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Delicious, and not just breakfast, option

July 6, 2010
By Wendy Monro

Eggs are a pretty amazing food. They are low in calories and high in protein. Yes, they are high in cholesterol too; but, they still taste good without the yolk which gets rid of the cholesterol problem. Eggs are also very affordable which makes them a great ingredient for times when you need to feed a lot of people on a budget. There are so many different foods you can create with eggs: quiches, Spanish tortillas, omelets, etc Each one of these egg dishes has so many variations as well. One of my favorite breakfasts is a good old fashioned English breakfast with bacon, sausage, toast, a fried tomato, baked beans and two fried eggs. However, I can only do this every couple months or so because that is probably a week's worth of calories in this one meal. It is so delicious though that sometimes it can be well worth it; everything in moderation, right?

Lately, we have had a lot of visitors staying at our house. I don't know if people love our company or having a place to stay in Las Vegas or maybe both. Whatever the case may be, we have been having tons of fun showing people around. We love visiting with friends and family and having a house full of people. We have had cousins come out, old friends from England, friends from my childhood, and even some newer friends visiting us. It gives me plenty of opportunities to cook and try out new recipes. It is so much fun to cook for big groups of people you love.

Whenever we have extra people for breakfast, or brunch depending on what time we wake up, I have been making different types of frittatas. Although they are so easy to throw together, they just seem much more impressive than scrambled eggs. Also, you can use any type of vegetable you have on hand to add to the frittata. If you really want to please your guests, add bloody marys to this dish. Or, if they aren't big drinkers (or morning drinkers), add a smoothie.

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Meatless sausage frittata, served with sliced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar

I love frittatas with bacon or sausage cooked in them. With an eye for keeping things healthy and having to look after my vegetarian daughter, I came up with an alternative that ended up being so good. I used vegetarian sausage. This sausage was soy based. Surprisingly, it had the flavor and texture of sausage without the meat or fat. Daphne asked me three times if I was sure this wasn't meat. "I wouldn't tell you it is vegetarian and serve it to you if it was really meat," I said in an annoyed tone. She finally believed me and cut herself a second piece.

Frittatas can be served warm or cold which makes them a perfect dish to bring to a picnic or as a side dish to a pot luck. They are not just for breakfast either. I made this last night for our dinner. I added a side of sliced tomatoes and drizzled a little balsamic vinegar over it and it was a nutritious and appetizing meal. You can substitute real meat sausage or bacon instead of the vegetarian sausage if you choose. But, I have to say, it tasted just as good.

Fact Box

Vegetarian Sausage Frittata

Serves: 6

Time: one hour

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz. spinach

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

8 oz. soy sausages

8 large eggs

1/4 C. heavy whipping cream

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 C. crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 325. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a saut pan and heat up over medium heat. Add the washed spinach. Allow it to wilt for about five minutes. Do not overcook. Set aside and cool. Once cooled, chop finely. Heat the other Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saut for five minutes. Add the garlic for the last minute. Chop the sausage into ? inch pieces. Toss the sausage in with the onion and garlic. Cook for another ten minutes until the sausage is browned. Remove these ingredients from the skillet and allow them to cool in a bowl. Whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Add the spinach, onion, garlic and feta to the egg mixture. Stir with a spoon to blend it all together. Pour into an 8x8x2 oven safe dish. Set this inside the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Check the center of the frittata to make sure it is cooked all the way through. If not, let it cook for another ten minutes (until the center is cooked). Serve as a side dish or with a salad or sliced tomatoes. It tastes delicious with a little balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top. Enjoy.

Berry Smoothie

Servings: 6

Time: 10 minutes

2 1/2 C. frozen berries

1 1/2 C. non fat vanilla yogurt

1 banana

1 1/2 C. orange juice

Pour all of these ingredi ents into a blender and blend until smooth. My kids add ice to make it extra cold.

Bloody Mary

Servings: One

Time: 5 minutes

1 oz. premium vodka

3 oz V8 juice

2 drops Tabasco sauce

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

1 stalk celery

In a large glass add vodka, V8, hot sauce, Worchester sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour back and forth between two mixing glasses. Strain into an ice filled, slat rimmed, highball glass. Garnish with celery.

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