Showing posts with label Fritatta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fritatta. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2013


First it was acai berries, then goji berries. Then there was pomegranate in everything, followed by quinoa as the newest health food. And now, it's the chia seed. Yup, the same thing that grew the ch-ci-chia plant that came in all kinds of shapes and was advertised until we could hardly stand it anymore.

I admit that I was hesitant about chia seeds. But my health food store sells them in the bulk bins, so I was able to buy a few teaspoons to try. They don't really taste like anything but they have a little crunch. They're about the size of poppy seeds. So why are they the latest rage?

For starters, they're very high in omega three. Fabulous for vegetarians and people who don't care for fish. They're low in calories and have no fat. And they're loaded with antioxidants. Sound to good to be true? It gets better!

Imagine this -- when they get wet, they develop a little gelatinous substance around them. Isn't that odd? It's not as icky as it sounds because they're so tiny. It's thought that this substance slows down the conversion of these carbohydrates to sugar.

What? That's not enough reason to eat them? How about the fact that they're filling, so they may help with dieting? They're fiber, too! But don't eat too many at once because they do swell with that gelatinous thing they develop and they are fiber.  You'll be seeing them in a lot of products, but just a teaspoon or so at a time. There won't be any chia seed pies, for instance, though they can can be added to puddings and pie fillings. I'm big on the creaminess of puddings, so I'm not so sure about that. But mix them with granola, or toss them on a salad. Except for the little crunch, the kids won't know the difference.

When a friend stopped by for a visit, I put it to the test. I made one of my favorite breakfasts, a frittata. But this time, no cheese or ham or anything calorie-laden. This is one healthy frittata and here's the great news -- it's delicious. It didn't get as thick as frittata usually does, but the flavor was terrific. This will be a regular around here.

Healthy Chia Frittata

2-3 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 handfuls roughly chopped Swiss chard
6 eggs
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground flax

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch oven-safe saute pan and swirl to coat the sides. Add the red pepper and saute. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper. When the red peppers are getting soft, add the garlic and lower the heat a bit. Add the chard one handful at a time and let it wilt.

Whisk the chia seeds and flax into the eggs and pour over the veggies in the pan.


When the bottom has set, place the pan in the oven for about 7 minutes. Hang a pot holder over the over door handle so you won't forget that the pan will be too hot to handle! Slice into four pieces and serve.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


First of all, I want to send a shout-out to Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Robin's also the president of the Kerrytown Bookfest (also in Ann Arbor) and invited me to participate in this year's event, which I did this past Sunday.

The day was beautiful, the readers friendly - I was thrilled to be a part of it. (I'll be blogging more about it on my "Julie Hyzy" blog later this week. But I just wanted to let everyone here know that it was a truly fun event and Aunt Agatha's is a wonderful store. If you ever have the chance to go to the Kerrytown Bookfest or visit Aunt Agatha's -- you should absolutely jump on it.

Pictured here are those of us on the Cooking with Mystery panel.

From left: Connie (Miranda Bliss), Eve (Joanna Carl), me, and our wonderful moderator Angelee whose last name escapes me at the moment.


Because this was such a busy week, and because I've been using way too much heavy cream and sugar in many of my recipes, I decided to go with a somewhat healthier alternative this week.

After watching Alton Brown once on the Food Channel, I attempted my first-ever frittata. At that time I didn't have all the ingredients in the house I needed to recreate his version, so I improvised, which is something I love to do.

This time I tried a different version, and even though I was certain I had all the necessary items, I found out at the last second that I did not.

No worries... There's a lot of room for creativity with fritattas!

Although I usually prefer a more low-carb option, the potatoes in this one don't add horribly to the carb count and they give the frittata a nice texture that allows this dish to be enjoyed at any meal. Just because it features eggs doesn't mean it's solely a breakfast item!

Ready for an easy recipe?


1 T butter
6 eggs**
**You can use egg substitute if you prefer. Measure out about 1.5 cups for equivalent to 6 eggs.
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 big bag of frozen hash browns - about 13 ounces
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large skillet (must be oven-proof) melt the butter and saute the onions, green pepper and broccoli until the onions are soft and the broccoli is al dente. If you want to add more butter (I did), you may.

Add frozen potatoes and cook until they're warmed and cooked through, though not necessarily brown. Mine stayed white.

Mix the eggs until well blended, add salt and pepper to taste. Add eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring slightly until the eggs start to set. Don't pull them to the center of the pan, like scrambled eggs. You want the mixture to take up the entire bottom of the pan.

Place pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 4 minutes. Add shredded cheddar (yikes! mine was gone, so I chopped up a block of cheddar) and return to oven until cheese is melted and the sides of the frittata begin to brown.

Remove from the oven and serve hot.

As I said, this can be a wonderful low-carb option if you omit the potatoes. I made this once with some leftover salsa and it was fabulous.

Hope you enjoy!


My White House Chef Mystery series includes State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime.

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