I recently purchased a Groupon for a local box of produce to be delivered to my house. What I liked best about this company other than the fact that I didn’t have to drive to retrieve my bin of veggies was that they included a page of recipes using ALL of the produce included in that week’s box.
I decided to try out these recipes since I now had all of the ingredients. My favorite was this frittata, probably because it included squash. I don’t think I’ve tried a variety of squash I didn’t like, and this time of year, yellow summer squash is everywhere. I saw stand after stand of squash by the side of the road on a recent trip to Tulsa with my daughter, the grocery store has stacks of local yellow squash, and the farmers market has boxes of them too. Having many ways to use this abundant veggie is a good thing.
To start, I thinly sliced the summer squash.
Next, I chopped the onion and minced the garlic and combined them with the squash in a large skillet. I drizzled a little olive oil in the pan, and cooked the veggies for about 3 minutes.
One goal of mine is to eat something green with every meal. Spinach is probably the easiest green to throw into almost any recipe. For this frittata, I coarsely chopped a heaping handful of spinach. After the other veggies had been cooking for 3 minutes, I added the spinach, stirred, reduced the heat, covered, and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
I removed the cooked veggies from the heat and drained them on a paper towel to remove the juice.
Time to add the eggs. Eggs are a super healthy food and another one that is easy to add to almost anything. I remember the day when I counted my calories religiously to try to control my weight, and I would separate the egg yolks from the whites and toss the yolks. What a terrible idea that was! First of all, an entire egg has between 70 and 90 calories, depending on the size, so two eggs is under 200 calories. Plus, valuable nutrients are packaged in that yellow yolk – lots of choline (related to the B vitamins and important for brain health, cell membrane structure, protecting the liver from fat accumulation, and in making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine), folate, vitamins A and E, selenium, iodine, biotin (a B vitamin that is good for your hair, nails and metabolism – think energy!), and healthy fats – so choosing to omit the yolks to save calories and decrease fat intake doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m sure there were a lot of other empty calories sabotaging my diet more than the few that are in the incredibly healthy egg yolks. By the way, I no longer have the need to count my calories. Since I’ve been eating a diet of real food – nutrient dense whole foods – my body has settled in to a healthy weight without me having to play that game.
For the egg mixture, I beat 5 eggs in a medium bowl and added Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, salt, and pepper. I don’t eat much dairy, but I will include hard cheeses in my diet occasionally. If you are avoiding dairy completely, try substituting chopped pine nuts and increase the salt to ½ teaspoon.
Next I added the cooked veggies to the egg mixture and prepared the skillet by misting it with olive oil and placing it over medium heat. When the skillet was hot, I poured in the veggie-egg mixture and let it cook for about 6 minutes or until the edges began to turn brown. I placed the skillet in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 more minutes or until the eggs were set.
This frittata served my family of four easily. In fact, I think we ate every bite!
- 1 heaping handful of spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
- 1 small purple onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 5 eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (or chopped pine nuts if avoiding dairy)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (increase to ½ teaspoon if using pine nuts)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil and add sliced squash, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Add chopped spinach, stir to combine, cover, and let cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs and then add basil, cheese, salt, and pepper and stir until well blended. Add cooked veggies to the egg mixture.
- Spray the other teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet and warm it over medium heat. Once it’s hot, pour in the veggie-egg mixture and let it cook for 6-7 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.