I am on a seven day sugar free challenge with my family so I am relying more heavily than usual this week on fresh, juicy summer produce! I’ve seen some versions of this challenge that don’t even allow fruit or sweeter veggies (I’m talking to you corn on the cob and sweet potatoes!), but I don’t want an all-out mutiny on my hands so I’m focusing on eating healthy amounts of fruit, no sugars added sugars (including agave, honey, maple, stevia or artificial sweeteners), and also eliminating processed white flour from our diet this week. My goal is to lose a couple of pounds but also to get my kids to appreciate the natural sweetness in whole foods and to reach for some not-so-sweet snacks too.
I figured I would go big for breakfast on day one because that is honestly going to be the toughest meal for my family. The kids tend to reach for cereal and milk every day and I usually have coffee with some sweetener, fruit and some sort of whole grain English muffin or toast. Today I made a wonderful smoothie with fruits and veggies to curb our sweet tooth naturally and then made a huge frittata which we enjoyed today and which will provide leftovers for breakfast or lunch later in the week.
I make frittatas a lot on the weekends but they’re so quick and versatile, I should really consider making them more during the week. This one came together in the time it took my coffee to perk! I used zucchini, spinach, onions and cherry tomatoes because that is what I had on hand but mushrooms, kale, scallions or potatoes would have worked well too. Since the veggies I had seemed a bit Mediterranean to me, I went with feta and some fresh oregano, but you could use whatever cheese and herbs you like to change it up and allow this breakfast to shapeshift throughout the seasons!
8 fresh eggs
Dash of milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
About a Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 medium zucchini, diced
¼ onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and rough chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Some chopped fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme or basil all work well)
About 1 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese (I used feta and a bit of provolone)
First, whisk up your eggs and milk or cream and season with some salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat your oven to broil on high, making sure you have a rack in an elevated position (bit not the top shelf). Now, chop your veggies. Place the olive oil in a large oven-safe saute pan; one without a plastic handle. (I use a good sized Calphalon paella pan.) Heat over medium high. Add the veggies but not the tomatoes or herbs. Saute until soft seasoning with a bit of salt if you like. Pour in the eggs, trying to distribute eggs and veggies pretty evenly across the pan. Using a silicon spatula, tip the pan slightly and lift the edges to pour more of the raw egg mixture underneath so it cooks more evenly. Do this a few times. Now add the tomatoes and cheese and transfer the pan to the oven. Broil for a few minutes until your frittata is done in center, golden brown on top and a little puffy. Remove from oven and top with the fresh herbs. I like to let it rest for 2-3 minutes and then use a pizza cutter to slice it evenly into 8 portions. Remove with a spatula or broad fork and enjoy! The leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days and are good warmed or even at room temperature.
This is a meal in itself but I made a quick smoothie to round out the meal. It included about 1 1/2 cup of coconut water, ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk, a handful of frozen mango chunks, one chopped up carrot, ½ peeled cucumber, 1 ripe sliced banana, and one whole peeled navel orange. I just threw it all in our Blendtec and set it to the “Smoothie” setting and let it do its thing. It made 4 nice-sized smoothies and gave me enough leftovers to make a few smoothie popsicles for later. For those, I just poured the leftovers into popsicle molds, but you could also use dixie cups. I filled them about ¾ of the way full and then dropped a few frozen blueberries into each one to bring the level up and add a sweet surprise to the frozen treats. These will be great snacks for later at the pool and my kids will never realize that I snuck veggies into their treats!