Late night dinners for busy workers
Lee Holmes / Words
Do you ever have those nights when you don’t feel like cooking but you don’t want to spend money on delivery options either? If that’s you, I know eggs-actly what you need.
Quiches, omelettes, frittatas, shakshuka, stir fries, poached eggs, boiled eggs and scrambled eggs … When it comes to eggs, the words cheap, delicious and easy can finally belong in a sentence together.
Did you know that Australians consume over 4 billion eggs each year?
If you add them all up, this comes in at a grand total of approximately 200 eggs per person! Previously poached in controversy, eggs really are the perfect ingredient for health- and budget-conscious foodies. They’re an ideal real food that is delivered in its original packaging.
Not only are they delicious, good for you and versatile, egg is also simple to prepare and can add bulk to a meal, bind ingredients together, add flavour or simply be enjoyed self-contained with a dash of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
At breakfast time, my secret ingredient for scrambling eggs is to add the zest of half a lemon and a pinch of nutmeg. It really boosts the flavour profile and adds zing. The high-quality protein available in eggs makes them perfect for helping you build muscle and lose weight while keeping you satiated.
Egg may be low in calories but they’re not low in nutrients. They come bundled with a full range of B vitamins, omega-3s, copper, biotin and more. Eggs are also rich in choline, a macronutrient that can be hard to find in your diet. Choline helps supports the functioning of the liver, brain, nerves, heart and muscles. Choline also supports energy levels and exercise performance and can benefit both pregnant women and growing children.
Free Range vs. Organic
I recommend eating organic egg. Other varieties, such as “cage-free” or “free range” eggs, are often from chickens that aren’t treated humanely and can contain genetically modified organisms and chemical pesticides. Certified organic eggs, though, come from happier chickens that have been uncaged, fed chemical-free foods and are allowed some degree of outdoor access.
A happy chicken makes a healthy egg!
Eggs are perishable so, when purchasing and storing, some of the tips to find and maintain a good egg are:
- Check the use-by date stamped on the carton and choose the longest lead time. Obviously, if you see any of the eggs are cracked or broken, don’t buy them.
- To help extend the life of your eggs, the best place to store them is in the coldest part of the fridge, preferably below 4°C. Pop them in the fridge as soon as you get home.
- If any of the eggs are cracked or damaged on the way home, they can be eaten but should be used within 2 days and cracked into a bowl, then covered and stored in the fridge. Egg stay fresh in the fridge for 3–5 weeks, hard-boiled egg for one week.
Crustless Vegetable Quiche
8 organic eggs
½ cup almond milk
Handful fresh basil
1 sprig fresh thyme
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
10 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed then chopped into 2.5cm pieces
1 ½ cups sautéed chopped mixed vegetables, such as leek, red onion, garlic, baby spinach, asparagus, zucchini, red capsicum, cherry tomatoes & rocket
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 22cm-diameter pie dish. Whisk the egg well in a large bowl, then whisk in the almond milk, herbs and spice, salt and yeast flakes. Scatter the vegetables in the pie dish and pour the egg mixture over the top. (Use any vegetables you have available in the fridge.)
Bake for 25–30 mins or until the quiche is set in the middle and the top is puffy and slightly browned. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
One Pan Green Frittata
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 spring onions, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
3 kale leaves, chopped & spines removed
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp. lemon juice plus zest
6 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
Preheat the oven to 190°C. In a saucepan filled with boiling water, par-cook the broccoli until al dente, then drain. In a medium frying pan over a medium heat, warm the oil and cook the spring onions until browned. Add the broccoli and greens and sauté until softened. Add the cumin and lemon juice and zest.
Pour the egg over and let cook for about 4–5 mins. Top with nutritional yeast and transfer to the oven until the top has cooked, about 7–8 mins.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven — the handle will be hot! Dress it with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt to serve.