Flickr image via orchidgalore
Sometimes I get overwhelmed. I get overwhelmed by the demands of work, the demands of family, and the demands of home. These are the time when I don’t manage to get the slow cooker set up the night before. These are the times when I would order take out and scarf it down without a second thought and end up feeling worse than before. But now that I am being more mindful of what I put into my body, I stop before I pick up the phone and make a frittata.
A frittata is an Italian omelet and makes great refrigerator velcro. I often put left over veggies, cheese, and meat together to create delicious and easy meals, served with a salad. They also make great next-day lunches. Many of the recipes I encounter for frittata advise putting non-stick pans under the broiler, but I am not comfortable heating non-stick pans to that temperature. I use my stainless steel.
Here is a recipe I find myself making again and again.
Leeks, Mushrooms, and Smoked Gouda Frittata
6 large eggs
2 tbs heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (small handful) fresh, finely chopped parsley
1 large leek
2 cups mushrooms sliced
2 tbs butter or ghee
1 tbs olive oil or coconut oil
- Preheat broiler on high and place the oven rack in the upper one third of the oven.
Image via brokenarts
- Place a large, oven-safe skillet (10 – 12 inch) over medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter.
- Add the leeks and the mushrooms and cook until the leeks and brown and soft and the mushrooms have browned.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, salt, pepper, parsley and half of the cheese.
- Add the egg mixture to the pan. Slowly stir the sides and the bottom of the pan until you have large curds of egg mixture with wet parts in between.
- Allow the mixture to cook for another two minutes or until the underside has set.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and place the frittata under the broiler for 5 – 7 minutes.
- When the top is brown, remove the pan from the oven.
- Allow to cool from 5 – 15 minutes before eating.
Flickr mushroom image via orchidgalore.
Egg image via brokenarts.
Flickr image courtesy of indigogoat
Tonight my friends and husband went to a wonderful restaurant, which I frequented before I made my dietary changes. One of the dishes I loved to order from this restaurant is mac’n'cheese and I knew I would be horribly tempted if I even entered this establishment. Instead of setting myself up for failure, I decided to stay home and attempt to create a cheesy and satisfying dish I could eat within the confines of my diet.
Normally when making a cheese sauce, you first make a bechamel sauce, using a roux, and then add cheese. Because I am committed to not eating gluten and to eating low-carb, I needed to find another recipe for when I splurge. Instead of using the roux, I thicken this sauce by first thickening the cream and then adding cheese. For the cheesy cauliflower, I first roast the cauliflower in the oven to add another layer of flavor and to concentrate the sugars.
Image courtesy of ngould.
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups freshly grated cheese
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
- In a sauce pan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until it is boiling.
- Continue boiling until the sauce is thickened like a cream sauce, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Add the ground mustard, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to low and starting adding cheese by the handful. Whisk they sauce until the cheese is completely melted and then add your next handful. I normally use whatever cheese I happen to have on hand – some cheeses that I find best for this application are fontina, smoked gouda, edam, havarti, brie, aged cheddar, and asiago. I do not grate the cheese ahead of time or purchase grated cheese because this adversely effects the quality of the sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve immediately.
1 lb fresh or frozen cauliflower
4 tbs olive oil
2 cups cheese sauce
1 cup grated cheese
- Place rack in the top one third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place cauliflower in a casserole dish and cover with olive oil.
- Roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast for 10 minutes more until some browning is present.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and then add the cheese sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Cauliflower image courtesy of inigogoat.
Cheese image courtesy of ngould.