For many people, the main thing holding them back from cooking at home is the fear of learning how. Here at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center we want to help you get over this fear by equiping you with some cooking basics. Once you’ve mastered these, you’ll be amazed at how non-threatening most recipes will become — you may even find a passion for cooking!
Eggs are a wonderfully healthful food; full of protein, vitamins and minerals to keep you satiated. They are also cheap, easy-to-prepare, and taste great. Yet for all their simplicity, many of us can botch up a simple scrambled egg. From hard-boiled to the classic omelet, here are the basics to cooking an egg, sans complexity.
Scrambled Eggs: Take one or two eggs and whisk them together until even-colored and frothy. The more air you whisk in, the fluffier your eggs will be. You can add 1 Tbsp of milk for each egg and salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil at medium heat in a skillet and pour in the eggs. Turn and fold gently until liquid is set.
Fried Eggs: Heat a teaspoon of oil or SmartBalance until hot. Crack an egg and gently slip into the pan while reducing the heat to low. Cook the eggs 2-6 minutes depending on your preference of sunny side up or over-easy. For a firmer yolk, you can flip the egg and cook it for longer
* A lot of people have associate “fried” with an unhealthy level of fat. This is NOT true in the case of fried eggs! When prepared correctly, fried eggs typically have very little oil or fat.
Poached Eggs: Boil at least 3 inches of water in a saucepan and crack an egg into a cup. Gently slide the egg into the boiling water. You can use a spoon to nudge the whites closer to the yolk. Allow the eggs to cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Hardboiled: Place eggs into a large pot and fill with water until eggs are covered by one inch. Bring water to a slow boil over medium heat and allow eggs to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and allow eggs to sit for 10-12 minutes. Carefully remove eggs and rinse under cold running water. Allow eggs to cool before peeling.
Classic Omelet: For a two-egg omelet, whisk eggs with 2 tbsp of water and a dash of salt and pepper. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet and pour the mixture in. Push the edges of the eggs towards the center until all the uncooked egg becomes solidified. To add vegetables or low-fat cheese, place them on one half of the eggs, and fold over the other half.
* Be creative with vegetable additions! The most popular choices are tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spinach, and mushrooms.
If you’d like to try your hand at something from the Sargent Choice kitchen, here’s an egg recipe that we love:
Eggs Florentine with Orange-Dill Sauce on a Whole Wheat English Muffin
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds washed spinach leaves
¼ cup 100% orange juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 medium eggs
½ teaspoon turmeric
6 English whole wheat muffins
¼ teaspoon salt
3 plum tomatoes, sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1. Heat large sauté pan with 2 tsp olive oil. Add chopped garlic and let brown. Put half
of the washed spinach in pan until spinach wilts and then add in remaining spinach.
Cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring several times. Cover and set aside.
2. Fill pot or large sauté pan with water and add white vinegar; heat just until water
starts to boil. Gently crack the eggs one by one into the simmering water, and poach
for 3 minutes until yolk is fully cooked. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon; hold
on warm, covered platter.
3. While eggs are cooking, heat sauce pan on medium heat with orange juice,
balsamic vinegar and the lemon juice. Then stir in the turmeric, salt and oil. Add 1
teaspoon of chopped dill and whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Cook approximately 1 minute until sauce is warmed, remove from heat.
4. Toast English muffins. Place two halves of English muffin on plate. On one half layer ½ cup spinach, 4
plum tomato slices (or1 slice large beefsteak tomato), and the poached egg. Drizzle
4 teaspoons of the orange-dill sauce over everything. Sprinkle with some of the
remaining chopped dill (and black pepper, optional).
Serving Size = 1 sandwich
|Saturated Fat||2.5 g|
*Special thanks to Dietetic Intern Sandy Klemmer & Executive Chef Chris Bee for creating this delicious recipe!
Here’s a handy chart:
|Scrambled||Varies 1-3 min||Wait to stir eggs until they have begun to set||Throw it in a whole wheat wrap with some veggies|
|Fried||Sunny side up: 2 min
Over-easy: 3-6 min
|Make a Breakfast Sandwich|
|Poached||3-5 min||Add white wine vinegar to the water and use fresh eggs||No|
|Omelet||3-4 min||In tupperware|
For more egg ideas, visit Endless Simmer < http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2009/04/16/100-ways-to-crack-an-egg/>
For video instructions on how to crack, boil, or fry an egg, visit Start Cooking < http://www.youtube.com/user/startcooking/search?query=eggs>
If you only have a microfridge available, What’s Cooking America has a handy guide on how to make eggs in a microwave! Click here < http://whatscookingamerica.net/Eggs/MicrowaveEggs.htm>