EGGS! When I was small, I went out to the chicken coop and got the eggs from under a hen. Now we don’t have that luxury we used to call a chore. We must drive to the store and choose what KIND of egg we want. Conventionally laid eggs are laid by chickens who are crammed into a cage and can’t do anything but peck at each other, eat and drink out of a single trough, and lay eggs. Then we have cage free eggs. The hens live in a barn and sometimes get outside to an enclosed run. Then we have pastured or free-range eggs. These are laid by hens that get to go outside all day and eat good stuff like grass and bugs and some nice grain.
First, we need to remember that eggs are a wonderful food. All kinds, no matter how they are raised, have vitamins D, E, and A plus Omega 3 and probably more things we don’t even know about yet.
In my experiment taste-testing eggs here in the county, I really found a difference in flavor. Nothing beats a farm fresh, organic free-range egg. Nothing. My next choice at the grocery store is a certified organic egg. I choose the label that states it was certified by OTCO and raised in the Willamette Valley here in Oregon. OTCO stands for certified by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic. They are a guarantee beyond reproach you are buying a researched organic product. They are detectives turned loose on their certified farmers and worry them to death about every little thing. I would rather spend my extra dollars on “locally grown” if it means grown in this county and not in the entire West including Mexico. I’m just sayin’.
Next, we come to “natural” eggs. Save your dollars. Natural can mean anything unless it has a description of what they mean by natural. Hens naturally lay eggs. Go back to the conventional eggs. They are naturally raised also and less expensive. The cage free, free run, and pastured eggs are nice, and all contain, according to lab tests, more vitamins and omega 3 than conventionally laid eggs.
So how much you spend on your eggs depends upon your budget, eating habits and how much you care about the chickens who lay the eggs.
MUSHROOM, LEEK OR ONION AND SPINACH
Prepare two skillets of equal size by heating both with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Keep one skillet warm while cooking the eggs in the other skillet.
In a bowl, beat 6 eggs, lightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon whole milk or full-fat coconut milk, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Set aside. Put olive oil in a skillet warmed over medium heat. Add 1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms and chopped yellow onion or leeks. Cook while stirring for about 5 to 8 minutes. Add a 6 oz bag of baby spinach, roughly chopped, 1 clove of minced garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 seconds or until the spinach is wilted. Add the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over medium heat until the eggs are set on the bottom and the eggs on top are still moist. Loosen the eggs around the edges and place the second warm skillet over the cooking eggs, like a lid. Turn the pan over so that the second skillet is now the pan that is cooking the eggs. Remove the top skillet. Cook until the eggs are set and top with the green onions. Cut into wedges and serve directly from the warm pan.