For the past 8 years I’ve been a vegetarian (specifically a pescatarian because I still eat seafood). I primarily made the choice for health reasons and secondarily because I was quite skeptical of meat not prepared by my dad. Since cutting meat out of my diet, I’ve never looked back. This diet has helped me think more about what food I’m putting in my mouth and strive for better balance in my meals. I can’t imagine ever eating meat again because I don’t miss it…anyway, I digress.
The holidays for vegetarians can be difficult. Sure, it’s a challenge when all the meals center around roasted/fried/brined meats. But, the harder part is convincing the host you don’t need a Tofurkey to feel included. A few years ago, my aunt was hosting Thanksgiving for the family and was nervous about what I would be eating. Most of the time I was fine just eating the sides, but I knew she would feel better if I brought my own protein. After a quick discussion with my mom, I decided to make a fritatta. It’s simple to make, warm, rustic and a veggie-friendly protein that doesn’t make the rest of the world raise an eyebrow. Oh, and it’s really inexpensive to make.
That first fritatta Thanksgiving, my asparagus and Gruyere cheese fritatta was quickly devoured by the entire family. Since then, I’ve just switched out the ingredients each holiday to keep it interesting. This year my family is traveling and won’t be cooking any part of the Thanksgiving meal. So, I decided to celebrate a little early and make my fritatta before we left.
My mission this week was two-fold: create a new delicious fritatta and use up as much food in my fridge as possible. My mother gave me some of her fresh herbs that needed to be used. So, that is where I started my recipe search. Basil. Not a bad place to start, eh? I searched for a recipe on a new site my dad found, www.bigoven.com, for some inspiration. Quickly (cause their search is pretty awesome) I found a fritatta recipe based around basil and tomatoes, two of my favorite things. Using this recipe as a guide, I knew I only needed to pick up some eggs, an onion and a tomato to make this meal happen (talk about recession friendly!).
- 1 Thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 shalot; sliced
- 1 tbs butter
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 md Tomato; diced (be sure to remove the seeds)
- 1/4 c Fresh basil; chopped
- 1/4 c fresh Italian parsley; chopped
- 1/4 c shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
- 3 tbs ricotta cheese
- 1 16oz container Egg substitute
- Salt and pepper
- Sauté the onion and shalot in butter and 1tbs of olive oil in a large pan (oven safe) until translucent.
- Add in the chopped herbs, salt and pepper and tomatoes.
- Remove the veggie mixture from the pan and set aside. Turn your oven on to a high broil
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and once it is heated, add half the eggs and all the ricotta cheese.
- Cook for less than a minute on low heat, combining the egg and cheese.
- Add the veggie mixture back into the pan and top with the remaining egg. Cook until the egg is mostly done, just a little liquid at the top.
- Top with Parmesan and mozzarella and place pan into oven to broil until all the cheese is melted and is slightly browned.
- Remove the pan from the over and let cool for a few minutes. Slice like a pie and serve!