When limited to a restrictive diet, one must get creative with the foods that can be tolerated…digestively speaking. Eggs and most vegetables (cooked of course!) are usually tolerated by the average person with IBD. But despite the numerous ways of incorporating eggs as a main ingredient, the available dishes are not limitless. There are only so many times you can eat plain eggs, an omelet or a quiche. Eggs are extremely versatile, and so we wanted to reincarnate eggs as more than just a breakfast food. For this blogpost we want to focus on frittatas. A healthier alternative to a quiche, a frittata omits a pastry crust (high in saturated fats) and milk usually replaces cream. The frittata filling is also less custard-like, and has more of the consistency of a hardened omelet.
Finding new uses for the same foods can be daunting, but it is definitely possible. There are entire books devoted to a certain ingredient, such as this egg cook book – http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/eggs-cookbook/. Marnina and I are always looking to enliven the use of our go-to foods. We often find online recipes that showcase a new method of cooking an ingredient. And it is easy to modify a dish like a frittata to include different ingredients so that every frittata you bake is different.
To be honest, Marnina and I have probably only made the exact same dish 3-4 times since we started this blog. We are always throwing in different ingredients, or different amounts of ingredients, so that every dish has its own personality. The cooking methods we use may also change, such as steaming veggies vs. roasting them before we throw them into a stir-fry (roasting definitely brings out the sweetness!). We also rarely use the same amount of spices and herbs, as our neglected teaspoons and tablespoons can attest. We think of a certain type of dish (a frittata, a stir-fry, a casserole) as a template for creating a new and exciting dish. The same can be said of an ingredient, such as an egg – there are just so many combinations of ingredients that can form a new type of dish that meets your dietary need.
This frittata includes sweet potato, which is an ingredient we often use in several types of dishes. We have used sweet potatoes as the main ingredient in pasta, a supplemental/secondary ingredient in a shepherd’s pie, a soup ingredient, and as the primary vegetable in a slow-cooker recipe. Can you sense a theme? Marnina has always enjoyed sweet potatoes (in moderation) but didn’t really see them as a staple food. They have been one of my favorite foods for a very long time. I would be happy to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However the result may not be so pretty (nobody wants me to turn orange!). Sweet potatoes also tend to be cheap and can be used in so many different ways. This is how they have ended up in so many of our dishes.
If you are reading this blogpost and thinking to yourself, “Maybe I should try a frittata,” then go for it. Use our recipe as a template. Substitute the vegetables for other vegetables you like (we won’t be offended if you leave out the sweet potato!), omit the cheese if you can’t eat dairy and substitute soy milk for regular milk. This is a safe and easy recipe. You will notice that it calls for olives and corn (danger foods!). We omitted both ingredients and added zucchini. It was delicious. Take on the challenge and personalize your frittata.
Marnina actually made the frittata alone as I was away in Florida at my brother’s bachelor party. She got creative over the weekend and decided to make chocolate pudding from scratch using silk tofu. Many of you are probably thinking “Tofu in pudding? Gross!” It’s actually quite common (not to mention delicious) and makes the dessert much healthier. It wasn’t the pudding that Marnina made that was so special, it was the presentation. She served it in the wine glasses that we received upon completing the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon with Team Challenge. Let me tell you, eating pudding out of wine glasses is a lot more fun than eating it out of bowls. After running 13.1 miles together and raising $5,622 for Crohn’s and Colitis research, we definitely deserved it!
Sweet Potato Oven Baked Frittata
- 4 tbsp cornmeal (we omitted this and used extra baking spray instead)
- Cooking spray or olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- ¼ cup bell peppers, finely chopped
- ½ cup sliced black olives (we omitted)
- 1 cup frozen corn (we omitted)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 8 eggs
- ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp hot chilli flakes
- 75g grated cheddar cheese (75g is equal to about a cup of cheddar cheese)
1) Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray (or brush lightly with olive oil). Add cornmeal and tilt dish in all directions to coat the sides and bottom with the cornmeal. Leave excess (if any) at the bottom, shaking from side to side to spread evenly. Set aside.
2) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add water and sweet potatoes, cover loosely and cook until potatoes start to become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Check often to make sure there is enough water; add more if necessary, but not too much; it needs to completely evaporate before you add in the rest of the vegetables.
3) Toss in broccoli florets, corn, black olives and bell peppers. Give this a good stir, cook for an additional minute or two then transfer delicately to reserved baking dish.
4) Combine milk and spices together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs and beat until well combined. Pour over vegetables and top with grated cheese.
5) Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set and cheese starts to color.
Recipe adapted from: http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2011/04/08/sweet-potato-oven-baked-frittata/