Easy Deviled Eggs: #175 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Deviled eggs originated in Italy, with the word “deviled” being used to mean spicy or with zest. This version of the recipe isn’t too spicy, so it’s a friendly finger food for kids of all ages. Thanks to Tim for making them for us. πŸ™‚

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3 total for 16 deviled eggs)

8 eggs – $2.24
1 tsp dijon mustard – $0.08
2 tbsp mayonnaise – $0.20
1/2 tsp garlic powder – $0.14
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika for sprinkling on top – $0.14

Directions

1. Hard boil the eggs: in a medium pot, cover the eggs with cold water and put them on the stove set to high. When the top of the water starts to get disturbed from boiling, set a timer for 8 minutes. Turn the temperature down slightly so it’s going at a gently rolling boil, not too crazy. When the timer goes off, drain the hot water and fill the pot with cold water to cool the eggs. Peel the shells off when the eggs are cool enough to handle.

2. Prepare the white bowls and yolk filling: cut each egg in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to gently scoop out the yolk from each egg half. Try not to break the egg whites as you’re doing this. Arrange the whites on a plate, and mash up the yolks with the mustard, mayo, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Decorate the eggs: scoop the yolk mixture into a piping bag with a ridged metal tip if you like patterns, and squeeze some yolk mixture into each egg white bowl. The yolk should stand up tall, well above the egg white. Sprinkle with paprika if you like. Serve room temperature or cold from the fridge. Store any leftovers in an airtight container to eat the next day.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Sunday Brunch Quiche: #99 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

A savory breakfast is a nice change around here. This quiche with mushrooms, peppers, spinach, and feta cheese would be good any time of day though. Inspired by an Esalen recipe, it’s a flexible pastry and egg dish that can work nicely with a variety of your favorite meats, cheese, or veggies. Feel free to adapt to your taste!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($13 total)

FOR THE CRUST:
1 3/4 cups flour – $0.28
2 tsp oregano – $0.56
8 tbsp butter, cut into small chunks – $1.24
6 tbsp cold water – free
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10

FOR THE FILLING:
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, thinly sliced – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 red pepper, diced – $0.99
1 (8 oz) package crimini mushrooms, quartered – $2.49
2 cups baby spinach – $1.99
1 tsp sage – $0.28
1 tsp oregano – $0.28
4 eggs – $1.16
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp milk – $0.20
1/4 pound crumbled feta cheese – $2.69

Directions

1. Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix the flour and oregano. Add the butter and rub with your fingers until it turns crumbly. Then add the water and gently knead it to form a ball. 

Refrigerate for 15 minutes to solidify, then gently roll out or press the dough into a 9-inch baking dish or pie pan.

Brush the pastry with olive oil to prevent a soggy-bottomed pie. Cover with parchment and dry beans to pre-cook the crust at 400F for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and take off the beans and parchment.

2. Make the filling: in a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until it gets soft and translucent.

Add the red pepper, mushrooms, oregano, and sage. Cook for 5-10 minutes more until most of the liquid that comes out of the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the spinach and let it wilt down.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, and milk until well combined. 

Add half of the veggie mix to the pie shell, followed by the feta cheese and half of the egg mix. Then add the rest of the veggies and the rest of the egg.

Bake at 375F for 45 minutes. Test for done-ness by sticking a knife in the middle of the quiche and checking that it comes out clean. 

Cool for 15 minutes, then cut and serve warm. Top with extra feta cheese if desired. Quiche is excellent as leftovers the next day too. Yum!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Eggnog and Irish Cream Truffles: #89 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

For a fun holiday treat, we made two versions of these decadent truffles: one with eggnog for the kiddos, and one with Irish cream liqueur for the adultos. πŸ™‚ It’s actually very easy to make these, you just need a few hours to let the mixture set in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 total for about 3 dozen truffles!)

1 cup whipping cream, divided in two – $1.49
2 tbsp butter, divided in two – $0.31
2 tbsp eggnog for one batch – $0.19
2 tbsp irish cream liqueur for another batch – $0.60
3 cups chocolate chips, divided in two – $3.00
Equal parts cocoa powder and icing sugar to coat (about 1/4 cup each) – $0.50

Directions

1. Split the whipping cream and butter into two bowls. Add eggnog to one and irish cream to the other (label them, or use the smell/taste afterwards to differentiate). Microwave to melt the butter and boil the cream, about 70 seconds for each bowl. Add half the chocolate chips to each.

2. Stir in the chocolate chips to melt them. The mixture will get nice and shiny and smooth. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight so it firms up.

3. Mix the equal parts cocoa and icing sugar together in a bowl. Scoop 1-2 tsp of truffle mixture, gently shape it into a ball with your fingers, and roll it around in the cocoa sugar dust. If you don’t eat them all, they freeze very well for future enjoyment. πŸ™‚

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 13/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lemon Meringue Pie: #49 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I usually prefer anything chocolate for dessert, but lemon meringue pie is one exception. The creamy, tangy sweetness is refreshing and satisfying. This version has a shortbread cookie-like crust for an extra comforting treat.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9.50 total)

1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) butter – $1.86
1 3/4 cup flour – $0.28
1/2 cup icing sugar – $0.44
1 whole egg – $0.29
1 tbsp + 1 3/4 cup water – free
6 lemons – $1.20
1/2 cup + 2 tsp cornstarch – $1.70
6 egg yolks + 6 egg whites – $1.75
1 cup + 1 cup sugar – $1.74

Directions

1. Make the pastry: Mix the butter and flour together until they become crumbly and there are no big chunks of butter. Feel free to use your hands! Add the icing sugar, 1 egg, and 1 tbsp water, and mix until it comes together into a ball of dough. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface first, or press it straight into 2 pie tins. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for half an hour to firm up. Then bake the crust at 350F for 15 minutes. If you have baking beans, use them, if not I just put some empty jam jars into the pie crust to weigh it down during blind baking.

