Spicy Avocado, Pepper and Egg Salad

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Oh boy. I am super excited to share this recipe with you guys! I should probably change the name of my blog to “Eggs and Sweets” because of the high percentage of egg recipes on here. But I promise you, if you like egg salad and guacamole, this will be the best egg salad you ever had.

20130812-195508.jpgWhat is the secret to this spicy, creamy and crunchy egg salad? Avocado and pickled jalapeños! Oh yeah, and the “crunchy” part comes from the red bell pepper

The inspiration for this recipe came from the way I make guacamole- I always make mine with pickled jalapeños! One day, I didn’t have fresh jalapeños or lime juice in the house, and I had a hankering for guac.  Well, all I had was pickled jalapeños in the fridge, so I added some chopped pickled jalapeños + some of the juice and BAM. it was delicious! The juice that the jalapeños are packed in adds some acidity to the mix so it’s a semi-substitute for the lime juice.

20130812-195522.jpgThis salad is a unique twist on an old favorite. It only needs 6 ingredients and it is very versatile

  1. avocado
  2. pickled jalapenos
  3. onion
  4. red bell pepper
  5. hard boiled eggs
  6. plain Greek yogurt

What is this versatility I speak of? You can switch out the red bell pepper for your veggie of choice: cucumbers, tomatoes, celery – or any raw veggie you like that will add crunch.

 Another great thing about this egg salad is it has NO MAYO!  I know there are some MAYO haters out there, so THIS IS YOUR SALAD!

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You can easily make this salad before going to work and even dress it up for a semi-fancy brunch by serving it in a bell pepper half (Oh so fancy!)

How do you make this spicy avocado, pepper and egg salad in a DASH?

The first thing I like to do is to make the avocado “dressing”.  In a medium sized bowl, I smash the flesh of the avocado with a fork.  I don’t really make it too smooth, I like mine a little chunky.   **Do you need to know how to pit and peel an avocado? Check out the simple step by step process at Simply Recipes

Next I add a little Greek yogurt and the pickled jalapeños and juice and stir that in.  Then stir in the onion and red bell pepper. Then I smash up the hard boiled eggs in the center of the bowl and then smash it all together.

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Tada! 

Your delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch or anytime salad is done!

20130812-195638.jpgEat it with crackers, with tortilla chips, with veggies or even the old fashioned way – between 2 slices of bread!  Just eat it!

20130812-195704.jpgThe salad is creamy from the avocado and crunchy from the bell pepper and “oh a little bit spicy” from the jalapeños.  Yum!

Recipe: Spicy Avocado,Pepper and Egg Salad

20130812-195630.jpgMakes 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup of pickled jalapeno, chopped + 1 tsp of the pickled juice
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped small (about 1/3-1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of onion, diced (I used yellow, but you can use red or omit if you don’t like raw onions)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt – any % fat (optional – adds creaminess)*
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*If your avocados are not at the optimal creamy state, you may want to add a little plain Greek yogurt.   If your avocados are nice and creamy and ripe, you could probably leave this out.

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients and smash with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve and enjoy immediately with crackers, between two slices of bread, on a salad, or use the bell pepper as a delicious vegetable bowl (oh so fancy!)

This egg salad is best eaten the day it is made. After being stored, the salad will look a little less pretty because the avocado will brown from being exposed to air.   Despite it’s color change, it will still taste good after being stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. (but I would only serve this salad to others the day it is made)

Recipe source: deliciousinadash.wordpress.com

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Spanish Tortilla with Baby Spinach and Red Bell Pepper

20130523-231516.jpgI’m really excited to share today’s recipe with you! Why? Well, I’m talking about food, so this always makes me excited, woo! But, if I had to pick a favorite vegetable, it would be spinach, which is the star of this recipe. Why spinach? I’m sure many of you have memories growing up being forced to eat spinach. Not me. I would gladly suck spinach down like Popeye. When I started cooking for myself, I started to realize the culinary super power of spinach. It is a super nutritious leafy green vegetable that you can have by itself or add to just about anything: pasta, pizza, casseroles, eggs, soups, and even smoothies! Today I’m pairing my favorite vegetable, spinach, with my favorite protein, eggs.

20130523-231132.jpgInstead of using baby spinach to make a salad, I decided to get a little creative and use it to make one of the most common dishes served in Spain known as the tortilla de patatas, or the Spanish tortilla (Spanish potato omelet) . One of the great things about this dish is that it is perfect for any meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner or as an appetizer and can be served hot or cold. I like mine warm, but it is traditionally served at room temperature.

Keeping with my simple recipe philosophy, this tortilla only has 6 ingredients: Spinach, bell pepper, eggs, potato, milk, and onion. Also, in line with in a DASH, this recipe is adapted to be pretty speedy, and can be made in under 30 minutes!

