Few animal products fit my style, but eggs are cheap, versatile, and keep well. They also cook well in a microwave.
Here’s the stats for one large egg:
There’s a huge amount of varieties available, distinguished in a few ways (in the US):
- determined by USDA interior/exterior appearance guidelines 2
- does not relate to taste, nutrition, or safety
- higher grades are more expensive
- determined mostly by the age of the hen 3
- large or medium tend to be most cost effective
- smaller eggs are thought to have more flavor
- determined by the breed of the hen 4
- not believed to significantly impact nutrition or taste
- white tends to be cheapest
Most other labels - organic, pasture-raised, cage-free, etc - can be ignored outside of a hen treatment standpoint. I tend to buy cheap grade A large eggs; just be sure to open the container to check for cracks before buying.
There are a huge number of ways to cook eggs. Typically, I’ll crack one on a dish just before it finishes cooking. The result is similar to topping with a fried egg, but minimizes cleaning of cookware. I also commonly scramble eggs in the microwave, or stir them into soups.
Cook them however you prefer, just take care when heating them quickly without breaking the yolk: this can cause an explosion.
large egg $1.69/dozen (Sauder’s large grade A, Trader Joe’s) ↩
“Although eggshell color is a largely cosmetic issue, with no effect on egg quality or taste, it is a major issue in production due to regional and national preferences for specific colors, and the results of such preferences on demand.” wikipedia ↩