Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I eat some version of the ugly duckling frittata (and its accompanying messy salad) almost every day. It is packed with vitamins and low in fat. I use egg whites since I eat eggs so frequently and don't want to risk raising my cholesterol (just to be on the safe side, since  the jury appears to be out on the direct relationship of dietary cholesterol to blood cholesterol). 

The following is an approximation of what goes into one (substitutions and additions occur regularly and are encouraged):

Cooking spray (I use Trader Joe's olive oil spray)
3 egg whites (nothing whipped, nothing added)
1/2 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped green or red peppers
1/2 c sliced mushrooms 
1/c c sliced zucchini
soy bacon bits
5 small black olives, chopped
basil/oregano/garlic/fresh black pepper

This is the most important photo in this post. It shows you what I mean when I say I "crack the frying pan" and since cracking the pan is the reason the vegetables in this ugly duckling frittata come out so perfectly (to my taste, at least) I thought it was important to clarify my not-so-technical language. The pan should be covered, yet cracked, at every stage of the process.
Those are the vegetables, sliced, seasoned and in the sprayed 10" pan.
Here they are with the egg whites, sprinkled with the soy bacon bits, chopped olives.
Since there is almost nothing I can bear less than runny eggs, I wait until the edges turn brown, as they are here, before folding the omelette and cutting it into two wedges, then topping the wedges with pan bits that didn't make it into the fold:
Here's a closeup. The onions and some of the onions are deliciously browned, despite the small amount of oil used in the making of the omelette, and zucchini are soft, but still hold their shape. All due in large part, I believe, to keeping the pan cracked throughout the entire cooking process so excess moisture/steam can be released and the vegetables can develop a more intense flavor. Delicious, if not beautiful!
My messy salad is made from whatever I have around. I like artichoke hearts, romaine lettuce, baby spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, chopped celery, chopped carrots, radishes, red onions, chopped red or green or purple peppers. Confession: commercial salad dressing (Fat Free Cranberry Balsamic by Maple Grove) mixed with balsamic vinegar.  
All accompanied by massive amounts of iced tea.


glutenfreeforgood said...

This is delicious looking. No ugly duckling name needed! I have no worries about cholesterol and egg yolks, but I do spread out my egg eating so I don't over-do it and become sensitive to the proteins. That can happen. And thanks for the "cracking the pan" explanation. I actually wouldn't have know what you meant. Duh!

Love the idea of a giant salad every day. That's my kind of meal.

G.F.Veg said...

I have one of these so often, i think it's better for me to do whites only but if a half yolk slips in, i definitely go with it. thanks for writing!

An Eye for Detail said...

Well, I do follow you on Twitter and this entry looked so appealling that I clicked! I just might have to try it!
I find myself cooking SO much less these days: it's all quick stuff, no more nice casseroles that I can then freeze for future nights etc. And so...I don't follow many cooking blogs. BUT I always see your Twitter notes and keep meaning to come over here..
Don't worry: I'll be back!
Hope you're well, yes? We are just loving it down here...nice and hot and lots of outdoor living.

G.F.Veg said...

Libby! So great to hear from you! Will you be up for 41 madison in october or is that a totally former life now?