Jan. 11, 2021

Quick, Nutritious Meal Solutions – No Recipes Needed

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

Despite the ease and convenience of food delivery options, cooking is now on the upswing in North America. Finally! That’s a good thing, since cooking at home allows you to have better control of the ingredients you put in your meals, and save some money (compared to dining out or ordering in nightly).

Canada’s Food Guide has a strong emphasis on cooking more often , and cites it as a great way to learn new skills and rely less on ultra-processed food.

Of course, it’s not always easy to get food on the table for three meals a day. Many of us lack the time, knowledge, skills or inspiration but still want meal ideas that are quick, tasty and creative and require little skill. Solution? Eggs!

Turns out that the average person can prepare about five meals completely without any help from a recipe.  Take a moment to think about how many meals you can make without peeking at instructions. Did scrambled eggs come to mind? Maybe poached eggs? In a recent US survey , respondents were asked which meals they could make from scratch without following a recipe, and the top five answers were:

1. Eggs Over Easy (49%)

2. Scrambled Eggs (46%)

3. Hard Boiled Eggs (44%)

4. Poached Eggs (44%)

5. French Toast (41%)

The common theme here is obviously…eggs! Simple, versatile and nutritious, eggs are a staple in Canadian kitchens. And whether they are part of breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, they make a nutritious and easy solution for time-crunched lifestyles. Here at Burnbrae Farms, we’re not surprised by these statistics. Over the years, we’ve heard from our customers that eggs are a kitchen staple because they are tasty, nutritious and easy to cook. Eggs are often the first dish that children learn to cook too!

Toast and bacon also made it to the top 20 things that people can cook without a recipe, so breakfast overall seems to be a popular meal to prepare. It’s great that “ breakfast for dinner ” is a hot trend, so eggs can be on the menu any time of day.

Having adequate food skills and the ability to whip up a meal from scratch is important, since it impacts food choice and eating behaviours, both of which contribute to healthy eating. Canadian survey data show that Canadians who report higher levels of food skills (the ability to plan for, shop and cook meals), also had a higher frequency of vegetable and fruit consumption, and that’s linked to a lower risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

The same Canadian data also shows that 63 percent of Canadians report that they are able to adjust a recipe to make it healthier. That means they can take a recipe that they see on TV, online or in a magazine, and have the ability to swap a few ingredients (perhaps lower the sugar content or increase the vegetables) to make it more nutritious – that’s certainly a valuable skill!

And finally, since you can never get too much of a good thing, here are a few tips for your five favourite egg dishes:

-          For perfect Over Easy eggs, only cook them for about 30 seconds after you’ve flipped them. That will ensure the yolk remains runny and the white is fully cooked.

-          When making scrambled eggs, use a non-stick pan set over medium-low heat. Cook them low and slow to avoid overly dry eggs. And instead of adding cream or milk, use good quality eggs. We love the delicious taste and deep yellow yolk of our Naturegg Omega Plus eggs .

-          Use older eggs (not close to their code date) for hard boiled eggs. They are easier to peel as are hard boiled eggs that have been cooled to room temperature.

-          When you want to poach an egg, crack it into a ramekin before adding it to the water. This will ensure that you have a properly cracked egg with an unbroken yolk and no shell. It also makes it easier to pour into the water.

-          Turn your favourite French toast into this Berry-licious breakfast or brunch sandwich .

Margaret Hudson

President, Burnbrae Farms