You know, at the risk of stating the obvious, there are a lot of recipes on the internet. A LOT. And, as I am still a fairly inexperienced cook, I find myself just a tad overwhelmed each week when I go to search for something to inspire me for Meatless Monday. I mean, out of all of the multitudes of choices available, how do I even begin to decide which one to try? How do I figure out who has come up with the best method and combination of ingredients for making a particular dish? How do I know which recipes are even going to taste good?
For a relative novice, it’s all a little crazy-making!
For future Meatless Mondays, I’m playing with the idea of finding a really great vegetarian cookbook and, instead of combing the internet for ideas each week, getting into the groove of Meatless Monday cooking by working my way through the recipes in the book. (So if you have any suggestions for such a cookbook, I’m all ears!)
But in the meantime… this week I had decided that I wanted to do a “breakfast for dinner” type of thing for Meatless Monday, only instead of my typical egg scramble with veggies, I thought I’d try my hand at a frittata. As you can imagine, however, an internet search revealed about a million different frittata recipes and methods, all slightly different, from cooks ranging from easygoing to perfectionist food snob.
Overwhelming, I tell you!
Anyway, after getting an overall idea of the process, I decided that I would just wing it and make my own creation – a sort of eggy, veggie, frittata-like, casserole-type thing – then cross my fingers and hope for the best.
I gathered some veggies (roasted red peppers, crimini mushrooms, green onion, and tomatoes), eggs, and mozzarella cheese…
…a carton of liquid egg whites, so I didn’t have to use quite as many whole eggs…
…and some veggie breakfast patties, just to introduce something a little different.
Once the veggies were chopped, the tomatoes seeded, and four of the patties cut into small pieces, I sautéed everything together in a non-stick pan. (In my internet searches on instructions for making a frittata – and also based on my own experience with veggie scrambles – I knew that doing so would reduce the amount of liquid and avoid a runny end product.) While the mixture was cooking I preheated the oven to 350° F (yes, I know I’m in Canada, but my oven isn’t Metric!), whisked together the eggs and egg whites in a bowl, and added the grated mozzarella to the egg mixture.
When I was satisfied that my veggies were cooked, I sprayed a baking dish with non-stick spray, added the veggies, then poured the egg and cheese mixture evenly over the top. As a final touch I added a couple of tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, then popped it into the oven and set my timer for 20 minutes.
As an aside, I really do like a dish like this, because while it’s baking I can clean up the horrible mess I just made (I still haven’t perfected the art of being a tidy cook!) and not have it hanging over my head while we’re eating dinner.
Kind of a nice side benefit!
I wasn’t sure exactly how long the baking process would take, but after 20 minutes the eggs were set and it all seemed about as “done” as it needed to be… though in retrospect, I think I would have turned on the broiler at the end and kept the dish in the oven to brown a little more and crisp the cheese on top. Next time!
The end result? I thought it was yummy… and after his first bite Peter said enthusiastically that I could definitely make this again (although, true to his meat-loving form, he added that it would also be good with shrimp!).
I’m going to call that a success!
Are you participating in Meatless Monday?
What did you make for dinner tonight?