2. Meanwhile, make the lemon filling: squeeze the juice out of the 6 lemons and grate the zest. In a small pot, mix the lemon juice and zest with 1/2 cup cornstarch. Add 1 3/4 cup boiling water and whisk to thicken the mixture over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup of sugar and 6 egg yolks. Return the pan to medium heat and whisk until thick enough to be a pie filling.

3. Pour the lemon filling into the pastry crust, then make the meringue: whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until you get soft peaks when you pull the beaters out of the bowl. Add 1 cup sugar gradually as you continue to mix, then add the 2 tsp cornstarch and whisk a bit longer. It should be nice and glossy and pretty stiff. Drop spoonfuls of the meringue on top of the lemon filling, and use the back of the spoon to make sure the meringue covers right to the edge of the pie. Feel free to make any design or pattern you like on top. 

Bake at 340F (dropped oven temperature from before) for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is nicely golden. I like to let it cool for 15 minutes and then chill it in the fridge before serving. 

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 13/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Mushroom Avocado Cheese Omelets With Bacon: #43 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I only know two ways of cooking eggs: scrambled and hard-boiled. Fortunately, my husband is a more accomplished egg chef than I am. He can whip together an amazing stuffed omelet for a weekend breakfast, while making it look super easy. Feel free to put whatever toppings you like inside, as long as they’re pre-cooked and not too wet.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total)

6 eggs (for 2 omelets) – $1.75
1 package enoki or your favorite mushrooms – $2.99
1 ripe avocado – $1.29
1/2 package bacon, cooked and diced – $2.75
1/2 cup havarti or other cheese, chopped up – $0.97
2 tbsp butter – $0.31
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Prepare your fillings: I heated up the olive oil in a small pan over medium high heat, then dropped the mushrooms into the hot oil and added salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, they take about 5-7 minutes to cook to a point of being browned and not watery. I also chopped up the avocado, bacon, and cheese.

2. Then the egg chef took over. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat, beat 3 eggs together in a bowl, then when the butter is hot, pour the eggs into the pan. As the bottom of the omelet solidifies, keep going around with a fork – lifting the side of the omelet and tilting the pan towards the fork to let the liquid egg on top run underneath. You should end up with a fairly dry top after a couple of minutes of this.

3. Make sure the omelet can slide around the pan by shaking the pan gently side to side, then arrange your toppings over the top however you like.

Slide the omelet off the pan into your plate, and as you’re halfway through the slide, use the pan to flip the top of the omelet over onto the bottom half that’s already on the plate. These omelets were so big that we cut each one in half and shared them.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Viennese Souffle: #28 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Looking like the snowy Alps, this fluffy souffle towers gently over a sweet grape sauce underneath. I had never made a souffle before, and I’m not sure I entirely like eggs prepared in this way, but it was a fun experiment to do with my daughter! She liked the fluffy sweetness of it better than I did.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4.50 total)

2 tbsp butter – $0.31
2 tbsp grape jelly – $0.32
9 egg whites + 4 egg yolks – $2.62
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup sugar – $0.66
1 small orange or clementine, zest grated – $0.20
1/2 cup flour – $0.08
Sprinkling of icing sugar – $0.11

Directions

1. Spread the butter and grape jelly in the bottom of a medium glass baking dish. Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar, and orange zest on high with an electric mixer until you get stiff meringue peaks. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and flour. Then gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the meringue with a spatula, being careful not to knock too much air out of the egg whites.

2. Gently scoop the egg mixture on top of the jelly and form into peaks that look like mountains. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden on top, then turn oven off and let it dry out for 5-20 minutes longer. Check when it’s done by dipping a spoon into the middle of one of the peaks and seeing if it’s still raw egg inside.Β 

3. Sprinkle with icing sugar, scoop out the souffle with the sauce underneath onto individual plates, and enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:Β  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 1 = inedible
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 12/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Omelette Aux Fines Herbes: #14 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

A straight up French omelette can make a delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Super simple once you get the technique down. All you need is a few eggs, a little butter or oil, and whatever herbs and spices you have on hand. Enjoy!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.00 total)

6 eggs (up to 4 of them can be just egg whites) – $1.75
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used chives) – $0.90
2 tbsp butter of canola oil – $0.31
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a small bowl, use a fork (not a whisk, because that will introduce too much air) to mix the eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped herbs.

2. In a large pan, heat the butter or oil over pretty high heat. When it’s hot, add the egg mix and shake the pan around for about 2 minutes until the egg is mostly solidified, then let it cook for 10 seconds to create a nice skin underneath.Β An alternate technique is to keep lifting the sides of the omelet all the way around so the egg liquid on top runs underneath.

3. Once it’s still a bit wet on top but has a nice brown color underneath, you have the option to add cheese or other toppings (or just leave it plain and simple), then use a spatula or fancy pan-flipping work to fold half of the omelet over the other half.

Serve hot, with your favorite bready side.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:Β  1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!