Turn Mealtime Upside Down

Eggs are a prime example of a morning food that is just as good at night. Though eggs are sold in the dairy case, their high-quality protein places eggs in the Food Guide’s meat group. Any time of the day, you can substitute eggs for meat, poultry, fish or seafood — one egg for one ounce of lean meat.

One of the handiest egg dishes for dinner is a frittata, a one-pan, open-faced, Italian-style omelet big enough to feed the whole family. In Spain, the same dish is called a tortilla and is often served in small pieces at tapas bars. A frittata or tortilla is quicker and easier to make than individual French-style omelets. All you need to do is cook flavoring ingredients, pour on eggs and let the mixture cook on top of the range. To finish the unfolded omelet, simply run the pan under the broiler.

This Asparagus Frittata relies on veggies and herbs for its flavor, but you can use other foods you like. A combination of leftovers with economical eggs is especially budget-wise. Once the frittata is done, simply add a green salad, bread sticks and, for dessert, fresh fruit topped with yogurt. With only one pan to wash, you could hardly ask for a more convenient dinner.

Asparagus Frittata

6 servings

1 1/2 teaspoons cooking oil

2/3 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)

2 teaspoons lemon-herb or lemon-pepper seasoning blend

1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped asparagus*, thawed and well drained

6 eggs

1/3 cup skim or low-fat milk

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese

In 10-inch omelet pan or skillet with ovenproof handle** over medium-high heat, heat oil until just hot enough to sizzle a drop of water. Add onion and seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add asparagus. In medium bowl, beat together eggs and milk until well blended. Pour over vegetables in pan.

Cook, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. With back of spoon or pancake turner, even mixture in pan. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until eggs are almost set, about 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover. Broil about 6 inches from heat until eggs are completely set at center, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover. Let stand until cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Loosen edges with spatula, slide onto serving plate and cut into wedges to serve. Or, cut into wedges and serve from pan.

* Substitute 1/2 pound fresh, chopped asparagus spears, if desired. Cook, covered, in small amount of boiling water until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.

** To make handle ovenproof, wrap completely with aluminum foil.

Nutrition information per serving of 1/6 recipe using corn oil, lemon-pepper seasoning and skim milk: 134 calories, 8 gm total fat, 218 mg cholesterol, 264 mg sodium, 239 mg potassium, 5 gm carbohydrate, 11 gm protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamins A, B12 and C, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus.

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