A Lazy Psychologist in the Kitchen: Veggie Frittata

IMG_2874Right now, you may be asking yourself, “Why is a psychologist sharing a recipe on her blog about mental health?” Good question! The answer is pretty straightforward: over the past several years, more and more research has shown that what we eat affects how we feel, both physically and emotionally. Or, to put it in psychology terms, food affects mood. I know first-hand that when I eat healthfully, my energy is good, my body feels good, and my mood is good. But here’s a little self-disclosure between you and me: I’m a lazy cook. Phew! It feels good to unload that secret. Thank you for letting me share it. I’m not a bad cook, really, but I get overwhelmed looking at a complicated list of ingredients and an even more complicated list of instructions. I am always looking for cooking shortcuts. In other words, I am always looking for ways to make it as easy as possible to feed myself as healthfully as possible. So I thought that every once in a while, I would share one of my recipes for easy, healthy meals. Important disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietician, or physician, so don’t take my recipe posts as golden advice based on the most recent nutrition science. I’m just sharing some of my personal recipes with the goal of inspiring you to find easy ways to incorporate healthy eating as one way to cultivate healthy mood.

Today’s recipe: Veggie Frittata! I discovered how to make frittatas a couple of years ago after coming across this recipe by Alton Brown and now I make them once a week for dinner. Not only are frittatas easy to put together but you can get creative with the ingredients you add to it. From start to finish, they take me less than 20 minutes to make, giving this recipe a very high score on the laziness quotient. I push the laziness quotient even higher by adding enough vegetables that I don’t have to make a separate salad or veggie dish, meaning all of my healthy protein and plant matter are cooked in one skillet. Boom! Any fellow lazy cooks out there will undoubtedly appreciate how this saves not only time but also dish-washing resources. My lazy bones and I do not enjoy cleaning up a ton of dishes after cooking a meal. Can I get an AMEN?! On to the recipe:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

2 tsp oil (I use coconut or sunflower)

6 large eggs

1 red potato, cut into small, thin pieces*IMG_2868

1/2 of a medium-ish zucchini, cut into small, thin pieces

3 green onions, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

2-3 tablespoons grated cheese, pick your savory favorite

*Lazy Hint: the smaller the potato pieces, the quicker the sauté time. You’re welcome.

Instructions

1. Pre-heat broiler.IMG_2869

2. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Put aside.

3. Heat oil over medium heat in a 12” skillet.

4. Sauté the red potato pieces for 5 minutes.

5. Add the zucchini, and sauté with potato for another 3-5 minutes (Note: I’ve used golden zucchini in this pic)

IMG_28706. Add the green onions and Roma tomatoes.

7. Pour the eggs over all of your lovely veggies—no need to stir, lazy cooks!— and cook on stovetop on  medium heat for 4 minutes.

8. Layer cheese on top of eggs in skillet.IMG_2872

 

9. Put whole skillet under broiler for 3-4 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it turns a light golden brown and looks a bit fluffy.

10. Remove from broiler and serve immediately. Salt and pepper, or salsa, to taste.

11. Enjoy!

I mentioned earlier that you can get creative with what you add to the frittata. Here’s a few other ingredients that I’ve added at various times, all with good results: smoked salmon, shredded turkey, bacon, spinach, yellow/red onions, broccoli florets, chopped asparagus (these last three ingredients may need a few minutes of sautéing). Feel free to try other options according to your tastes, like mushrooms, green peppers, ham, etc.

On occasion, I’ve even doubled the recipe to feed larger groups. You’ll need a larger skillet and about double the cook time. Lazy cook bonus: Leftovers store well for a couple of days in the fridge. This dish serves nicely; I’ve even brought frittatas to potluck meals.

Happy healthy eating,

Dr. Jen