20130523-231432.jpgYou already know how much I LOVE eggs, especially frittatas. Well, the Tortilla de Patatas is the Spanish cousin to the Italian frittata. The major difference is that the frittata is baked, while the Tortilla is flipped in the pan and only cooked on the stove top – perfect for summertime when you don’t want to heat up your oven! Besides eggs, the other main component of the tortilla is potatoes. Delicious, starchy, thinly sliced, layered potatoes. YUM.

In my version of the Spanish tortilla, I decided to add baby spinach and red bell pepper. This way, you get some extra veggie in and still enjoy this decadent Spanish dish!

Big SPanish tort

The other great thing about what I did here is that I slimmed down the recipe a bit. Most Spanish tortilla recipes use a TON of olive oil. I have minimized the amount of oil needed for this dish, so you can enjoy this Spanish delight and keep your waistline! Less oil makes the tortilla a little thinner, but it still has the texture and taste of a real Spanish Tortilla. I promise.

Let’s make this tortilla in a DASH!

First peel and slice the potato very thin. I don’t have a fancy slicer or food processor, so I just sliced them thin with a knife. Cut and chop about a quarter of an onion and set aside.

20130523-231117.jpgAdd your potatoes to a heated pan with olive oil. Immediately after adding potatoes, reduce the heat. Your potatoes will NOT be in one layer, and this is ok. You want this. There will be a temptation to crisp up and brown your potatoes, but that is not what we’re trying to do here. We are cooking them to be just soft, not crisping them. Stir the potatoes occasionally as you cook them. After about 5 minutes, add the onion and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

20130523-231143.jpgRemove potatoes and onions and a pinch of salt and set aside. Reduce heat to low and add the red bell pepper and spinach to pan and stir. This is just to warm and soften the veggies. We don’t want to wilt the spinach and we want to keep the peppers crispy for some texture.

20130523-231154.jpgYum! Next scramble up your eggs, milk, salt and pepper. After allowing the potatoes and veggies to cool for about 5 minutes, add them to the eggs and stir. Let this stand for a few minutes. I know it looks like there is not enough egg here for all the stuff, but trust me, the potatoes will make up the bulk of the dish, with the spinach being the STAR, of course.

20130523-231207.jpgHeat up the remainder of the olive oil in the pan and add the egg/veggie mixture. Gently pat the potatoes and veggies down to form even-ish layers and reduce the heat.

20130523-231228.jpgI know you are looking at this saying: “how the HECK is that going to hold together to flip it? That looks like a hot mess” I promise you, it does, and it may look like a hot mess now, but soon it will be fully cooked, and be in your belly.

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This tortilla is ready to be flipped!

When the edges start to pull away, run a rubber spatula along the edges to loosen up the egg. Run it around and around and scrape a little on the bottom all around so you know nothing is sticking and you can easily flip it. When the top is wet, but not runny, lift up the tortilla slightly and take a peak at the bottom – when it is lightly browned, it is ready to be flipped!

To easily flip, carefully place a large plate on top of the pan and flip the pan over so that the tortilla falls out. Next, Slide the tortilla back in the pan so that uncooked side of the tortilla is in the pan and the cooked side is up. Sorry that I didn’t have someone else around to photograph me doing this, but luckily, the internet is a educational place – check out this YouTube video that gives multiple ways to flip a tortilla. Don’t be intimidated by the flip.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, flip one more time to warm and you’re done!

20130523-231243.jpgAdd some salt and pepper to taste, slice up and ENJOY!

20130523-231331.jpgTender, layered potatoes, crunchy, sweet bell pepper and bold baby spinach. SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!

20130523-231343.jpg I ate this for breakfast and then again for dinner. I was a little disappointed when I finished it and didn’t have any left over for lunch the next day. 🙂

Recipe: Spanish Tortilla with Baby Spinach and Red Bell Pepper

Serves 220130523-231602.jpg

Total time: ~25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 russet potato, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup of onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion, but you can use white or yellow)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 2 oz of Fresh Baby Spinach, rinsed and dried (about 2 cups, not packed)*
  • ½ of red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Slice potato very thin, about 1/8 inch (I don’t have a fancy slicer so I used a knife. You don’t need to be exact – not cooking for the queen)
  2. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick pan and heat until hot on medium high (I used a shallow 8inch pan – you can also you a 6inch as long as it is deep).
  3. Add potato slices to pan and immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Stir potatoes occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add sliced onion to potatoes and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft. Remove potatoes/onion from pan, add a pinch of salt and set aside to cool before adding to eggs.**
  5. Add chopped bell pepper and spinach to the pan on low heat and warm to soften peppers and spinach for about 1 minute. Remove and set aside to cool slightly before adding to the eggs
  6. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whip eggs with a fork to scramble. Add relatively cooled potatoes/onion, baby spinach and bell pepper and stir till combined.
  7. Warm the remaining olive oil in the pan on medium high heat until it is hot. Add the egg mixture to the pan and pat down with a rubber spatula to even out the layers. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 2-3 minutes. To ensure that the egg doesn’t stick, run a rubber spatula around the edges of the egg and under the egg.
  8. The tortilla is ready to be flipped when the top is wet, but not runny, and the sides are firm (see pic above). To easily flip, carefully place a large plate on top of the pan and flip the pan over so that the tortilla falls out. Next, Slide the tortilla back in the pan so that uncooked side of the tortilla is face down in the pan and the cooked side is up. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  9. Flip the tortilla one more time, and warm the first cooked side for another minute.
  10. Invert the tortilla on a serving dish and add some salt and pepper
  11. ENJOY

