Stuck in a Food Rut with a First Attempt at a Frittata

Last fall I participated in an 8-week long paleo challenge (recap here).  I discovered some recipes I liked so much, I continued eating them after the challenge ended.  One in particular is the sweet potato hash.  I continued eating the hash topped with eggs and avocado week-daily for the next six months.  I reached such a point of boredom and frustration with food that I began rebelling.  I pigged out on the samples the buyers and sales people put out for my co-workers to try.  There were Annie’s Organic Bunnies, Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles, and Godiva’s new truffles in Crème Brulee, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Lava Cake (O. M. G!).  Outside of work, I was eating risotto appetizers, pasta entrees, and brownie sundae desserts.  In other words, I ate like garbage.

I am paying the price.  I sleep at night but wake up tired.  At work, I feel sluggish and ready to crash by two o’clock.  When I go to WOD, I move very slowly and feel heavy and dense whenever I have to run.  I am not performing at the level I should be at.

In an effort to combat the food boredom and newly developed bad (okay, awful) eating habits, I reached the conclusion that I need to cook at home more and try a variety of recipes.  I shouldn’t be eating the same thing every day.  I also know a few things about me:

  • I like to eat protein-heavy breakfasts and I am partial to eggs for breakfast
  • I munch all day long so I need a variety of snack options or meals with multiple parts
  • I need a filling lunch, preferably loaded with protein and vegetables, but not a salad
  • I try not to eat after 4 pm on days I have CrossFit

I stumbled on this recipe from Fabfitfun.com for a Frittata with Ricotta and Mixed Greens and decided to give it a try.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (not going to be used all at once)
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (maybe 2 pinches)
  • 1 pound of mixed greens (I used a 10-oz bag of pre-ripped kale from Trader Joe’s – be sure to remove the spines)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (I left this out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I suggest using more)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves (I’ll leave these out if there is a next time)

 You need to:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 (I used standard bake, not convection and I did not need to pre-heat at the very beginning.  I could have done this later on.)
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large, non-stick, oven-friendly skillet.  Add the finely diced red onion and cook until soft (about 4 minutes).  Stir occasionally.  (I’d add a pinch of salt to the onion for flavor.)
  • Add the red pepper flakes and mix again.
  • Add half of the kale (or greens of your choice) and cook until wilted and crisp but tender (about 5 minutes).  Place the sautéed greens in a colander.
  • Do the same thing with the remaining kale.
  • Let the kale cool a bit then squeeze dry (I used a paper towel to help).
  • Transfer the kale to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the skillet with a damp paper towel.
  • Add the red-wine vinegar, ricotta, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to the kale and stir to combine, making sure the ricotta is blended evenly.  (You may want to add salt here.)  I added the leaves of a mint spring (ripped up) to this mixture.  I’ll probably leave them out next time.
  • Whisk together the eggs, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon with black pepper (Parmesan would be added here) in a large bowl.  (You may need more salt here.)
  • Fold the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture and stir until all ingredients are mixed together.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until the sides are set (about 8 minutes).
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are completely set (about 15 minutes).
  • Make sure you use an oven mitt to remove the skillet from the oven as the handle will be very hot.
  • Invert frittata onto a serving platter to serve.

You may want to leave the frittata “upside down” depending on how the “top” looks.  As I am using this for lunch, I don’t mind having it “bottoms up”.  If I were serving this to company, I would put the nicer side up (as you see in the picture).  If the frittata does not fall right out when the pan is inverted, use a spatula to loosen it then turn the pan upside down.

image

(Picture taken by my loving boyfriend on his iPhone as I was too lazy to climb a flight of stairs and get mine.)

The recipe calls for a pesto sauce that gets drizzled on top of the frittata upon serving.  I decided to omit the pesto as I’ll be taking the refrigerated version for breakfast at work.  Hence, the addition of the mint to the frittata itself.

The recipe made 8 good-sized slices, 3 of which went home with my boyfriend for his breakfast.  The other 5 I’ll be eating daily along with Trader Joe’s frozen hash browns.

As this was pretty easy to make, I’ll definitely be trying another frittata in the not-so-distant future.

You can see by my opening confession and the ricotta in the recipe that I have not been keeping up with paleo.  I enjoy food.  I would rather eat in a more healthful manner (balanced meals, mixing in veggies, limiting my sweets) than omit whole food groups.

Happy eating!

Tell me, what do you like for breakfast and how do you break up food ruts?

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