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Bonnie Aeschliman: Frittatas great way to eat more vegetables for breakfast

  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at 10:40 p.m.

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Serves 4 to 6.

9 large eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

4 to 6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves)

Optional Garnish: 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes and fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Mix in cream, cheeses, salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a 9-inch non-stick ovenproof saute pan set over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper and zucchini. Saute until vegetables are soft and liquid has evaporated, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in basil.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add egg mixture to skillet and cook until curds form but eggs are still very wet. Stir or lift cooked eggs from bottom, letting raw egg go to bottom of pan; this will take about 3 minutes.

To finish cooking, place pan of eggs in oven. Bake until eggs are completely set, about 6 to 8 minutes. Run rubber spatula around sides of pan to loosen frittata. Let rest a few minutes, then slide frittata onto platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Garnish if desired.

THE WICHITA EAGLE — Feb. 20, 2013

Vegetables for breakfast? We normally don’t consider breakfast the prime meal for serving vegetables, but why not? That’s on the mind of one of our readers who shared a thought-provoking comment on the subject. Let’s take a look at what he says.

Q. It is recommended that one have five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables daily. For breakfast, fruit is easy to put on the table. But what vegetables would you recommend for breakfast vegetables? I do not consider potatoes a vegetable, but a starch. Peppers are welcome in an omelet. But what vegetables does one serve as a breakfast vegetable? In our culture (eating out, fast-food driven, processed-food consumption) one must work at it to get the recommended daily vegetable servings. So, let’s get breakfast in the fight, right?

A. Yes, you are correct. Fruit in some form often adorns the breakfast table. Most popular is a glass of fruit juice. Of course, you could always have a glass of tomato juice or V8 in place of citrus juice to add more vegetables to your diet.

But how else might you add vegetables to breakfast? One of my favorite ways to incorporate vegetables into the diet is to make a frittata. Frittatas are a form of Italian omelet, based on eggs and flavored with cheese but often chock-full of vegetables. You may use nearly any kind of vegetable you like — broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, onions, leeks, carrots. Just be sure you keep the vegetables in proportion to the egg mixture so it will hold together.

As we are now in the Lenten season, many are looking for a delicious meatless entree for lunch or dinner. Since it is laden with eggs, vegetables and cheeses, a frittata is a filling and hearty entree. Paired with a nice green salad or fresh fruit and some hot crusty biscuits or warm muffins, it makes a quick and easy meatless meal.

Frittatas are not folded as a French omelet, so are very easy to make. You don’t need any special equipment — just need a slope-sided, nonstick saute pan.

Here is a recipe I often make and have used in cooking classes.

Bonnie Aeschliman is a certified culinary professional who owns Cooking at Bonnie’s Place in Wichita. For more information, call 316-425-5224 or visit cookingatbonnies.com. To submit a question to Bonnie, e-mail her at bonnie@cookingatbonnies.com.

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