For economy and nutritional value, eggs are one of the best value protein foods available to the average household. Free range eggs, or at least eggs that have been laid by un-caged hens, should always be chosen over battery eggs. They are more expensive but the difference in quality is significant and also of course, buying free range eggs means not promoting battery farming.
There are so many different ways eggs can be served; for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and in recipes for cakes and other desserts. Eggs usually take considerably less time to cook than meat or pulses... so serving eggs for dinner saves time as well as cash.
Boiled Eggs: Boiled eggs with 'soldiers' seems to have gone out of fashion as a breakfast in recent years but is a wonderful way to start the day - even if you are dieting. Cover eggs with water in a pan and bring to the boil. Boil for between 3 and 5 mnutes depending on the size of the egg and whether hard or soft boiled is preferred. Thin strips of buttered wholemeal bread or toast - the soldiers - can be dipped into a softly boiled egg yolk. Other ways with boiled eggs:
- Hard boil eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Place in a serving dish and pour over a bought or home-made cooked curry sauce. Serve immediately with rice.
- Roughly chop hard boiled eggs and gently mix with a dressing of mayonnaise, or natural yoghurt and creme fraiche. Stir in some finely chopped spring onions or chives. Serve with a salad or use as a spread for sandwiches.
Poached Eggs: Traditional poached eggs create less washing up but don't finish up as neat and tidy as eggs poached in an egg-poacher. But they are tastier done the old-fashioned way, thanks to the added secret ingredient! Half fill a pan with water and shake in about a dessertspoon of malt vinegar. Bring to the boil. Crack eggs into a bowl and remove any bits of shell, then carefully pour into the boiling water. Do this slowly to avoid splashing.
Boil for a few minutes until cooked and remove from water with a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper to blot any excess water and serve immediately on hot buttered toast.
Omelettes: A fluffy omelette with a green salad is a perfect summer main meal or a warming lunch during the winter. Beat eggs in a bowl or jug until bubbly. Heat a little olive or nut oil in a frying pan. Pour eggs carefully into pan and cook gently on one side, then turn and cook on the other side. When set, omelette is ready to serve. Fillings can be added according to what's available in the fridge, and should be cooked gently in the pan for a few minutes before adding beated eggs. Filling suggestions:
- Sliced mushrooms and a clove or two of crushed garlic
- Finely chopped onion and grated cheese. Cheese should be added after the eggs.
- Chopped chicken and coriander. NB: Make sure re-heated meat is piping hot right through before serving.
Try a one-egg omelette between two slices of wholemeal toast for a tasty breakfast on the move.
Eggs are such a versatile food and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. As well as delicious main meals and lunchtime snacks, they are a main ingredient in many cakes and other desserts, including pancakes.
Buy free range eggs, or keep a few hens of your own, and treat your family to good wholesome food at little cost every day of the week.
This content was provided by one of our users, Lianda