The World Health Organization recommends at least five portions of vegetables and fruit a day (a portion approximating a cup of chopped vegetables or fruit). It is necessary we have the required amount of these foods as they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. They are also an excellent source of fibre—key for maintaining a healthy gut and stable bowel movements. Much of the nutritional pedigree of fruits and vegetables is on account of antioxidant elements, found within them, known as ‘phytonutrients’. Phytonutrients help fight so-called ‘free radicals’ (unstable atoms in blood)—liable to generate oxidative stress which, in turn, can lead to chronic diseases and premature aging.
It has been an abiding struggle of mine to ensure the inclusion of adequate vegetables in my diet. An apparently trivial but veritably transformative way to do so is to make, each morning for breakfast, an Omelette-like dish of Italian origin known as a ‘Frittata’. Not only do Frittatas vouchsafe a sufficient serving of vegetables, but they also, if made in certain ways, offer much in the way of protein and healthy fats (primarily on account of the egg base). In my own recipe, I have settled on at least 1 cup of spinach, peppers or asparagus—all of which I keep readily available, chopped and washed, in the fridge.
The following is a general recipe, adaptable to variations based on one’s own preferences.
2 free range eggs
3/4 cup baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup chopped red and yellow peppers
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
3 tbsp of olive oil or avocado oil
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
6 small cubes of feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 180 C
- Sauté the garlic in olive oil
- Throw in the spinach leaves, peppers and tomatoes
- Sprinkle rosemary
- Whip two eggs until you start seeing bubbles appear
- Add the salt, pepper and chilli flakes to the eggs
- Pour the eggs on top of the veggies
- Crumble feta cheese on the eggs
- Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds
- Cover when half cooked and place in the oven for 5 mins until the eggs rise
Not only does the frittata ensure adequate consumption of vegetables, but also good fats in the omega 3 oils (e.g. olive oil or avocado oil) that one can use to cook them, and the seeds with which one can adorn them (e.g. sesame seeds). Finally, the frittata might also be accompanied by a slice of toasted sourdough bread with almond butter.