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The Value Guru Cracks the Egg

By Susannah Simone, September 16, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Susannah Simone
broccoli_quiche I'm not one of those people who love breakfast, but I do truly appreciate the power of the humble egg. With the exception perhaps of bananas, eggs are presented in the most perfect package nature provides. They cook quickly. They are versatile. They have just enough flavor to stand on their own, yet combine with other flavors wonderfully. Best of all, the egg is one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein. Here are some of my favorite ways to take advantage of the nutritional and financial benefits of eggs. Most are probably obvious, but maybe you'll pick up a new idea or be inspired to save some money by making a meal around eggs more often. breakfast_pita_pocket Breakfast Tacos are a staple food item in my opinion. For two soft tacos, it only takes one scrambled egg when you combine it with other ingredients to make a nutritious and portable breakfast. Again, I use what I have on hand and quickly microwave or sauté as needed: spinach, zucchini slices, bell pepper, tomato, potato, onion, black beans, cheese, rice, bacon, sausage. I've even pulled a few frozen French fries from the bag! You don't need much of any one ingredient. Just roll 'em all up in warmed tortillas with salsa or a sprinkle of hot sauce. Scrambled Eggs and Omelets are perfect for using up small bits of leftover cheese, vegetables and meats or smoked fish. One of my favorite omelets uses broccoli-I simply thaw a few frozen florets in the microwave or in a bowl of warm water, and then chop it up-along with onion and cheese. HamAndMushroomFrittataDress up the cooked omelet by drizzling with a little sour cream mixed with lemon juice. I also love scrambled eggs with a bit of neufchâtel cheese and flakes of smoked salmon. (In most of our stores you can buy just a small amount of smoked salmon from the full-service seafood case.) Fried Rice is another one of those catch-all, use-up-the-leftovers meal. But somehow it seems more like a special dish than a cop out. Learn to make it well with the desirable texture and seasoning. It usually starts by cooking a thin crepe-type layer of beaten egg that is removed from the wok or pan, rolled up and sliced into strips that you will toss back into the dish just before serving. Yum. An Egg Sandwich can be as simple as a fried egg between toast, as mainstream as a homemade version of the fast food muffin sandwich or as sophisticated as the open-faced, fork-and-knife Eggs Benedict. Recently, I made a sandwich of sliced hard-boiled egg with tomato and basil from my garden and a little mayo on toast. And don't forget egg salad, especially with a few leaves of flavorful arugula or crisp lettuce. Pasta dishes can use eggs in a variety of ways. There's pasta salad with hard-cooked egg, raw eggs cooked into Pasta Carbonara and egg yolk used to thicken some other pasta sauces. I'm partial to finely chopped hard-cooked egg as a condiment for pasta with pesto. Offer other self-serve condiments, too, such as chopped olives, tomatoes and nuts. A really fun, filling and budget-friendly meal, even for company! eggs_mediterraneandeviledQuiche and Deviled Eggs are true budget friends for parties and potlucks. People love them so much they would never even think about how little money you spent on your contribution to the gathering. And you can come up with some really delish additions to these that will make them seem even more special. For example, I really enjoy the pleasant surprise on people's faces when they discover I use a dash of pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika) on my deviled eggs instead of the usual plain paprika that seems to only add color. Get creative! Salad is made more filling when hard-cooked egg is chopped and tossed in or left in halves for a nice presentation. Caesar salad dressing mashes boiled egg or whisks in raw egg to "cook" in the lemony dressing. We make a meal of Caesar Salad in my house with some pita toasted with olive oil and Parmesan on the side instead of croutons in the salad. Got any egg-cellent ideas of your own? I'm sure you do. Let's hear 'em!

