Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Liv's Power Frittata with Quinoa and Veggies

Sometimes peer pressure can be a good thing.  Like I mentioned in the last post, Liv secured a green food aversion from an early age, and it wasn't until the last year or so that she has entertained the thought that green veggies might actually taste good.

Dancing on her competitive team has her spending time with girls years older than she is.  Girls, who as they enter adolescence, tend to work on healthier diets as the teenage years tend bring hordes of "teenager" issues including acne and extra weight.  As such, many of these girls have been found snacking on broccoli and hummus, lunching on spinach salads topped with chicken, and filling breakfast omelets with zucchini.

Ever the picky eater, Liv made the comment, "Eeeww!  You really like spinach?", only once or twice before she discovered that, yes, many of her friends do eat green.  It was about that time that I snuck a handful of spinach into her smoothie without her noticing and then told her about it.  On our next car pool day I had her usual smoothie, and she made a point of asking in front of the other girls, "Mom, you did put the spinach in the smoothie... right?".

To which the other girls said, "Eeeww!  You put spinach in a smoothie?"

And her quick response sounding so grown up included, "Oh, yes... it so good for you and you can't even taste it!"

Since then she has become an olive oil and age white balsamic connoisseur (favoring the 35 year aged balsamic... I hope she gets a good job when she grows up!), a Ceasar Salad lover (with chicken preferably), and a veggie omelet requester.

Working hard last weekend on a Broadcasting Competition Project (some 20 hours in 3 days!), she found herself pretty darn exhausted and we concurred that today would be a nice day for her to be "sick" from school.  With our day filled with plans of cookie baking and caramel apple dipping, getting a healthy meal in first seemed to be a good idea.

Ever trying to get her to expand her food repertoire, today's surprise addition was quinoa - once again something she has not cared to try.  As we had more time on our day together, we decided a fritatta might be more fun than the usual veggie scramble, and she set to helping me chop onions, broccoli and her now favorite spinach.  Slipping about 1/2 a cup of cooked quinoa into the eggs, she didn't even notice.

She loved the triangle cut pieces in place of the usual scramble, and had at least 3 bites before she asked what those "little things" were in the fritatta.  "Quinoa, I told her.  It adds tons of protein and vitamins.  Believe it or not, it used to be called The Gold of the Incas, and has been around for 9,000 years, and it's actually a seed, though many people refer to it as a grain."

She nodded as she took another bite, then proceeded to clean her plate.  My girl is growing up.

Liv's Power Frittata with Quinoa and Veggies
Filled with protein and greens, a perfect way to start your day!
Liv Life - 2012
Printer Friendly Copy

2 tsp olive oil
3 Tbs chopped onion
3 Tbs Prosciutto (optional)
1/4 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped spinach
3 egg whites
3 eggs
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled Feta
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to broil.

Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly to incorporate the yolks.  Add the cooked quinoa and stir.  Set aside.

Add olive oil to a medium-sized oven-proof sautee pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and prosciutto and sautee for about 3 minutes, or until onion softens.  Add the broccoli and spinach, sauteeing about a minute more until the spinach wilts.

Either add a touch more olive oil, or a small dab of butter to help with sticking, and then add the eggs to the pan and give a stir to incorporate the veggies evenly.   Cook about a minute, then lift around the edges of the cooked egg and tilt the pan to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath.  Top with chopped tomatoes and Feta, and after 2-3 minutes, place the pan into the oven under the broiler.  Cook just until the eggs are set and the top browns slightly (watch carefully!), then remove and allow to cool for a minute or two.  Cut into slices and serve.


  1. Haha! Sometimes peer pressures work in positive way! In my case I need to figure out how to feed quinoa to kids and my husband. It's always challenging to trick them first. I love your frittata version! This recipe might win over!

  2. Hilarious, since Amy's the same way. And this frittata actually sounds pretty yummy!

  3. Fritta (and quiche) are two of our menu regulars, but I haven't tried with quiona. What a great way to pack in the protein, without needing to add meat. Love!

    PS. I am a new comer to your blog and am thrilled to be here. I'm on a constant quest to sneak veggies into my husband's food and expand his green horizons, so your posts definitely hit home for me!

  4. Kim,
    I love the idea of putting quinoa in a frittata. Why didn't I think of that. Your frittata looks so good, especially with the spinach and quinoa!

  5. Love this! That is most certinaly a power frittata, especially with the Quinoa!

  6. I'm with Nami...I need some peer pressure for my hubby! I actually think he'd eat this gorgeous frittata as long as there was no evidence that I added in any quinoa before his first bite :) Love that Liv's tastes are took college for my oldest to become a foodie...hoping it works on the youngest :)

  7. I wish mini-me was this adventurous. Even I am a little shy with new foods. I think we'd both get over it fast with this gorgeous meal in front of us. It's so pretty. And healthy. Wonderful photos too. Makes me want to reach into my screen.

  8. I know everyone is "doing" quinoa these days.. but I just haven't gotten the taste-bug for it yet. But this is SO interesting to add it to a frittata. I love the added flavor of the prosciutto and fresh veggies. I may tray it! :) xo

  9. Liv's frittata is amazing!!! Something I definitely would enjoy!

  10. Love this story and the frittata looks amazing! So funny what inspires kids. Glad she is expanding her repertoire - it makes cooking so much more fun.

  11. Can the cheese be omitted for this recipe? The frittata looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.

  12. Candice, absolutely. The cheese is purely optional ( I just happen to love Feta!)


Your comments make our hearts sing!