Eggs: All that they're cracked up to be

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Food & Dining

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Costing less than 20 cents apiece, eggs are the perfect solution for the family on the go.

With the warmer weather and outside activities stretching your mealtimes, consider this breakfast staple for all meals of the day. They can be just as easy to prepare as the time it takes to gather the family and head to a drive-through.

You can pick up a dozen eggs at the market for about $1.88, or farm fresh for $3. They're truly a bargain. With a dozen eggs, you can make three easy meals that will satisfy the family. By filling omelets or frittatas with fresh vegetables, the youngsters get an extra boost of nutrition.

According to the American Egg Board, the nutrients in eggs can play a role in muscle strength, brain function and eye health.

And you can't beat the price, since these meals cost as little as about $5 each.

Farmers Market Omelets

Makes 4 servings.

From American Egg Board

Filling:

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow summer squash

1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons water

Egg mixture:

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons butter

Combine filling ingredients in 7- to 10-inch nonstick omelet pan or skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until water has evaporated and vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan; keep warm. Clean pan.

Beat eggs, water, cheese, basil and garlic powder in medium bowl until blended. Heat butter in same pan over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt pan to coat bottom. Pour in half the egg mixture. Mixture should set at edges immediately.

Gently push cooked portions from edges toward the center with inverted turner so that uncooked eggs can reach the hot pan surface. Continue cooking, tilting pan and gently moving cooked portions as needed.

When top surface of eggs is thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, place half the filling on one side of the omelet. Fold omelet in half with turner and slide onto plate; keep warm. Repeat with remaining egg mixture and filling to make second omelet. Serve immediately.

Vegetable Frittata

Adapted from McCormick Kitchens

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon McCormick Perfect Pinch vegetable seasoning

2 medium plum tomatoes, sliced

1/2 to 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheeseHeat oil in large ovenproof nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion, zucchini and bell pepper; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Beat eggs, milk and seasoning in medium bowl. Pour into skillet. Cook on medium-low heat without stirring for 5 minutes or until eggs are set on bottom. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top of egg mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 4 to 5 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese is lightly browned.

Italian Vegetable Custard

Makes 4 servings.

From American Egg Board

4 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups coarsely shredded yellow summer squash

1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini

1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained, divided

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

6 very thin tomato slices

1 small onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Beat eggs and flour in medium bowl until smooth. Add yellow squash, zucchini and 1/4 cup olives; mix well. Spread in greased 8-inch square baking pan.

Bake in center of oven just until custard is set, about 10 minutes.

Mix Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic salt; sprinkle over custard. Top evenly with tomato, remaining olives, onion and Jack cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.