Go to grub

“Are you eating eggs with a salad?” my roommate called up the stairs on Wednesday night.

“Yeah…” I said, half laughing, through a mouthful of fried egg on a bagel with the last of my Christmas apple butter, a salad fork in my left hand.

“You love eggs,” she said.

I paused, swallowed my egg, and realized she had a point. “Yeah, I guess I do,” I said. “I never realized how many I eat.”

Everyone has their go to foods for specific situations, like peanut butter (Teddie’s of course) and jelly for road trips, or mac n’ cheese for late night studying, or an apple for a pre-run snack.

Whatever it is, it’s probably something you like (a lot), that you know how to make (or buy) and that doesn’t take too much time to prepare.

For me on evenings after a long day of work, that’s eggs.

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Fried eggs on bagels with tomato, avocado and muenster cheese, omelets stuffed full with onions, red peppers, mushrooms and whatever else I can find in my fridge or scrambled with tomatoes and green peppers and stuffed into a tortilla with plenty of salsa….

Eggs are easy, affordable, a great source of protein, cook fast and fit in with so many meals. For a person shopping and cooking for one, they are perfect for those nights when you forgot to meal prep and simply NEED FOOD ASAP.

Before my first summer living on my own (now almost three years ago!) I never really thought about the importance of go-to foods. Yes I packed snacks when I would be late for dinner or couldn’t find time for lunch, but I never thought about that feeling of extreme hunger and desperation that you get when you arrive home after an extra long day at work (plus a long run and dreadful commute) and realize you have nothing prepared to eat. The fridge is either empty or filled with nothing but food that will take hours to prepare (which amounts to the same thing in the moment) and the hangry rage sets in.

For those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, fair warning, it’s terrible.

In those moments, despite my years of education about healthy eating, I would eat absolutely anything if it promised to be ready in under 10 minutes. Chocolate chip pancakes laden with syrup has become dinner, too many peanut butter and banana bagels to count, wheat thins and hummus and (thanks to coming in last at trivia one time) even Ramen. Not going to lie, the Ramen tasted down right delicious.

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Don’t get me wrong, pancakes are still one of my favorite foods, just not the healthiest choice for dinner each night.

My sympathy for my dad’s frenzied snacking upon his return home each evening has increased tenfold.

But when those moments are happening multiple times a week…those choices start to add up and having more healthful – but still quick and easy – options are a must.

And that’s why, I fell in love with omelets. With 2-3 eggs, an assortment of vegetables, some cheese and a side of toast or a tortilla and some fruit they can be a well-balanced, tasty meal prepared in no time. Compared with a fast food run or microwavable mac n’ cheese, it is a much better option.

I’ve learned to keep a dozen eggs, a few bell peppers, an onion and at least one or two other easily chopped vegetables in the fridge at all times just incase, and let me tell you it has certainly paid off.

One of my favorite combinations include halved cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, garlic, yellow onions, basil, oregano and extra pepper!

So stock up and start creating your own combinations. Comment below with your favorite recipes or your own go-to grub ideas.

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