We’ve all been that person at one time or other, the one who works late and their schedule is shot by the demands of 21st Century working life. We walk in the door, soaked from a miserable stomp home only to be greeted by the dread of cooking an evening meal. It’s something we’ve all felt guilty about too. We flop down on the couch and order a takeaway, frittering away £15 on a meal that will leave us, ultimately, uncomfortable and unsatisfied and often hungry an hour later.
Well, I have news for you. You need not waste money on questionable ingredients poured into a foil container anymore. A favourite last minute, no stress favourite of mine is Baked Eggs. Most modern cookbooks have their own interpretations of this, but it’s something I’ve been cooking for years to save time and stay nourished at pressurised meal times. If you like tomatoes and eggs you’re already off to a good start and I urge you to give this a try. Below is the vegetarian version, but I’ll include a tasty option for the carnivores out there.
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x 240g tin of chickpeas (drained)
1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, crushed or grated
2 tsp of dried Thyme (if you can get fresh, do so and use one sprig)
100g baby leaf spinach (Sainsburys do a 100g bag, but you could get more for your £ in ‘budget’ supermarkets)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Chilli Powder (or Smoked Paprika if you’re delicate)
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste (I love Maldon sea salt, but you can get cheaper brands or you can use table salt if you must)
- Heat your oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and once hot add your garlic and thyme, reducing the heat instantly and stir through the oil. Ensure the garlic doesn’t burn, cook for up to 2 minutes until the garlic softens. If it starts to go brown take it off the heat before step 2.
- Stir in your chickpeas on a low-medium heat for 2 minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes and chilli powder. Stir this occasionally for a further 2 minutes.
- Add your spinach leaves. Don’t worry if it looks too much, it will shrink considerably once it wilts. Stir these through the pan to help speed up wilting and ensure they don’t burn / stick to the sides of the pan.
- Crack your eggs on top of the mixture. I crack mine in preparation into a large mug of bowl and tip them one by one into the pan. If you put them in at four different points you have four portions. Turn the heat to low and preheat the grill.
- After 2 – 3 minutes take the pan and place under the grill. If your pan has a plastic handle make sure it is not fully under the grill element and keep an eye on it!
- Keep checking every 30-40 seconds and once the eggs are cooked, but the yolks still runny, remove from the grill and serve. I like to add a bit of salt and pepper to serve.
If you cannot bear the idea of eating this without some meat, try frying some finely chopped chorizo with the garlic and thyme. This adds a lot of flavour! Regardless, cook your meat at step 1 until it begins to brown and then continue to step 2.
I’ve managed the full preparation and cooking of this meal in less than 15 minutes before, so it really is a quick and filling dinner with a protein content (26g per serving).
So next time you’re feeling crappy when you get in from a rough day and you think about telling someone else to make you a nutritionally void dinner with your thumbs, give this a try. The recipe is really adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge… within reason of course. Enjoy!