Cost per serving: $1.69
Cost per meal: $6.75
Prep time: 45 minutes
Estimated calories per serving: 225
For this week’s budget meal I decided to go vegetarian and low carb with a zucchini and sweet potato frittata. (Bonus: It’s also Paleo-friendly!) A frittata is kind of like an omelet, only it’s fluffier and filled with more vegetables and such. It’s cooked in a unique way—you start it on the stove, and then you finish it in the oven. Sure, maybe it sounds like a breakfast food, but if you’re like me, then you probably don’t get around to making this type of thing for breakfast often. So why not try it for dinner?
This recipe is adapted from Paleo Diet Lifestyle‘s recipe.
Zucchini and Sweet Potato Frittata
You will need…
- an oven-safe pan (though I’ll give you a makeshift method for non-stick pans below)
- 2 TB butter
- 1 sweet potato, sliced
- 2 zucchinis, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 8 eggs
- 2 TB fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Turn your oven on to “broil.” This turns on that upper heating element in your oven, and you’re going to need it later.
A quick diversion on broiling. Broiling involves using an upper heating source in the oven and lets you heat things from the top as opposed to from the bottom. Think reverse-grilling. Crème brûlée, with the sugar on top that you can caramelize by putting it under the broiler, is a prime example of a food that requires broiling. Now is a good time to figure out where your broiler is. Electric ovens tend to have it at the top of the main oven compartment. If this is you, make sure to move an oven rack close to the top. If your oven is gas, however, the broiler might be in the drawer below the main compartment. So take all of those pans out of there if that’s where it is! I have a gas oven, and my broiler was actually in the main compartment.
2. If you haven’t yet, slice the sweet potato (you may peel it first if you wish), and slice the zucchinis and bell pepper as well. For the potato and bell pepper, the easiest approach is to first slice it in half lengthwise and then create slices in the perpendicular direction. For the bell pepper, first slice off the top and bottom, and then slice the pepper in half lengthwise. Then you’ll have relatively flat sections to work with. Here some helpful pictures for you.
3. Heat a pan (not a saucepan but something wide and shallower) over medium-low heat. Then add the butter and cook the sweet potato slices for about 8 minutes.
4. Add the zucchini and pepper slices and let cook everything together for another 4 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, incorporating as much air as you can. You want this frittata to be fluffy! Then add salt and pepper to taste, and add this mixture to your vegetables. (Hopefully they’ve been cooking for about 4 minutes at this point.) Stir everything around with a rubber spatula.
6. Whew. Time to take a break. Let this mixture cook over low heat for about ten minutes, until the egg is just starting to set on top.
7. Now for the
scary not-so-scary part of broiling. Place the pan under the broiler, and let it finish cooking for about 3 minutes. If your pan is not oven-safe, a makeshift solution is to leave the door open and keep the handle outside of the oven for the 3 minutes. (I bet you’re wishing you had a cast iron skillet now, aren’t ya?)
8. That’s it! Cut the frittata into wedge-shaped slices to serve, and serve it sprinkled with the fresh parsley.
Don’t you feel so empowered by having used the broiler now?