Tasty Tuesdays – Frittata

Frittata is an Italian word which roughly means to cook eggs in a skillet.  Although the word originates from Italy, there are many similar dishes found around the world. For instance, the tortilla de patatas is a Spanish variant of the Italian Frittata that includes fried potatoes.  I fell in love with tortilla de patatas while travelling around Spain and here is my rendition with a healthy spin.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 small red potatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fresh corn (cut off the cob)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 eggs (can easily replace with an equivalent amount of egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup cheese (use any cheese you like)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Heat olive in a cast iron skillet, or any pan that is safe to go in the oven.
  • Cook the sliced potatoes, covered for 10 mins.  Stir frequently.
  • Mix in the fresh spinach, corn, and garlic.  Cook for 2 mins.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and put in the oven covered for 5-7 mins.
  • Pull out the pan from the oven and sprinkle your favourite cheese on top.
  • Set the oven to broil, and put the pan back in the oven, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling on top.
  • Optional sauce: mix ketchup with a few drops of your favourite hot sauce (*try Sriracha or Tabasco)

Interesting Facts 

Eggs are a wonderful high-quality protein and a complete source of nutrients, since they are everything a chick needs to develop properly.  This low-calorie protein is an excellent source of choline which is found in the yolk. Choline is not produced at high enough levels by the body and therefore must be consumed.  It is vital for the structural integrity of the cell membrane and plays a pivotal role in cellular communication (Zeisel, S. 1993).  It is especially important for pregnant women to incorporate choline in their diet because of its role in brain and memory development in the fetus (Shaw et al., 2004).  A metabolite of choline is betaine, which is involved in the removal of homocysteine and decreases inflammation.  You may recall from my last post that consuming foods that lower homocysteine levels are beneficial and decrease the chances of developing osteoporosis and heart disease (Phillips et al., 2008).  Lastly, a lot of people are unsure how many eggs are okay and how many are too many.  After reviewing a vast array of studies, it appears that a healthy and active person can eat 1 egg/day without any appreciable change in their blood cholesterol levels or risk of heart disease (Goodrow et al., 2006).  In fact, many studies have shown that for most people saturated fats, not dietary cholesterol have much more of an effect on blood cholesterol levels (Hu et al., 1999). On the other hand, if you already have high cholesterol, diabetes or heart disease it’s best to limit your consumption of whole eggs to 2 or less/week (EatRight Ontario).  Taken as a whole, eggs are a great protein source with no trans-fat and are available year round, so enjoy them as a healthy part of your diet.

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