friedman Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine and Research, and co-lead author of the study. “The beauty of this study is learning that women can get more out of each minute of moderate to vigorous activity than men do. It’s an incentivizing notion that we hope women will take to heart.”

Investigators analyzed data from 412,413 US adults utilizing the National Health Interview Survey database, including gender-specific outcomes in relation to frequency, duration, intensity, and type of physical activity between 1997 and 2019.

“For all adults engaging in any regular physical activity, compared to being inactive, mortality risk was expectedly lower,” said Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, the Erika J. Glazer Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health and Population Science, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute, and senior author of the study. “Intriguingly, though, mortality risk was reduced by 24 percent in women and 15 percent in men.”

The research team then studied moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, and found that men reached their maximal survival benefit from doing this level of exercise for about five hours per week, whereas women achieved the same degree of survival benefit from exercising just under about two and a half hours per week. 

Similarly, when it came to muscle-strengthening activity, such as weightlifting or core body exercises, men reached their peak benefit from doing three sessions per week and women gained the same amount of benefit from about one session per week. Dr. Cheng said that women had even greater gains if they engaged in more than two and a half hours per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, or in two or more sessions per week of muscle-strengthening activities. 

With all types of exercise and variables accounted for, there’s power in the recommendations based on the study’s findings. “Men get a maximal survival benefit when performing 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, whereas women get the same benefit from 140 minutes per week,” said Dr. Gulati. “Nonetheless, women continue to get further benefit for up to 300 minutes a week.”

“I am hopeful that this pioneering research will motivate women who are not currently engaged in regular physical activity to understand that they are in a position to gain tremendous benefit for each increment of regular exercise they are able to invest in their longer-term health,” said Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH, professor and chair of the department of cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute and the Lee and Harold Kapelovitz Distinguished Chair in Cardiology.

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