With the country's financial woes putting a crimp in my (and everyone else's) fun money, I've decided to cut costs and get healthier by cooking at home. Eating out less is definitely an easy way to save money, particularly when meals are composed around inexpensive main ingredients, like eggs.
When I went to the store this morning, a dozen eggs cost $2.89 (although if you go buy local, free-range, organic, etc., a dozen might cost you up to $5). Consider a serving to be 1 to 2 eggs (depending on how you use them), so you'll get at least three meals for two people out of a dozen. A pretty good value, and they make delicious meals any time of day. Here are some ideas:
- A smaller cousin of the breakfast burrito, this Quick Breakfast Taco made with reduced-fat Cheddar is a satisfying and healthy breakfast option.
Quick Breakfast Taco
2 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon salsa
2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
2 eggs or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters
1. Top tortillas with salsa and cheese. Heat in the microwave until the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.
2. Meanwhile coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat, add eggs or egg substitute and cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 90 seconds. Divide the scrambled egg between the tacos.
Makes 1 serving.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 153 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 0 g fiber; 453 mg sodium; 207 mg potassium.
- My favorite morning meal is an egg sammy, as I like to call it. I toast a thick slice of whole-grain bread, add a little sharp Cheddar cheese and an over-hard egg (I cook it in a nonstick skillet coated with a little cooking spray). A recent study found that when people ate a scrambled-egg-and-toast breakfast, they felt more satisfied-and ate less at lunch-than when they ate a bagel (that supplied the same number of calories) another day.
- Hard-boil some eggs and make egg salad for lunch or a snack. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let stand until cool enough to handle before peeling. For lunch, bring a Londoner's Egg Sandwich along with a side salad and a piece of fruit.
- Or if a salad is more your lunch style, try Nouveau Nicoise. If you're taking it to work or school, just package up the dressing separately so your salad doesn't get sogged out before lunch.
- My fiancé is in law school and I work full-time so when it comes to dinner, I turn to super-quick recipes, like Mini Chile Relleno Casseroles. They only take 10 minutes to put together, then they bake for 25 minutes or so, which gives me enough time to throw in a load of laundry or pay some bills. And since they're mini casseroles, it's instant portion control. Any leftovers are great cold, so I can pack them for lunch too.
- Even better, Moo Shu Vegetables is ready-start to finish-in 20 minutes. Plus it uses a convenient bag of shredded veggies you can get at most large supermarkets, a few eggs for protein and Asian ingredients I always have on hand. Serve with warm whole-wheat tortillas, Asian hot sauce and extra hoisin if desired.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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