Eggs are a great source of protein and many people from around the world use eggs as meat substitutes. There are hundreds of ways to cook eggs and you can use fresh whole eggs or just the yolks or just the whites. You can even buy refrigerated liquid egg products, frozen eggs or powdered or dehydrated eggs. Eggs are great to serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can use them to make omelets, quiche, salads, crepes, pancakes etc. Let us discuss some easy ways to cook healthy and delicious eggs.
Before we do so, let us consider some egg properties that can come in handy while cooking:
- You can use eggs to thicken foods like curries, gravies etc.
- Eggs can add color to your dish-yellow cake, or custard are some examples.
- They provide moisture to your dishes-example in baking cookies.
- You can use eggs to make an emulsion-such as mayonnaise.
Eggs are complete food-they are rich in proteins, healthy fats as well as cholesterol. They also contain vitamins, minerals, selenium, copper, biotin etc.
Here are some easy ways to cook eggs:
1. Scrambled eggs
Beat the eggs until fluffy. Add them to a heated pan sprayed with butter or olive oil. As the eggs start to cook, quickly scramble them with a fork or a spatula using a push-pull action. Make sure the eggs set and are not runny. Runny eggs mean uncooked eggs which could be unhealthy due to bacterial contaminants. Serve the scrambled eggs warm with toasted bread, English Muffins, cheese, etc. You can also serve them alongside slices of tomatoes or avocados or simply as is, with salt and pepper. Optional: add sugar, vanilla essence and milk while beating for a tasty sweet treat.
2. Hard boiled
This is the easiest way to cook eggs. Place eggs in a pan filled with water. The eggs should be completely immersed in the water. Boil the water to a rolling boil. Switch off the heat. Cover the saucepan for 5 minutes (for over hard eggs) before removing. Drain and cool under cold running water. Reduce time for over medium eggs or over easy eggs.
3. Easy egg in a cup (microwave recipe)
This is the easiest way to make eggs. Spray a microwave safe dish or mug with some oil. Add an egg with a teaspoon of milk and beat lightly. Microwave the mixture on full power for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave carefully, stir, add some cheese, salt and pepper and stir again. Microwave on high for 25-30 seconds and you are done.
Break open the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs well and add salt, pepper, and other herbs and seasonings. Heat a pan with some butter or oil. Pour the beaten eggs and let them cook partially. Flip and add fillings. Fold it in half and cook for a minute more. Serve hot.
To make a Spanish omelet, beat eggs with salt and pepper. Spray a non stick pan with oil or butter. Peel potatoes and chop them in cubes. Also wash and chop onions. Fry potatoes in olive oil until crunchy. Set aside on a paper towel. Again coat the pan with some oil and add the beaten eggs. Also add potatoes, onions and cook. Flip over and cook on the other side as well. You can add herbs, spices, veggies and meats of your choice to this recipe.
For a Japanese omelet (tamagoyaki), whisk egg with soy sauce and sugar. Heat a pan with some butter. Pour the egg mixture and swirl quickly to coat the pan evenly with the egg. When the egg is set but not cooked fully, fold into three parts and roll it up.
5. Roasted/baked eggs
Preheat oven to 325F. Place intact eggs with shells in the muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes. Peel and enjoy with salt and pepper.
6. Poached eggs
Boil water with a few teaspoons of white vinegar. Crack eggs in a cup and slide into the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes-longer if you do not want runny yolk. This is an easy way to cook eggs.
7. Simple egg muffins
Beat eggs with any ingredients you like (spinach, broccoli etc work well for this recipe). Spray muffin tray and pour the egg mixture in it. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until brown. These can double up as crust less quiches which are low in carb and high in proteins.
8. Stuffed inside avocado or bell peppers
Cut off the stems of the peppers and remove seeds. Whisk eggs with desired spices. Place the prepared bell peppers in a muffin tray. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 300 F until eggs are fully cooked.
Cut avocado in half, remove the pit and a bit of the pulp. Pour in the egg mixture or whole eggs in either half of the avocado and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.
9. With pasta or rice
Sauté some garlic in olive oil. Add cooked pasta and top with several beaten eggs mixed with parmesan cheese. Cook until eggs are set. Toss gently. Serve immediately.
Heat some olive oil in a pan, sauté vegetables, add cooked rice and eggs. Cook until the eggs set. Stir well. You can make this into a Chinese fried rice recipe by adding soy sauce, chili sauce etc.
10. Egg salad
Chop boiled eggs and toss them with lettuce, capers, jalapenos and pickles. Add your favorite dressing or lemon vinaigrette or just olive oil. For extra protein, toss in cannellini beans, arugula etc. Another variation: hard boiled eggs tossed with tomatoes, cooked beans of your choice or chickpeas, corn, arugula leaves and lemon juice and olive oil-colorful, tasty and healthy!
11. On pizza
Bake pizza dough for 8-10 minutes at 450F until brown. Remove and add pizza sauce, vegetables etc. Whisk eggs and pour over the veggies. Sprinkle some mozzarella or goat cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the eggs set and the cheese melts.
12. In tortillas or pizza pockets
Make your pizza pockets or tortillas and wraps extra healthy by adding scrambled eggs or chopped boiled eggs with other fillings.
These are just 12 easy ways to cook eggs and there are probably many more!