Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oven-fried eggs

I’m going to resist the temptation of blogging about Thanksgiving Day menus and recipes today. It’s hard because TD (Turkey Day for me) is my favorite holiday of all and I usually go out of my way to make sure I get all the food I want, prepared just the way I like it. Come to think of it, there’s very little thanksgiving and a whole lot of “Me, Me, Me-ing” going on around the turkey and the almost obscene quantities of food I want it surrounded by. So for my sanity and especially yours, I’ll stop now and move on to other topics. Believe me, it’s for the best.

This past week we hosted a fairly big party during the weekend, which translates to “our time was consumed by party prepping”, which in turn is my very lame way of saying I didn’t make anything worth blogging about all week. Don’t get me wrong, there was really good food at the party. Some of the headliners included “liver-mouse with shallot confit and orange marmalade”, “onion pie”, and “pork loin stuffed with figs and apricots”; all these coming from one of our newest additions to our cookbook library (Talk with Your Mouth Full: The Hearty Boys Cookbook, by Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh). These dishes were accompanied by our “now classic”, and my favorite, Amish-style corn pudding. Every single one of these dishes was absolutely amazing. I didn’t cook a single one of them; my partner did. Feeling ashamed I wasn’t cooking anything, I made pecan-and-chocolate chip blondies by tweaking the recipe on a previous blog post. The blondies had very good company; our friends brought Oreo truffles and double chocolate coffee cookies with toffee bits. Not to mention the centerpiece of the dessert section, an awesome lemon-cream coconut cake that kicked some serious a**, courtesy of Calin’s mom. Yumm! It was a great party.

Going back a few days before, I got stuck in several conversations where people discussed why they felt like they couldn’t change their eating habits. I’m not going to lie; sometimes they were talking to me, and sometimes people were just talking amongst themselves and I overheard their conversations. To set the record straight I’m not into spying dieters, but there are just too many loud people with over-sharing tendencies, so I might as well count myself as a participant of their conversation. Either way, the cost of “healthy food” and lack of time, especially for breakfast, were the top two reasons I heard from most of these people. I can eat good food on any budget. It will be the topic of another post in the future, I promise. Lack of time though, seemed ironic to me since I could have had breakfast ready and eaten in the amount of time it took these guys to complain about not having time. IRONY!

So today I wanted to offer an example of an easy breakfast that takes very little of your precious time to both make and eat. Still, it will keep you satisfied, it’ll be good for you, and you will actually enjoy it. Before that though, I would like to argue that everyday breakfast doesn’t have to be big, or fancy. A toast with fat-free cottage cheese or with peanut butter and jelly would do the trick. There’s nothing wrong with just having a cup of non-fat yogurt with some fruit or having an English muffin with some reduced-fat cream cheese, both of which I find satisfying yet they are about 200 calories. Trust me, you can spare a good five minutes to eat something as simple as whole grain cereal with reduced-fat milk; come on, you're worth it. I personally don’t like having the same thing for breakfast every day. If you are like me, consider yourself lucky; I just gave you 5 different ideas for breakfasts that require no effort, so they won’t take time away from your morning.

I prefer eating hot breakfasts, such as hot cereals, pancakes, toasts and eggs. I feel like eggs make great, if not the best, breakfast. Not only they are nutritionally rich, but they are delicious, they are inexpensive and they can be prepared in several different ways, all of them delectable. Of course, if you are in a hurry you can skip the deviled eggs and the omelets, and try more time-effective ways of preparing them. Often times I boil eggs while prepping my lunch. The only additional time you’ll have to invest is the time they’ll take to peel. How about fried eggs? I love fried eggs, and I’ve gone through great lengths to cook them with as little oil as possible. I realized that I could get away with using almost no oil and while using my time effectively by “oven-frying” my eggs. I use cooking spray on an oven-save dish, pour the eggs and lightly spray them with cooking spray as well. Then I bake them for up to 18 minutes for perfectly cooked eggs. During that time I either prep my lunch, or I shower and get ready to go to work. The best part is that I can eat straight out of the dish, so I don’t have to deal with a dirty frying pan afterwards. I love it.

On the road shortcut

Nutritional info per serving (2 jumbo eggs): 218 calories, 0 g carbs, 16 g fat, 16 g protein

Cooking spray
2 jumbo eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil an oven-save dish with cooking spray. Add the eggs without breaking the yolks. Lightly spray the eggs with cooking oil. Bake at 350F 15-18 minutes, depending on the desired consistency (softer yolk starting at 15 minutes, hard yolk 18 minutes).  

Note: Calories were calculated using “5 seconds" of total spraying).

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