Get Fit With Frittatas
My father tells me that the big problem with health and fitness writers’ recipe tips is that they recommend foods that nobody can afford. He pointed out how expensive quinoa is to the average person, as well as other healthy food options.
I realize that a lot of people are operating at income levels that don’t permit expensive foods and I want to tip everyone off to a recipe I make at home that falls into my income range, which falls into that of the average person, and it’s really easy to make. It’s my spin on the traditional frittata recipe. At our house we call it egg pie.
Start with a good non-stick skillet (which we should all have, anyway) of 10-12" and you will need a lid that fits the skillet firmly.
Trader Joe’s sells an affordable olive oil cooking spray and they have a really good price on egg whites (only egg whites, no seasoning -- check the contents, sometimes the manufacturer flavors them up). For one egg pie you will need up to two 16 0z. cartons, though you may end up not using it all.
Heat your skillet to a medium heat, spray with cooking spray and pour one carton of egg whites into the skillet, fill it with whatever ingredients you like and enough remaining egg white to fill almost to the top and cook it, with the lid on, until it is firm. Then off the flame and leave the entire thing to sit and cool until the pie firms up enough that it pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Loosen it with a spatula and slide it onto a plate. Serve it warm or let it cool, cut into squares and put it in the fridge as food that is "grab-able." I need food that is grab-able because I am often on the run and don’t have time to stop and prepare meals.
These are my favorite egg pies:
1) Spinach (either fresh or already cooked down) onion and garlic (either fresh and diced or powdered, depending on how much time I have and how much effort I want to put out) and crushed red pepper flakes. Be aware that, when cut and stored, this egg pie releases water from the cooked spinach -- just check the storage container to see if it needs draining.
2) Turkey, tomato and fresh basil. I buy thin sliced turkey cutlets or tenderloins, cook them in any healthy way possible (read: not fried in a skillet) and cut into small pieces. I use cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced and I just take a scissor to the basil leaves and sprinkle them through. I season this with onion and garlic that I use above, but you can season any way you like. There are a lot of good sodium-free and light seasonings you can get.
3) Sweet egg pie. This is my favorite and extremely popular. You will need some raw almonds and a vanilla protein powder (I like Designer Whey French Vanilla). Grind them together (I do two cups of almonds to one scoop of protein) into an almond meal and set aside. Dice a Granny Smith apple (I use a Vidalia Chop Wizard -- it speeds the process) and set aside.
With your blender (I use a Magic Bullet) mix 3/4 of the carton of egg whites with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (almond extract is good too), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a tablespoon of honey). Pour into the heated skillet, put in all of the diced apple, sprinkle with the almond meal and use the remaining egg white (and more, if you want a thicker pie) to fill the skillet almost to full but NOT full.
Drizzle honey all over the pie and put on the lid; cook ’til firm, off the heat, let sit, cut and serve warm or cold. In summer months I switch out the apple for any other fruits but you have to be aware of the extreme difference in sugar content of various fruits, which is why I use the green apples most of the time.
These egg pies are almost nothing but protein and really affordable to make so I make them all the time. I have to. My husband and friends gobble them up as fast as I can make them, which is a good thing since I’m trying to get them all to eat as healthy as I do.