{Appetizer, Brunch or Light dinner: Potato, Spinach & Caramelized Onion Frittata}

Spinach, potato & caramelized onion fritata

Summary: 

This is a dish you will need to watch throughout the entire cooking process, however it only takes 20 min if you are a multi-tasker like me. I love frittatas. Ironically I rarely eat them as breakfast, for me they make the perfect brunch dish on those days you wake up slow….or as a nice light lunch or dinner when my fridge is almost empty (or when I am too lazy to cook anything else). If eating them as the latter, a simple green salad with some honey vinaigrette pairs lovely with this dish. Furthermore, it makes a nice appetizer since it event tastes well when cold! Just simply cut the frittata into 4-8 pieces (depending on the desired pieces and number of hungry guests). With substantial ingredients like egg, cheese, spinach and potatoes – this recipe will make you feel fuller longer. If eating this as a main dish, this recipe only serves one but feel free to double the ingredients and share. This vegetarian frittata is really a complete meal with protein, carbs and all the added benefits of leafy greens. Plus it tastes great and with my modifications I’ve managed to keep this healthy. I have some spanish family on my father’s side, so this recipe is a healthy adaptation of a family recipe known as “tortilla española.” (Which translates into spanish omelette). The key ingredients in this classic recipe are the potatoes and onions, and the trick: cooking them on olive oil before adding the egg into the recipe. I actually prefer Italian flavors, hence I added the fresh basil and a mixture of shredded italian cheeses. However feel free to experiment, use whatever fresh herbs you’ve got handy and the cheese of your preference. Serve with warm whole wheat toast or with a small side salad. (I had this by itself last night and it was perfect, no side dish needed…)

On an educational note in a recent study in the journal of Diabetes Care, experts found that people who had a mostly vegetarian diet with increased amounts of fish and limited intake of POULTRY and red meat lowered their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. I wanted to highlight that eating lots of poultry can also have health repercussions as eating red meat. I wanted to share this information with you since most people take eating poultry as a “healthy alternative.” No doubt poultry can be a leaner type of meat, nevertheless vegetarians have the greatest drop in cardiovascular disease risk reduction. And if you decide to go vegan, this diet can even reverse some of the vascular damage. For more information on this I encourage you to watch the documentary FORKS OVER KNIVES. Remember being healthy is about having a balancing act, excess is dangerous. I found shocking that in that same study they found that there is no link between eating eggs and having high cholesterol or risk of type 2 diabetes. So if you are an egg lover, feel free to use this as a protein source in your next meal…remember just try eating them hard boiled instead of fried and skip the meaty add ins! I would also like to point out that quinoa, beans, nuts, tofu and cheese are other great sources of proteins. Some have more fat content than others, but when making your next sandwich/wrap/burrito try substituting the red meat or poultry with one of those alternatives. Also remember that if you decide to take the meatless challenge make sure to eat enough B12 and iron.
Ingredients:

4 baby red potatoes, sliced
2 eggs plus 1 egg white
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
3-4 slices white onion
1.5 tbsp mixed shredded italian cheese

1/2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Choose a very small saucepan to boil the potatoes for about 5-7min. These should be sliced so they will cook faster. Insert a fork into them to make sure they are properly cooked before using them for the rest of the recipe.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and onions. Cook until caramelized. Add the spinach and toss gently until it begins to wilt. Now add the potatoes and toss gently. Season everything with salt and pepper.
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3. On a separate bowl mix the eggs and egg white. Add the chopped basil and whisk together. Season with some small amount of salt and pepper. It’s always important to season each layer of your dish but remember this is a balancing act.

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4. Add the egg mixture onto the frying pan. On medium heat, gently lift the egg and mix together with the potatoes, spinach and onions. Let cook without touching it for about 3-5min. When you see that that the egg is almost completely cooked, gently flip over (I use a separate plate as an aid). Now pour the cheese over this side of the frittata. Cover and cook on low for about 2-3 extra min.

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