Adventures in nutrition blog 1: The Barack Frittata

The Barack Frittata

The Barack Frittata.

by Millie Roberts

Unbelievable as it may seem, it was not until about 18 months ago that I first tried frittata at a Halloween party at Halloween in north London.

The hosts were a Spanish couple who insisted I taste their recipe. Of course, it was delicious and once I popped, I struggled to stop. Only out of politeness toward the other guests did I finally step away from the frittata.

I found this particular recipe on athletemasterclass.com after I Googled something along the lines of ‘nutrition for athletes’.

It’s sold as a recovery meal following a hard training session as it is an excellent source of protein, balanced with some carbohydrate and other vegetables.

Some adjustments were needed to suit Parker’s palette (the fussy little blighter):

1. White onion was substituted for red onion or spring onions or scallions as I recently found out they are also called. Parker dislikes both the texture and flavour of white onion. He’s ok with it grated or very, very finely chopped, but ultimately prefers red or spring.

2. Cheddar cheese replaced with a mix of ‘Tasty cheese’ and parmesan– cheese in NZ tends to not to be named specifically. The cheese of choice in our household is quite simply called ‘Tasty’. Well, if the cap fits.

3. Sweet potato replaced with half kumara (NZ’s version of sweet potato) and half white potato. Parker is not hugely enamoured with kumara (I got eggy at the cost of it, jumped up potato: ed) but we had two that needed to be used up in the pantry (sorry Parker). It also added a nice splash of colour to the dish.

The humorous shape doesn't justify the price of a kumara. The world's most expensive spud?

The humorous shape doesn’t justify the price of a kumara. The world’s most expensive spud?

The basic premise of the recipe is really good. Below are some suggestions for alternative ingredient/ cooking methods and having now cooked this twice, I can vouch that it is a quick and easy way to use up stray quantities of vegetables left over from a cook.

For example, spinach works well and again, adds a delightful burst of colour as well as a little extra nutrition. Also, anything between four and six eggs is fine, so don’t panic if don’t have half a dozen to hand.

Ingredients (advice: serves 4 small appetites or 2 hungry athletes; reality: Lasted about two portions)
· 1/2 white onion, diced
· 1 tsp crushed garlic
· 1 tsp dried, or 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
· a dash of chilli if desired (dried)
· 1 small sweet potato, cubed
· 1/2 knob of broccoli, cut into florets
· 6 eggs
· 1/3 cup light milk
· 1/2 cup light cheddar cheese

Method
1. Par boil the potato so it is cooked and soft
2. Whisk the eggs and milk, add pepper and a little salt to taste
3. Fry the onions and garlic in a dash of olive oil, till soft
4. Add the parsley and chili, cook for a further 2  minutes
5. Add the broccoli and cook covered for 2-3 minutes
6. Mix in the potato
7. Transfer to an oven-proof dish (doesn’t have to be very deep)
8. Pour over the egg mixture, sprinkle with cheese
9. Bake in a moderate oven (about 180/ 210) for 30-40 minutes until browned on top

Alternatives
· This dish was baked in the oven, however it can be cooked up in a frying pan with a metal handle, skip step 7 and add the eggs to the mixture in the frying pan. Cook till almost firm, then place under the grill to brown the top.

· You can replace the sweet potato with regular white potato, and the broccoli with any other green vegetable you prefer. It also works well with potato, mushroom and tomato as the vegetable combination.

· Pre-cook a puff pastry base to turn this into a quiche. Traditionally quiche doesn’t normally have potato, however this is an essential to include for the athlete to add carbohydrate and ensure it is a great recovery meal.

Parker’s verdict:
What’s that? Sports nutrition with cheese? Oh go on then. For it’s simplicity, this dish is a cracker, and it keeps getting better, especially with the added greens inside. It’s almost like you are not eating them. I cannot imagine growing tired of this quickly, which is handy as another benefit is it is easy to move about: there’s no risk of it leaking out of Tupperware, and it can be eaten hot and cold. A regular for work.

Follow Millie on Twitter: @melanienadine

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