Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Veggie Frittata

Okay Vegetarians this one is for you.  You will like this Frittata a whole-lata.  A Frittata (pronounce FREE-TA-TA) is like a crust-less quiche but contains no liquid; just the eggs and your additions.  A frittata is really an Italian omelet.  There are several ways to cook a frittata.  You can start by cooking it on the stove top in a cast iron skillet and finish it off in the oven or you can cook it completely in the oven. For tonight's meal, I chose the latter.  

First I start with free roaming, farm fresh eggs. We get our eggs locally from a farm that allows the chickens to roam freely by day.  This allows them to eat the food chickens are designed to eat.  Bugs, grubs and worms.  This environment and diet allows them to produce eggs that are abundant in Omega 3s.  These eggs are also rich in the antioxidants responsible for eye health; lutein and zeaxanthine. The bottom line is healthy chickens produce healthy eggs. Feeding chickens a grain/feed rich diet produces a less superior quality egg.  
Don't wash the eggs until you are ready to use them.

Now before you worry about the amount of cholesterol in the eggs please note:
A new meta-analysis published in 2013 looked at 17 prospective studies on egg consumption and health. They discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people.
In fact, eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol. They also change LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (which is bad) to large LDL, which is benign.
Besides your blood cholesterol levels have little to nothing to do with your risk of heart disease, but that is a discussion for another day. 

One egg contains about 70 calories and is rich is 9 essential amino acids, iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5. One egg contains 113 mg of Choline which is a very important nutrient for the brain, among other things. MANY OF THESE CRUCIAL NUTRIENTS ARE IN THE YOLK.  So please, for the sake of all things that are good for you, don't throw away your yolks and do not buy the egg whites in a carton. 
Free Range, Farm Fresh Eggs

Look at the golden color of that yolk.

For this Frittata, I added sweet bell peppers, red onions and minced garlic.  I like to sautee the veggies a little first to cook out some of the water and sweeten things up a bit.
 I beat the eggs, added some spices and poured them into a greased dish. 

 Following that I  sprinkled the veggies over the beaten egg mixture and  I finished with some crumbled feta.  

I baked in the oven at 375 for about 15 minutes or until the feta starts to brown and eggs are set. It really cooks much quicker than a quiche because there is no added liquid to contend with.  Once the frittata is firm to the touch, remove, cool and slice.  
The potatoes had a 20 minute head start.

This dish is really so versatile.  You could put anything in the Frittata.  I have used, spinach, kale, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, shredded turnip ... The list goes on. I am sure you can think of some great combinations. 
Another great thing about a Frittata is any leftovers make a great lunch.  Put a slice on a piece of bread.  Wa-la!  Instant flavor packed sandwich.  

8-9 eggs ( I generally use 2 eggs per person or 3 if that person is your husband)
1 cup of diced bell peppers
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil for sauteing  the peppers and onions
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of each basil and oregano
1 cup crumbled feta cheese  

I served the Frittata with a side of steamed broccoli and roasted, cubed sweet potatoes and onions.  ENJOY!

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