Eggs are incredibly inexpensive at the moment. Stockbyte Getty Images
Eggs are incredibly inexpensive at the moment. Stockbyte Getty Images

Food & Drink

Eggs provide easy and inexpensive protein for your family

By Adriene Rathbun

August 07, 2017 03:24 PM

One of my favorite quick, easy sources of protein is eggs. You can crack a couple, grate on some cheese and throw in some fresh veggies, and you have a delightful, satisfying breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think that’s one of the greatest things about eggs: They’re so versatile.

Not only are they versatile, but eggs are also the lowest in price they’ve been since 2007. In fact, they’re down 32 percent from last year’s price. Why should you care? Because eggs are one of the most economical ways to feed your family protein.

I recently made a field trip to Aldi. It’s not a store I shop at frequently, but I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and selection there. I went to Aldi because I knew the eggs would be most economical there. A dozen eggs are only 70 cents. My jaw dropped. When was the last time you purchased something other than a pack of gum for less than a dollar? I added up ingredients – eggs, cheese, green chilies and cottage cheese to make this week’s Fiesta Egg Casserole and it cost me about $10 to make a 9 x 13 pan of this delicious egg bake. I’m assuming people have ingredients like butter, flour, baking powder and salt in their fridge and pantry. I usually cut the pieces large because it’s so delicious, everyone I’ve served it to comes back for more.

This recipe comes from the vintage Junior League cookbook, “Women of Great Taste.” My mom was a Junior League gal, and I remember when the book came out. She bought several cases of them and gifted them to friends and family for a long time. In fact, when I moved off to college at KU, I’m pretty sure it was the only cookbook I owned. My mom made the Fiesta Egg Casserole for lots of family brunches because it was a quick and easy favorite. It’s one of those that has been passed on so many times to her friends and mine, too. There are tons of egg casseroles that have bread in them, and I love that this one doesn’t have bread. It’s high in protein and delicious both out of the oven and reheated in the microwave.

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One more fun recipe for this week, Pretzel Pepper Dip. I used to whip this up almost weekly when I worked at Sullivan Higdon & Sink. We made birthday treats for people’s birthdays and I swear there was a birthday almost every week. This recipe became my thing. I made it all the time. It takes minutes and it’s salty, creamy and Ranch-y. What more can you ask for in a dip? My favorite pretzels to serve this with are the Kroger brand ones that are small squares with the grid pattern. Perfect for grabbing a lot of good dip.

I must have run into half a dozen friends in the past week that said they made one or both of the coleslaws from last week’s article. Who knew coleslaw would garner such attention? Keep cooking, friends. This break in the weather has my mind daydreaming of fall foods.

Adriene Rathbun is an enthusiastic Wichita cook who offers cooking classes through her business, Social. Reach her at socialcookingclasses.com or ar@adrienerathbun.com.

Fiesta Egg Casserole

10 eggs

2 cups (8 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

2 cups small-curd cottage cheese

2 cans (4.5 ounces each) chopped green chiles

½ cup butter, melted

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in cheeses, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared dish. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Recipe from Women of Great Taste, a Wichita Junior League Cookbook

Pretzel Pepper Dip

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

1 package (1 ounce) ranch-style dip mix

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cracked pepper

Pretzels

Beat cream cheese, butter, dip mix and Parmesan cheese until smooth. Spread in a shallow dish and cover generously with pepper. Serve with pretzels.