Vegetable Vows

I vow to eat more vegetables in 2015. Seriously, I promise. They may be slathered in pork and/or cheese, but it’s going to happen. I tend to subsist on toast or tortillas and cheese (breakfast comes with eggs), but there is a serious lack of vegetables in my diet. Working in the restaurant industry is really hard on your home cooking skills and interests, and shopping, wow. It’s so hard to go to the grocery store for produce, time is an issue for any parent who works full-time, but as a professional cook grocery stores on your day off are a nightmare. Things don’t look fresh, are expensive, or they just don’t have the ingredient you’re looking for. Add on having made it a priority to eat local, seasonal, and whenever possible buy directly from a farmer, then suburban grocery stores are even more challenging.

But, I digress, because despite those challenges I will eat more vegetables. I will revel in the availability of what there is and enjoy the privilege of having fresh produce available, even when its January and there’s precious little coming from local farms. I will eat the vegetables I have access to and look forward to spring when more farm fresh, nutrient packed produce is available.

I vow to eat more vegetables.

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Frittatas are a great way to get vegetables into your life. Most anything in your fridge can make it’s way in there and they’re easy to make ahead so you can enjoy them for two or three days (if they last that long!). I love onions and lacinato kale so those are staples for me, I often have ham and cheese available, and of course I have a glut of fresh eggs from my backyard chickens. A little milk or cream and you’re ready to roll on this free form, one dish meal. The recipe below gives approximate amounts for most of the components, play around with adding more or less, or other vegetables.

Frittata

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small diced onion
  • 1 tsp oil or butter
  • small diced ham–about 1/2c is good
  • lacinato kale–about 4 leaves, cut into a thick “chiffonade”
  • sweet pepper–roughly 1/2c, small dice
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 c milk
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • paprika
  • minced parsley and/or other fresh herbs of your choice (savory and marjoram work well)
  • crumbled sheep’s milk feta (Pastures of Eden is my favorite)

Method

  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. heat a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof pan) over medium heat, add oil and onions. cook until just beginning to caramelize, add ham. cook for about 5 minutes
  3. turn heat to low add kale and sweet pepper, cooking until kale is tender and the water is released from the pepper–about 8 minutes
  4. whisk eggs together with milk, pepper, paprika, and herbs
  5. pour custard over the veggies, don’t stir. scatter cheese over the top, turn heat to medium low and cook until the bottom has set, but the top is still wet
  6. place in oven and cook until set–this is the trickiest part of making this, you don’t want to overcook the eggs, but you want to make sure they are set, depending on your oven, how much veggies you put in the frittata, and how well set it was when it went into the oven are all variables that affect how long it will cook. it can take about 20 minutes, but stay patient, the results are worth it.
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