- 2 cups egg beaters (see Notes below)
- 1/4 cup soymilk (see Notes below)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons light butter
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini (~8 oz), diced
- 1 cup mushrooms (~4 oz), diced
- Kernels from 1 fresh ear of corn (~ 3 oz) (see Notes below)
- 4 ounces soy-‘meat’ of your choice (see Notes below)
- 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese (~2 oz)
- Don’t let the seemingly lengthy ingredient list intimidate you – it really isn’t all that bad.
- Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler.
- Whisk the first 7 ingredients together (egg beaters through parsley) in a bowl until combined. Set aside.
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft (around 7-8 minutes), stirring as needed.
- Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and corn, and cook until soft (3 minutes), stirring constantly.
- Add the soy meat, and cook until warm (1 minute), stirring constantly.
- Add the remaining one tablespoon of butter. Stir it into the veggie mixture; once melted, even out the mixture in the pan (so it forms a level layer), then add the egg mixture.
- Immediately top the egg mixture with the cheese; then cook the eggs, undisturbed, for 4 minutes (or until the surface begins to bubble and the bottom starts to set).
- Use oven mitts (or some other form of hand protection) to immediately place the pan in the oven (under the broiler), and broil the frittata until golden brown on top (3-4 minutes).
- Using oven mitts/hand protection, remove the pan from the oven. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the sides of the pan. Tilt the pan, and ‘shimmy-shake’ it until the frittata glides onto a platter/plate.
- Cut the frittata into six pieces, and serve it hot or warm.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 190 calories, 5 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 18.5 g protein.
- You can use 8 eggs in place of the egg beaters if you would like; but this change will affect the nutritional information slightly.
- Soy milk is a bit thicker in consistency than skim milk, so I used soy milk for this recipe. However, if you don’t like or can’t find soy milk, I would recommend you use a higher-fat milk (like 2%) to help ensure the structural integrity of the frittata. If you do opt to use cow milk instead of soy milk the nutritional information provided will change slightly, but not too dramatically.
- Please use a fresh ear of corn (as opposed to frozen or canned kernels); this will make a significant difference in the flavor and texture of the dish. To remove corn kernels from the cob, just cut them away using a sharp knife. (I.e., stand the corn cob upright on its’ tip, put the knife at the top of the cob, and cut all the way down in one ‘strip’ [and delight in watching the kernels fall away]. Rotate the cob slightly, repeat. Continue until all kernels are off the cob, and on your plate/in your bowl.)
- For the soy protein, I used a blend of salami-flavored and turkey-flavored ‘meat’ (simply because that was what I had on-hand). If you are a meat eater, you could use actual meat in place of the soy product – but then please note that the nutritional information will change.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Low.
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low-ish.
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): A solid medium.
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Medium/moving towards high.
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Low-ish.
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 4.67
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
Summer is rapidly giving way to fall (the temperature dropped a full twenty degrees [F] this week; the heat of high noon has been replaced with the brisk chill of early morning), so I wanted to sneak in one more summer-ish recipe before slender, vibrantly green garden zucchini yield to fat, round, orange pumpkins.
I saw a ‘market frittata’ recipe in our local paper – but it was completely wrong for me. Loaded with ham, laced with heavy cream, and swimming in butter – nope, not in my house. Containing mere flecks of vegetables instead of loads of them – that won’t do at all. So I changed it. I nixed the heavy cream all together, and used soymilk instead. I cut the butter in half, and quadrupled the amount of vegetables. (I also changed vegetables altogether: the recipe called for peppers [which both my sweetie and I can’t eat], so I eliminated those and used zucchini instead.) I swapped out ham for vegetarian-friendly soy ‘meat’, and scaled back the cheese factor… and voila! Behold this recipe – a much healthier (and animal-friendly) version than the original.
Well, okay, fine to make all of those changes – but how does it taste? Because if it’s healthy, but tastes like garbage (or worse), what’s the point?
As I tasted the frittata (still hot from the oven), my very first thought was: smoky. Something in the intermingling of the ingredients gave birth to an unexpected – but amazing – ‘smoky’ flavor. Immediately, the next thought that popped into my brain was, “This is what a lumberjack would eat for breakfast – or what tourists visiting a northwoods cabin or rustic bed & breakfast would be served for brunch.” Seriously, this food is good.
The fresh corn gave the dish an incredibly faint hint of unexpected sweetness, as well as a tiny bit of crunchy textural interest. Both of these elements are so minute they almost go unnoticed – but I think they help to completely ‘make’ the dish. A person might not notice these components outright, but would definitely be saddened by their absence – they give the final frittata the perfect dose of interest and balance. The dish also had the perfect ratio of ingredients: meat-to-eggs-to-veggies-to-spices – all of the items came together to truly be one cohesive ‘team’. (No primadonas or ego-stars in this bunch. It’s really nice.) :)
In addition to the taste of this meal, I was also impressed with the cooking method. I had never “broiled” anything before (ever, in my entire life) – so I was understandably a little leery as to how the eggs might turn out. However, I needn’t have worried: both the bottom and top crust of this dish were cooked to perfection, and the insides were firm but not overdone. Also, for the first time ever, I had zero problems extracting the frittata from the cast iron skillet. I just shimmy-shaked the pan back and forth a few times over the serving plate, and in a few moves the entire frittata slid out in one solid piece, with no stragglers left behind. As a result, clean-up was a *snap* – I rinsed the cast iron, re-greased it, then done. Literally. Wow!
For as many accolades as I would like to bestow on this recipe, this dish does have two downsides. The first is that I really couldn’t taste the cheese; so when I make this meal again (not ‘if’, but ‘when’), I will likely increase the amount of cheese I use, and probably the style of the cheese as well. (I.e., I’ll probably use diced or very thinly sliced cheese as opposed to grated or shredded.) The second shortcoming of the meal is that it took me a full hour to make – and 50 minutes of that time was dicing and chopping. My preference is to have meals that I can bang out in 30-minutes or less (or at least keep the hands-on time to under 30 minutes – if something needs longer to bake, or is designed to sit in a crock-pot for hours, I’m cool with that) – but still, this dish is so tasty to me that I’m willing to overlook those minor flaws, and make it again. Yum-my.
Who says eating vegetarian fare is ‘boring’? ;)