Ahhh... eggs. I think I could live on nearly eggs alone, however my heart would most likely not approve. As such, I serve the organic, protein-rich food to my family in moderation and enjoy the additional health benefits including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and lutein along with a serving of whole grains and fruits and/or vegetables. In the past eggs have been avoided due to cholesterol issues, however recent studies are now claiming that not only will the egg (in moderation) not increase most cholesterol levels, but it may actually help improve one's blood lipids profile. With that info, I say, sign me up!
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, lutein is "best absorbed from the egg yolk - not lutein supplements or even spinach". With a history of Macular Degeneration and cataracts in our family, I welcome the lutein-laden egg yolks and often try to pair them with additional lutein filled foods such as spinach with hopes of providing additional nutritional support to our precious eyes (and skin). With such health benefits in these two foods, the pairing in Epicurious' Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata, by Golden Door executive chef Dean Rucker, was a match made in heaven.
With the kids at school and my husband on a day off from work I set to preparing a nice lunch for the two of us. It was the photo of the frittatas on Epicurious, each in individual ramekins, that drew my lutein supported eye and shortly had me chopping onions, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach for our meal. Easily put together with whole eggs as well as egg whites and then baked in the oven, these little individual (my husband called them cute) frittatas were a real step up for the plain PB&J. Served with melons from the farmer's market and a slice of whole grain bread our bodies were fueled and ready for the after school chauffeur duties to begin.
Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tsp butter
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup mushrooms, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup packed fresh spinach, chopped
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
8 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
1/4 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425°F. Coat 4 small ramekins with cooking spray and set aside. Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. Cook onion and mushrooms until soft but not brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, basil, spinach mixture, salt and pepper. Spoon the egg mixture into ramekins; bake until puffed and firm in the center, 12 to 14 minutes.