Substitutes give eggs a reprieve for health-minded


September 21, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Eggs have been banished in many a health-conscious household, but they're worth reconsidering because there are many creative and healthful ways to prepare them. Egg substitutes, for instance, are a fine and tasty replacement in egg recipes, when cholesterol and fat are a concern. As long as they are spiced up a bit or flavored with vegetables or low-fat meat, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them from the shell egg.

To reduce cholesterol without using substitutes, you can use shell eggs but separate the eggs and use more whites than yolks. In this recipe, for example, you could use 12 egg whites and only four yolks. The four yolks will add a bit of richness, but you will have substantially lowered the fat and cholesterol by using mostly egg whites.

Eggs can be prepared in endless combinations that work for any meal of the day. Eggs are an especially economical option when you consider this frittata will feed six people with a serving costing less than a dollar. Eggs are also quick to prepare, perfect for throwing a meal together in 30 minutes or less.

The word, frittata, is Italian and simply describes an open faced omelet. In Italy, frittata squares are sold all day long where they are considered to be a fast "take away" nibble.

Our quickie "not just for breakfast" frittata is loaded with vitamins and protein. This recipe can be a great basic frittata that you can use to clean out the fridge. A few mushrooms here, some tidbits of cooked ham, that one leftover chicken breast, or a partial box of frozen broccoli or peas can all be combined to enliven this dish. I have tried frittatas that even have cooked pasta in them. Use your imagination and try any combination that your leftovers may suggest.

Pair the egg entree with a spinach and tomato wedge salad containing crispy dry roasted sunflower seeds. Toss with your favorite dressing.

For dessert, make use of another "not just for breakfast" food: granola cereal, in a low-fat version. Sprinkle liberally over low-fat frozen yogurt.

Items you should have as staples are: canola oil, onions, garlic, eggs or egg substitute, bread for fresh bread crumbs, spicy hot and sweet or honey mustard, salt, shredded cheese, tomatoes, salad dressing of choice, low-fat frozen yogurt.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list: 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium crookneck squash, fresh spinach, dry-roasted sunflower seeds and crunchy granola cereal.

Reunion Frittata

Serves 6

1 tablespoon canola oil

lead,1 1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium zucchini squash (about 6 inches long), thinly sliced

1 medium crookneck squash (about 6 inches long), thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 eggs, lightly beaten (or equivalent egg substitute)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 tablespoon spicy hot and sweet or honey mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (or cheese of choice)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a medium nonstick skillet (with an oven-proof handle) over medium high heat. Add oil and heat. Add onion and squashes and saute for eight minutes. Add garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, mustard and salt. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking while stirring egg mixture until it is beginning to set.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and place in hot oven. Bake for about 15 minutes or until frittata is firm, but not hard and just beginning to puff. Cut into wedges and serve right from the skillet.

Per serving: calories, 194; protein, 14 g; fat, 13 g; sodium, 725 mg; carbohydrates, 4 g.

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