Vegetable and Egg White Frittata

I have been hearing a lot about gluten-free eating lately because studies have linked gluten, which is a protein derived from wheat, to exacerbating the effects of some health problems. Besides people with gluten insensitivity, people with celiac disease are often encouraged to go gluten-free. Because I like to post recipes here on Chow Bella that cater to a wide variety of diets, I will now also be labeling recipes without gluten as "gluten-free." You can see that label in my label cloud on the right side of the screen. I am going to be "retro-labeling" my old recipes as well. I am already surprised at the amount of recipes I have prepared that are sans gluten, but low-carb diets, with their lack of bread items, typically are gluten-free. Of course, I encourage those who are sensitive to gluten to continue to read the labels of the ingredients they choose to use in my recipes. While the ingredients I choose will be gluten-free, the ingredients you use may vary from mine. You'd be surprised at some of the foods that have gluten in them, such as prepared meats (ie: I often use turkey Italian sausage, which is one area where you should use caution when purchasing these sorts of items). I hope the addition of gluten-free recipes will help anyone who reads my recipes.

Moving on, I have been so busy with my thesis writing that it's been difficult to get healthy, balanced meals in. I've been trying to prepare large quantities of healthy things so that I can eat that item for several days. I like starting my day out with protein, however it can be such a hastle to prepare eggs every morning when you really need to be running out the door. One high-protein breakfast item that does well reheated is a frittata, which is basically an Italian open-face omelet. Frittatas are almost like quiche, but without that fat-laden crust. They store well in the refrigerator for a couple of days, too, so I can have a good breakfast waiting for me for most of the week.

This is a vegetarian frittata with a variety of different vegetables; you could of course use your favorites or any leftover veggies you have on hand. Asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, or broccoli would all be great additions. I made this one special by adding fresh basil from my garden. To keep the calories and cholesterol low, I used egg whites only.

Vegetable and Egg White Frittata 
Printable Recipe

10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup egg whites
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup low fat cheddar cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a non-stick, oven-proof skillet (8-inch diameter at the bottom, 10-inch diameter at the top) over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the bell pepper and onion and saute until they are transluscent; add the spinach and continue to saute.
3. Blend the egg whites with the cheddar cheese and basil. Distribute the vegetables in the pan evenly, then pour over the egg white mixture. Allow the eggs to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom is completely set; the top will still be un-set. Sprinkle over the Parmesan.
4. Bake the frittata until it is completely set, for about 7-8 minutes. The Parmesan should be nicely browned, too.
5. Loosen the frittata from the pan and slide it onto a cutting surface. Cut into wedges and serve.

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