Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spinach & Egg White Omelets, Fresh Fruit, Wheat Toast

The ladies in my life are watching what they eat, so despite the chili dogs a few days ago I'm mostly keeping things healthy. Two nights ago I made my broiled walleye with broccoli (see this post) and a baked potato (served with yogurt, no butter or sour cream).

Last night I made an omelet with egg whites and fresh spinach. I developed this technique a while ago, and the outcome is both delicious and quite beautiful, especially with the red of the tomato against the pale-green of the omelet. My kids were skeptical, but they loved it after tasting it. This is a great way to get spinach into a meal. Enjoy!

Spinach-Egg White Omelets with Asiago and Fresh Tomato
Fresh Fruit Salad of Strawberries, Raspberries and Tangerines
Wheat Toast (lightly buttered)

Spinach-Egg White Omelets with Asiago and Fresh Tomato
(serves 4)
8 oz. fresh baby spinach, rinsed and trimmed (or buy a bag that's pre-cleaned)
9-10 egg whites
about 1/2 c. grated asiago cheese
about 1/2 c. diced tomato
salt & pepper
butter (for cooking)

Pour an inch of water into a 3 quart saucepan, bring to a boil, add the spinach, reduce heat to low, stir once, cover, and let cook for about 4 minutes. Drain in a mesh sieve. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze out moisture. Allow to cool in the sieve resting over the sink.

Place the spinach in a blender with about 2 of the egg whites. Blend briefly to puree (about 6-10 seconds is all you'll need). Pour the spinach-egg mixture from the blender into a bowl with the rest of the egg whites and whisk until well-blended. (At this stage the mixture will be a dark green that isn't very pleasant, but after it cooks, the whites turn white and the spinach lightens, making the appearance much more beautiful.)

Heat a 6-8" non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp. of butter; melt and swirl around the pan. Working quickly (so the butter doesn't brown), pour in 1/4th of the egg-spinach mixture. Swirl around the pan to cover the bottom. Cook until nearly set. Carefully flip over. Sprinkle 1/4th of the cheese over half of the omelet. Turn heat to low. After about 30 seconds, fold the omelet in half over the cheese and cook for about a half-minute more. Transfer to a plate, and top with 1/4th of the diced tomato.

Turn the heat back to medium-high and repeat 3 more times to make the remaining omelets.

Fresh Fruit Salad of Strawberries, Raspberries and Tangerines
(serves 4)
6 oz. fresh raspberries
10-12 oz. fresh strawberries, cored and quartered
2 tangerines

Place the raspberries and strawberries in a serving bowl. Working one at a time, trim the top and bottom off of a tangerine. Place a flat side of the tangerine on a board, and carefully cut away the rest of the peel, working from the top towards the board. Squeeze any juice from the trimmings over the fruit. Hold a sharp knife in your dominant hand, and the tangerine in the other, over the fruit bowl. Cut the tangerine into wedges by cutting into the fruit along each membrane - cutting on either side of each membrane to loosen each wedge. Allow them to drop into the bowl as they come free. Tangerines can be seedy...don't worry about any flesh you leave in the core and around the seeds. After cutting out all the wedges, squeeze the juice from the tangerine into the bowl.

Toss gently to mix and coat the fruit with the tangerine juice, and serve.

This is a quick meal. I cooked the spinach first, and while it was draining and cooling, separated the eggs, grated the cheese, diced the tomato and finished the fruit. Put the shredded cheese and diced tomato in prep bowls by the stove. Then you can quickly make the omelets and serve immediately. You'll have time to toast bread while the eggs are setting for each omelet.

I love this technique for pureeing spinach with eggs. I don't remember ever having it taught to me...I just tried it once when I was looking for ways to get more spinach into my non-spinach-eaters' diets. You can do the same with whole eggs, then mix it with flour to make fresh spinach pasta. The spinach retains moisture, so your ordinary proportions of flour to egg will need to be adjusted.

I also love this technique for segmenting citrus fruits. You get delicious, juicy segments without seeds, and the remaining flesh and membrane can be juiced, as we did for this recipe. And it's so sweet, no added sugar is needed.

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