“Finding the beauty….”
The other day I drove up a hill toward my mother-in-law’s and was surprised by the colors suddenly surrounding me. Red, purple, orange and yellow – the leaves of the trees closest to the highway had already begun to change, and set against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, the beauty of it all made me stop – literally, since I pulled over to be able to better drink in the scene.
For many of us, these many months of the pandemic have thrown a wrench into our normal routines, and slowly we have had to build new routines and wrap our minds around new ways of doing and being. But nature has continued its usual paths. The leaves are changing (for those of us in the part of the US where that happens). Temperatures are cooling. Frost warnings compel us to close up the garden.
This latter life cycle event has meant bowls of tomatoes, peppers, kale and onions adorning my kitchen counter. (Fortunately the carrots and potatoes can remain in the ground still for now.) And what to do with the abundance has been a daily question. Like the leaves, there’s a beauty in the deep colors of the vegetables and the fact that we grew these and are reaping from our hard work. So, they should not be wasted.
This is where frittatas are useful. Quick and easy, they are also nutritious, especially when loaded with onions, kale and tomatoes. There’s also the ‘beauty” of a frittata, which are its versatility and indestructibility. You can add whatever you want to a frittata, and you really cannot mess it up. Plus it’s a great way to use up leftover cooked vegetables and meats, which makes for a fast meal on those busy nights.
The Basic Recipe:
2 tsp olive oil (or other preferred plant based oil)
1/2 cup onions (any type: red, white, yellow, green)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp seasonings (your choice: oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram, rosemary, cumin, turmeric, etc….)
3 cups of chopped cooked vegetables and/or meats (If you don’t have leftovers, dice and cook vegetables and/or meats until cooked through: Be creative with kale, spinach, collards, broccoli, peppers, drained tomatoes, zucchini, squash, bacon, ham, chicken, sausage, etc….)*
9 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened “milk” (your choice: regular, soy, coconut, oat, etc….)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
*NOTE: If you want to add cheese (whether regular or dairy free) you can do that, too.
Basic Cooking Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- In a 14 inch cast iron pan, add the olive oil with the onions and minced garlic. Cook over medium low heat until the onions begin to soften.
- Add seasonings and cook for a minute to release the flavors.
- Add the cooked vegetables and mix well with the onions and garlic and seasonings. *Note: If you are adding cheese, sprinkle it over the top of the filling before adding the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper, and pour over the filling in the pan. Shake the pan as needed to evenly cover the filling and the pan.
- Cook for a couple of minutes until the bottom of the egg mixture begins to set.
- Pop the cast iron pan into the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. When done, the frittata will be puffed and firm to the touch with no runny egg.