Freestyle Cooking + the FLF Basic Frittata
I kind of hate recipes. The year: 2017.
Flashback to the year 2010 or so:
I would measure EVERY. SINGLE. THING. when cooking and I was hopeless without exact directions. I didn't trust myself at all in the kitchen, so the fact that I can now cook without recipes represents a radical turnabout.
I remember spending hours combing through cookbooks and websites looking for recipes to keep me excited about cookings. Full disclosure: When I first started cooking I was a Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart, and Ina Garten fan-girl and would "real butter-white flour-vegetable oil-and-white sugar my way through their recipes without giving it a second thought. Their TV shows, cookbooks, and recipes taught me to cook and got me started.
However, as my career in fitness and nutrition took off, my clients expressed surprise when they came to my website and found indulgent "foodie" recipes, not foods that would help them look and feel their best. I knew I had to change the way I cooked - for me AND for them.
The Beginnings of FLF
I started using better ingredients. No more white flour or white sugar. Less baking. More cooking. More meat. More vegetables. A few desserts here and there, of course - but now made with higher protein, higher fiber ingredients, healthier fats, and less sugar.
I started to get leaner. My skin got clearer. My energy levels improved. I wasn't constantly obsessing over when my next meal would be (i.e. my hunger levels stabilized) and my cravings were less frequent. The same thing started happening to my personal training clients when they would use my recipes. This is literally how Fat Loss Foodies was born. :)
This is also when I really started making recipes my own, and even creating some of them from scratch.
But I couldn't have gotten to where I am now without those early days of strict recipe following.
If you are still early on in your cooking journey and are relying on recipes, AWESOME. At least you are cooking! Stay there as long as you need to. No judgement.
BUT, the more experience you gain, the more freedom you have to make food your own based on how you're feeling or what you have access to. Once you've made a recipe 3-4 times, you'll find yourself wondering about small tweaks and changes. Follow these instincts. I've made some of my BEST kitchen discoveries "wondering" about a change I could make to a recipe.
This frittata template represents exactly that. How many DOZENS of frittata recipes I've tried in my day! (A LOT. I love them:)
This one represents the simplest route and the best (I think) ratio of ingredients that allows me to cook from memory based on what I have on hand. I no longer have to research frittata recipes and try to decide which one I like best. I created the one I like best - and I'm sharing it with you here now.
Use whatever cheeses, vegetables, and protein you like. Frittatas are so versatile - you can't go wrong! My two favorite combos lately: smoked salmon with leeks and goat cheese. Chicken apple sausage with leeks and sharp white cheddar. Get creative and use up what's in your fridge!
6 whole eggs
1 c. egg whites
1/2 c. or ~3 oz. of strong cheese, grated or crumbed
1-2 c. cooked vegetables
3-4 oz. of cooked meat (bacon, turkey sausage, smoked salmon, etc. cut into bite-sized pieces)
1/2 tsp. sea salt + fresh black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9" skillet over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl, combine eggs and egg whites. DO NOT WHISK; this adds extra air to your frittata and makes it puffy and spongey. Use a wooden spoon or tongs to break the yolks and combine the eggs; it doesn't need to be perfectly blended.
3. Add cheese, cooked veggies, and cooked meat. Fold to combine. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper.
**See alternate baking option below** OR
4. Spray preheated skillet well with olive or coconut oil spray. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes to begin setting the frittata. Transfer frittata to preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is firm to the touch.
5. Using an oven mit, remove skillet from stove and let the frittata cool for 15-20 minutes. Run a rubber spatula around the edges and slide onto serving dish.
COOK'S NOTE: If you prefer to bake the frittata in the oven, pour egg & veggie mixture into a lightly greased 8x8" Pyrex baking dish. Bake at 350 for around 40-45 minutes or until center is set and springs back when you touch it. Let cool. Slice and serve!