Healthy Mini (Almost) Egg White Breakfast Frittata

I wanted to surprise my partner with a Valenine’s Day breakfast before she went to work.  Why not a romantic candle-lit dinner?  Well, she was planning to help my parents out at their restaurant for dinner service since it can be one of the busiest nights of the year.  And even though breakfasts are not the most romantic meals of the day, I thought it would be something special to wake up to.  So I perused through the various recipes that I had bookmarked and was specifically looking for something healthy.  Something tasty, filling, but low in calories.  I was super excited when I came across this frittata recipe!

If you’re wondering what a frittata is, it’s an Italian version of the French omelette.  Omelettes traditionally have the egg mixture cooked and folded around a filling, while a frittata just mixes it all up, cooked in a mishmash combination all at once.  It may be baked, or it may be started in a frying pan. When started on a stove top the frittata can be finished in an oven, under a broiler, or it may be flipped and finished in the pan.

So I went to the grocery store at 9:30 p.m. after I finished work on Sunday evening with my list in one hand, and the basket in the other.  Shopping was like a race to the proverbial finish line.  I wanted to make sure my partner wasn’t suspicious of why I was getting home so late.  The real dilemma was trying to get the groceries into the house!  I set the groceries on the counter of the laundry room right as I walked through the house, hoping she didn’t hear the rustling of the shopping bags.  Luckily, she didn’t.  As my partner was getting ready for bed, I slipped to the kitchen to put the groceries away.

I waited, and waited, and waited until my partner finally fell asleep so that I could sneak away to the kitchen to prep the ingredients.  I wanted to ensure the perfect timing of the dish as she finished getting ready for work, but also a little sit down time to eat together.  As I was about to sneak away, my partner sort of woke up from her slumber and asked if I was okay.  I said that everything was okay, and wondered if I was ever going to make it to the kitchen.  She fell asleep, and waited for another five minutes before I thought it was safe.  I was able to sneak out, but our little dog who sleeps with us got out of bed to check on me.  This really made me nervous because he isn’t always quiet, and I just knew he was going to wake her up.  I’m so happy she can be a deep sleeper because she didn’t stir from him at all!  So I started chopping and prepping away.

Well, needless to say, everything went perfectly on Valentine’s Day.  Her alarm sounded off at 6:09 a.m. and as I realized she woke up a little later than I had hoped, I jumped out of bed and ran to the kitchen to preheat the oven.  The latter is what I was afraid was going to foil my entire plan.  I don’t even know if the oven preheated to the desired temperature, but I popped the muffin into the oven and waited very (in)patiently.  As nervous as I was, the frittatas cooked perfectly and in the right about of time!  Yay!

Mini Egg White Breakfast Frittata

5 egg whites
1 egg with yolk
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup baby spinach
1/3 cup bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheese
2 slices canadian bacon, diced
Olive oil spray such as Pam
Muffin tin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat egg whites with whole egg.  Fold in baby spinach, cheese, bell pepper, and canadian bacon.  Mix ingredients together.  Add a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper if you’d like.  I omitted the salt since the canadian bacon adds a bit of saltiness to the dish already.

Lightly spray the muffin tin.  Use a measuring cup to pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin, filling each over a little more than half full.  Place muffin tin into pre-heated oven, and bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 3 servings of 2 frittatas each.

Calories per serving: 55 calories

Perfectly Poached Oeufs

I love a perfectly poached egg with a runny center.  It makes for the perfect topping on hash, breakfast sandwiches, asparagus, and certain salads.  It’s also, of course, much healthier than scrambling or frying eggs in butter and oil.  However, those were my methods of cooking eggs because I was so intimidated with the process of poaching eggs for a very long time.  In fact, I was horrible at poaching eggs.  My eggs would separate as soon as I dropped them in a vat of boiling hot water.  I realized recently that I was doing it all wrong… ditch the big pot of water and don’t crack the eggs into the water!

Prescription on how to make a perfectly poached egg:

Medium-sized skillet (1o-inch diameter) with a lid
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vinegar

Fill the skillet with about 4 inches of water, and put the skillet on high heat.  Cover the skillet with the lid to speed up the boiling time.  Meanwhile, crack the 4 eggs into four small cups or bowls.

When the water boils, remove the lid, and add one tablespoon of plain vinegar and a dash of salt to the water.  The vinegar helps hold the shape of the poached egg.  Without it, I’ve learned that the eggs will become threads of protein tangled up in the water.  The salt helps flavor the eggs, but also raises the temperature of the water.

Swirl the water with a spoon, then tip the bowl or cup containing the egg just above the water and let the eggs flow out.  I don’t know why swirling the water, but it’s just a technique that I’ve come across through several food blogs.  I think the process also helps create/hold the shape of the poached egg.  Immediately return the lid to the pain and turn off the heat.  Set a timer for exactly 3 minutes for medium-firm yolks.  Adjust the time up or down for runnier or firmer yolks.  Remove the cover when the timer goes off.  Remove each poached egg from the water with a slotted spoon, and allow some of the water to drain off the egg.  Gently lay each egg on whatever is the desired end product.

Serving size: 2 eggs per person