Winter Dishes Can Still Be Healthy

Columnist Stephanie Casey
Columnist Stephanie Casey

Winter! The season of stews, chilis, casseroles, and quiche. It is possible to keep the nutrition in these dishes so it’s not just meat, pasta, and cheese all season.

Our modern world allows us access to fresh fruit and veggies year-round. They won’t taste as good from far away and out-of-season, but it still counts. This time of year is also when canned or frozen veggies will often taste better and have more nutrients than fresh produce at the grocery.

Here’s what I do: when a recipe calls for veg of any kind, I go big with the portion of veggies. When I make simple pasta, I head to Jimmy’s and buy a ton of fresh basil (possibly the most delicious and affordable basil in town). Rather than just a leaf or two, I fold a handful into my warm pasta.

When I make a frittata or quiche, the ratio is one part egg to 2-3 parts veggies. In a simple bean chili, I will toss in some kale, spinach, or lots of extra tomato. Or in, say, a lasagna, you aren’t going to ruin it by adding three times the amount of spinach called for.

Here’s how to throw together a frittata: the ingredients include three eggs, plus any and all the veg you want — a great way to use up greens that are wilting. I usually add garlic or onion, then vary the veggies with what I have on hand. If you include potato, boil them until about 75 percent cooked before adding to veg mix.

In a pan that is safe to put in the oven, sauté ingredients on the stovetop in a little oil and seasoning, then pour whisked eggs over the veggies. Let it set for a couple of minutes (until the sides just start to set) then put the pan into a 375-degree oven for about 10-12 minutes (pull it from the oven when center has just set).

Slice it up and add hot sauce, if you like. See photos of my frittatas and find other recipe ideas at realfinefood.com.

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