THE FRUGAL FOODIE: The versatility of the humble chicken’s egg

Spiced scrambled eggs - Frugal Foodie.

Spiced scrambled eggs - Frugal Foodie.

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Now that the days are longer and (very slightly) warmer, our hens have started laying properly again so I thought it appropriate to give you all some eggy inspiration.

Eggs have had such a mixed press over the years – good for us, bad for us, good for us. I personally think they are an amazing source of protein, great for a quick, nutritious meal and perfect for dieting.

Eggs go with so many things – they’re brilliant with spices and are delicious with potatoes, leafy veg and tomatoey dishes. They are also a natural raising agent so you can make beautiful fluffy cakes, soufflés and Yorkshire puds with them.

They are so versatile and super-cheap too!

My husband excitedly came home from work one day last year with Rocky, a cockerel, in tow. I wasn’t overly happy about this but he placated with me tales of cute chicks and more free eggs than you know what to do with! Well, the broody hen that we had been relying on to do the deed decided that she wasn’t actually that broody after all so it took until April before we actually saw some of these much talked about cute chicks! So, we welcomed three little bundles of fluff into the world at the end of April – one black and two yellow. I must admit that I was quite taken with them and the kids, particularly Evie, were nigh on obsessed with them. We have yet to find out if they are boys or girls. Wish us luck with that one!

So, with wishful thinking, we will have another three hens that are laying a plentiful supply of lovely, free range eggs in a few weeks.

So, in homage to our cute new pets, Blackso, Bonzo and Lovely (the kids’ choices!) here are some of my favourite egg recipes.

RECIPE: Indian spiced scrambled eggs

This is one of my favourite breakfasts or weekday lunches. It is packed full of iron-rich vegetables and packed full of amazing flavours including spices that are so good for us like turmeric.

And the best bit is that you can have a delicious, decadent meal on the table in less than 10 minutes.

First of all, grab all the random veg that you have kicking around your fridge and get it on your bench.

Mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, kale, spinach, spring onions, chillies, tomatoes.

Now, give them all a quick, rough chop and ribbon the courgette with a vegetable peeler. Heat some oil up and add some fennel seeds, nigella seeds, crunched up curry leaves and a little turmeric. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes then add all of the other vegetables except the tomatoes and spinach. Let them soften over a low heat, coating them with the lovely spices.

While the veg is cooking, beat three eggs. Add salt, pepper, about half a teaspoon of turmeric and a chopped chilli. Add the spinach and let it wilt for a few seconds before pouring the egg over the top and scrambling with a fork. Add the tomatoes and keep the mixture moving, trying not to let it stick to the bottom of the pan. It will be ready within seconds of the egg hitting the pan. Don’t overcook it – it is much nicer while it is still a little wet. If you are worried, just turn the heat off and let the residual heat of the pan continue to cook it slightly.

If I am having this for breakfast I will just have it on its own but if I have it for lunch I will tend to make a big salad to go with it and will more than likely lather lashings of chilli sauce over it. I’m a chilli addict. It is lovely with some feta sprinkled over the top too.

Once you know the right sort of spice combo you’ll be whipping up these sorts of meals in no time.