 

13 Comments

Comments

Amy says ...
I am not the biggest egg fan, but this makes me want to eat more eggs! Thanks!
09/16/2009 7:07:38 AM CDT
BonnieB says ...
Eggs and rice has become a regular staple for me. Any style rice or eggs will complete your meal. Cook your favorite rice or Quinoa and prepare the eggs. I add seasoning to the eggs and/or rice to change the flavor. Current favorites: Eggs: Fried Rice: Basmati Seasoning: fresh ground lemon pepper; I grind it over the eggs while they are cooking and add some to the rice once it is on my plate. Served: in a bowl with the eggs cut up and placed on top of the rice... the eggs end up stirred into the rice.
09/16/2009 2:44:50 PM CDT
Melissa says ...
Eggs and rice are a normal meal for my husband from Guatemala. It is usually left over rice, cooked with scrambled eggs and usually some cilantro. It's great! There they call it something like casamiento. (sorry for my spelling on that one folks)
09/16/2009 4:05:33 PM CDT
SMF says ...
Runny poached egg over pasta (whole grain angel hair) with lots of greens and tomatoes.
09/16/2009 5:07:32 PM CDT
Deb Williams says ...
One of the most flavorful and elegant egg dishes I've ever served is a frittata. I used cooked Yukon gold potatoes along with shredded cheese, mushrooms and finely chopped ham. Add a tossed salad and you have a beautiful brunch or supper meal. My family loved this for Christmas morning with freshly baked egg nog muffins and mimosas!! YUM, YUM!!
09/16/2009 5:31:33 PM CDT
Kelly D. says ...
I couldn't live without the "egg". I generally have 1 to 2 soft boiled eggs every other morning. I have 1/2 a bagel or 1/2 a muffin or 1 piece of toast to go with 1 or 2 soft boiled. My mom lived on this for am food, and raised 9 kids with soft boiled eggs and "soldiers". She would cut a slice of bread in 5-6 pieces and call them soldiers to dip in the egg. We buy our eggs with the Omega 3 added and free ranged from a local company.
09/16/2009 9:54:08 PM CDT
Sharon says ...
Lobster and boursin omelets. Heavenly and a staple when I go home to visit my family on Cape Cod.
09/16/2009 10:41:31 PM CDT
Andrea says ...
Wonderful suggestions. Another huge benefit comes from using eggs with added Omega-3 fatty acids. True, they are a little pricier, but still much less expensive than other protein sources like meats. I can give my picky toddler a nutritious meal that is ready in minutes by simply scrambling or frying. I also prepare a low(er) fat quiche by replacing some of the whole eggs with whites. I then use the yolks to make a quick custard for the kiddos!
09/16/2009 11:57:46 PM CDT
Suzette says ...
My own love affair with eggs is blogged here: http://thenakedfork.blogspot.com/2008/11/egg.html Enjoy! And DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE EGG! :-)
09/17/2009 7:41:16 AM CDT
cliff says ...
friday is our day for fried matzos.heat broiler. for each person into a mixing bowl break one sheet of matzos in 1 1/2 inch square pieces. cover with water, let soak for 10 seconds, drain.in another mixing bowl beat 2 eggs per person. add salt pepper, pour eggs over soaked matzos.let sit for a few minutes til egg is absorbed.heat a skillet with ollive oil. pour in egg matzos mixture and even out with a spoon. when bottom is slightly browned put skillet under broiler and brown top. serve with sour cream and hot sauce.variations: put grated cheddar on broiled fried matzos until melted, add sauteed peppers and onions to matzos egg mixture before frying.
09/17/2009 10:15:23 AM CDT
Diane-The WHOLE Gang says ...
We love frittatas for dinner. They appear to be fancier than an omelet, but it's really not. It looks great if you take it out of the pan and serve it on a wooden pizza paddle. For company you can even make a couple with different ingredients, put them on the paddle and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Your guests will be impressed and you'll save money.
09/18/2009 7:30:12 AM CDT
Carol says ...
Sweet and Spicy Meatballs Our family loves this!!! One packet of small italian frozen meatballs, one small jar of grape jelly and one jar of chili sauce. Mix jelly and chili sauce in a crockpot or cooking pot, add frozen meatballs and heat till the meatballs are nice and hot. Delicious addition to football parties and holiday parties. Serve with toothpicks...enjoy
09/30/2009 3:07:47 PM CDT
damini says ...
YUM
10/19/2009 3:22:39 PM CDT