Eggs, a wise choice for the Budget Smart Cook

I don’t have to look at the calendar to know it’s almost Easter. The supermarkets are full of eggs and not just the chocolate kind. Eggs are a bargain any time of the year but as we head into Easter Sunday, they’re one of the best deals out there. Here’s why eggs are always on my list of pantry staples-

Nutrition Powerhouses

When it comes to perfect nutrition eggs have just about everything. Protein, B vitamins, especially B12 and B2, vitamins A and D, iron, choline and phosphorus, And yes, they’re even low in calories too.

But wait a minute, aren’t they bad for me?

Not so long ago eggs… and excuse the pun, took a good beating from some bad press. We were told to avoid eggs because they weren’t good for us. Most of the criticism was because eggs contain cholesterol. While it’s true eggs do, the average size egg contains around 210 mg. However, it’s now believed that saturated fats play a bigger role in raising our cholesterol levels. And as eggs are low in saturated fat, they’ve been given a second chance.

If you do need to watch your cholesterol intake, or have any type of heart disease, then you definitely need to follow your doctor’s guidelines about egg consumption. But for others moderate egg consumption (which is considered one egg a day), shouldn’t be a problem. And another way to enjoy this low cost food without worrying about the cholesterol is to eat just egg whites.

A Best Buy Every Week of the Year
Eggs are just about one of the best buys in the supermarket. My local store often runs specials on eggs and I know most of the warehouse stores have some of the best deals in town.  I can often get two of three meals out of a dozen eggs and most of the time they cost around $2.69. sometimes less when they have a sale or they’re a coupon item at the supermarket.

Not Just for Breakfast

If you think eggs are just food for breakfast, you’re missing out on lots of options. I serve eggs any time of the day. One of my favorite lunches is a curried egg salad… chopped hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, mayonnaise and mango chutney. Serve it with pita bread and a side of fruit salad (kiwis, strawberries and grapes) and you’ve got a healthy and quick lunchtime treat. One of my favorite quick and easy dinner recipes is a frittata, eggs mixed with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, maybe some spinach, baked in the oven and top with cheese. Another one is egg and bean burritos, scrambled eggs; black beans and salsa rolled in a tortilla, and topped with chopped tomatoes and sour cream.

They Are Cook Friendly

Another great thing about eggs is no advanced cooking skills are needed. but I do have a few tricks I always rely on. I’ve tried lots of methods for hard boiling eggs for salads, but I’ve found this one yields the best results. Place the eggs in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover the eggs by at least one inch. Bring to a full boil, cook one minute, and then remove the pan from the heat. Put a lid on the saucepan and let the eggs stand for about 15 minutes. Drain them and then run cold water over the eggs, and let them stand for five minutes. Then you’re ready to peel them. With this method there are never any uncooked yolks or dark circles around the yolks.

One quick meal I love is a fried egg sandwich. I sometimes add a slice of cheese and I know some people like a couple of slices of bacon too.  Here’s a trick if you like fried eggs, but want to cut down on the fat. Dip a paper towel in some oil and gently wipe it across a skillet…a non-stick one works the best for this. Heat it until it’s really hot, crack the egg into the pan and reduce the heat down to low. Now cover the pan so the egg can be ‘steamed’. It takes about three to four minutes for soft cooked eggs, but if you want it sunny side up just flip the egg over and cook it for a few more minutes. It makes a great low calorie breakfast served on toast with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and at a budget friendly price.

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