From Philippine Harvest to plate

I first learned about frittatas around the time my kid was transitioning to table food from mashed fruits and veggies. I was using simple quiche recipes but without the crust, and just stumbled upon frittatas later on. They were essentially what I was cooking, but actual frittata recipes were just more on point.

A frittata is basically the Italian version of an omelette, and the ingredients that you add to it can be up to you entirely. I love them. They’re cheesy, filling, perfect for any time of the day, ok on their own or with bread or rice, and a great way to eat more veggies.

Perfect for meeting your vegetable serving quota!

The lactation expert I consulted for Akira once told me that I should consume up to 5 servings of vegetables a day. I thought that was a pretty tall order, but she did say that the small ones like garlic and onions are also counted, but as a whole. So if I use an entire bulb of garlic for a recipe, for instance, that already counts as one vegetable serving.

Dishes that used a lot of vegetables immediately came to mind, like sinigang and nilaga. And just like these Filipino dishes, it was more than possible to hit the body’s vegetable serving requirement with frittatas.

You can even make this egg based dish completely vegetarian, and it would still taste good. At one point I think the ingredients I put together were broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers and leeks. I’ve played around with the cheeses too – just like with the veggies sometimes – to save them from spoilage.

Back then, the trick with Aki was to make sure the veggies are sliced into very small pieces. The generous amount of cheese I put in them also helped a lot. I’ve used Parmesan, feta, cheddar, Emmental, queso de bola (Edam) – my kid couldn’t care less. This is how I got her into veggies – and so it remains a Tan family favorite!

The ingredients for spinach and prosciutto frittata

While I’ve used up to 5 vegetables all together for a frittata, there are some standard combinations. Not all veggies, when combined, taste good after all (with copious amounts of cheese or not). The popular base vegetables are spinach and broccoli.

Thanks to the spinach and tomatoes I got from Homegrown Organics from the Philippine Harvest fair, it’s time for a spinach frittata.

spinachtomatoes

The tomatoes they had were a mix of medium sized and cherry sized tomatoes. I picked the smaller pieces for this frittata only because my kid is not too fond of tomatoes 😦

Good thing I have the rest of the ingredients just lying around at home:

When Aki was a baby, even the cheeses I would buy from Healthy Options. I’ve since relaxed a bit when it comes to cheeses, but I’m still quite loyal to brown eggs and native garlic and onions. 😀

Get the kid in on the action

Yes, it’s messier, yes it slows the process down significantly, but baking or cooking together with a kid makes for great bonding. Cooking is a life skill, and the kitchen need not be a terrifying place for kids as long as they are supervised and are given rules. Kids who learn to cook also tend to eat healthier.

For this dish, I tried to get Akira to snap the spinach leaves from the stem (not her favorite task). This was her first time to grate cheese – usually she’d just steal handfuls of the stuff when she thinks we’re not looking – and she did well! She liked this task a lot!

She also likes to mix-mix, so I let her mix the eggs in a bowl.

How to make spinach and prosciutto frittata

I just winged this dish, and I’m glad it turned out alright!

Some of the previous booboos I made with frittatas were making them too salty (already used salted butter, seasoned the vegetables while cooking them, also seasoned the eggs), and making them too runny. To avoid this, better to use a few dribbles of cooking creme instead of milk.

saute_onions_tomatoes

First part: saute onions in olive oil. Add tomatoes and cook well. To me, that means the tomatoes have softened enough that the pan got a bit reddish already, and some of the tomato skin has come off. Then I add the minced garlic.

After a few seconds, I add the prosciutto. I don’t really cook them there, more like heating them up with the rest of the ingredients. Then I dump all the spinach in the pan, and slowly mix everything up together. When the spinach leaves turn a deep green and get wilty, that’s the time to put out the flame.

dump_spinach

Second part: I used 6 eggs for this recipe. Before sauteing the vegetables and the prosciutto, the eggs should already be beaten in a bowl, together with a cup of cheese and a drizzle of cooking creme.

Once the sauteed vegetables are ready, pour together with the egg and cheese mixture. Mix all together. Then pour back into the pan for baking at 350 degrees. Do make sure that you use an oven proof container.

mixed_veggies_egg

Third part: Baking and waiting. You can tell it’s done when the frittata has risen a bit, and the surface bubbles from the cheese. That’s when I open the oven, and poke a fork in the frittata. If the fork comes off clean, it’s cooked.

frittata_bakingEnjoy this healthful meal together!

Nothing like enjoying the fruits of labor together. What we didn’t finish is stored away in a container and put in the ref.

I’m so happy that we’re past the stage that I have to make threats just to get her to eat vegetables. Right now she tells me her favorite vegetables are broccoli, carrots and kangkong. I really feel accomplished. Speaking of, do follow Homegrown Organics in Facebook and Instagram, they deliver fruits and veggies in season 🙂

I’m also super happy that she knows how to set the table already. Can’t wait till she can wash the dishes, hehehe.

 


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