A frittata is an Italian egg-based dish similar to a Spanish tortilla, quiche, or omelette. Typically frittatas have no crust and are fluffier than most omelettes due to a greater amount of air incorporated into the eggs while beating. But just like an omellete, a frittata can be created around any of your favorite foods (vegetables, cheeses) and served for any meal of the day. Not to mention this delicious dish is nearly impossible to mess up and takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish.
A frittata is generally a fairly healthy dish, depending on what you fill it with, but I did use a couple egg whites in this recipe rather than the whole eggs to cut down on calories and fat. However, I still kept 4 whole eggs in the recipe because the health benefits of the egg lie in the yolk. Valuable nutrients are found mostly in the egg yolk. These nutrients are just too good to pass up and a big reason why I rarely eat egg-white only dishes. For example, choline and lutein, are two egg-yolk nutrients that play a vital role in the health and proper function of our brain, nervous system, and eyes. The yolk is also one of the only sources of food that naturally contain vitamin D and contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, selenium, iodine, and B vitamins compared to the egg white. But most importantly, a baked dish made with the brilliant combination of both egg whites and yolk come out richer and more satisfying than just whites alone.
Spinach and Parmesan Frittata
makes 4 servings (1/4 of the pie per serving)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided in half
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups spinach (may use any green leafy vegetable)
4 large whole eggs plus 2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon milk (unsweetened almond milk, lite soy milk, fat free cow’s milk, etc)
1 cup grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese, divided in half
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon each: sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until spinach has wilted down. Remove spinach mixture from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Add the cooked spinach mixture into the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add egg mixture and shake the pan to level ingredients. Let eggs cook on stove top for 3-4 minutes. Top eggs with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and transfer into the oven to bake for 10 minutes, until eggs are just set. Turn oven to broil for 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Keep a close eye on eggs while on broiler so it doesn’t burn. Take frittata out of oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional facts per serving: 199 calories, 13 g total fat, 636 mg sodium, 5 g total carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 15 g protein
BALANCE IT OUT: The ways to enjoy this frittata are endless. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack and pair it with just about any thing. To get you on the right track though here are some examples. Devour this delicious frittata with fresh fruit and a slice of whole grain toast or english muffin. Make a frittata sandwich by placing it in between whole grain bread and serve with soup or salad. Create an elegant meal by serving this frittata with roasted potatoes and a side salad.