*Note that because the tortilla is cooking so quickly in the pan, the baby spinach just wilts slightly. If you wish to substitute mature spinach, be sure to cook and drain first. Mature spinach may release a lot of water that can mess up your tortilla.

**I stress cooling the potatoes and the veggies to prevent premature cooking of the eggs in the bowl.

Recipe Source: Deliciousinadash.wordpress.com

Grandma’s Swiss Chard Patties

20130516-201114.jpgOh man, you guys are in for a real treat today! I’m sharing with you a family favorite! I made this recipe with my mom when I went to visit her for Mother’s day weekend. I already told you my mom taught me how to cook. She is a PHENOMENAL cook. Her mom, was also a fantastic cook and this recipe is one of her specialties.

20130516-201051.jpgThis recipe is so great because it uses a part of the vegetable (the stems) most people discard, and transforms it into a tasty, savory bite-size cake with great crunchy texture. My grandma was trying to feed 8 people in a tiny Bronx apartment kitchen, so most things she made had to be fast, and that usually meant using the stove top and pan frying a lot. Since she had so many mouths to feed and not a lot of money, my grandma wasted NOTHING. This recipe uses the stems of swiss chard. Usually when cooking swiss chard, most recipes use the leaves and discard the hard, ribby, not so tasty stems. Not my penny-saving grandma. She was not going to throw away anything that was edible, and now, neither will you!

20130516-201103.jpgSome of you might be wondering what swiss chard is. It is a leafy green vegetable, and like other leafy greens, it is highly nutritious. The stems can vary in color, but all generally taste the same. Check out pretty red-stemmed chard! As for vitamins, it is an excellent source of vitamins A, K and C – it has a TON of vitamin K (700% DV in 1 cup!) woah!

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Swiss Chard leaves – the part of the veggie we will save for another recipe!

My mom still makes these patties today, mostly from memory. There is no exact written recipe, so I’m really glad I got the chance to help my mom make these!!

The other great thing about this recipe is that it is so easy and uses only 5 ingredients. That’s right. FIVE. Swiss Chard, eggs, seasoned bread crumbs, flour, Parmesan cheese (and oil, salt and pepper).

Most of all, this recipe is simple, fast and delicious, not to mention, centered around a vegetable! Grandma totally did Delicious in a Dash. I guess it’s in my blood.

We usually start off using two bunches of swiss chard, mostly because we end up eating a lot of them while we’re cooking. 🙂 You can use any stem color chard. The one I have here in the photo is probably the most common in grocery stores. But you can definitely find rainbow or red chard as well.

First trim the very bottoms off the swiss chard. You want to discard the very end that is probably a little dry, and dirty and split at the bottom. Then de-stem the swiss chard. You can cut off right where the stem starts to get thin in the leaves (see my picture above – you won’t use the thinner part of the stem). You want to use the thick part. There can be some leaves attached to the stems you will use (see pictures below) **Save the leaves and set aside for a later recipe. I like cut up the leaves small and sauté them in some garlic and oil with some salt and crushed red pepper flakes.

Ok, back to the stems. If you have very large stems you might need to cut them in half, but we usually don’t, you want them pretty big. Wash the stems and place them in a pot of boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes, or until soft (see picture below).

20130516-200735.jpgDrain the stems and now you need to dry the stems. This is my grandma’s patented technique. To do this, set down a dish towel on the counter and place 2 linked paper towels on top. Spread out the drained stems on the paper towel, like so:

20130516-200749.jpgPat dry with an additional paper towel. Sprinkle some all-purpose flour on top of the stems. This is a critical step because it will allow the batter to stick to the stems.

20130516-225939.jpgThen lift up either side of the paper towel and rotate the chard from side to side. This will not coat the stems, just ensure that they are dry.

20130516-200814.jpgMy mom’s got great hands, huh?! What technique!20130516-200825.jpgNext, prep the batter. In a large bowl (or if you’re my mom, you use a very large tupperware container) combine eggs, bread crumb, grated Parmesan and ground black pepper and mix. Then dump the stems into the bowl and stir to coat the stems in this easy, one-step batter.

20130516-200835.jpgNow comes the cooking part. Pour oil in a large pan (we’re using a cast iron skillet), enough oil to coat the bottom on the skillet. You are not deep frying these patties, but you are pan frying them. Warm the oil on medium heat. You want the battered stems to sizzle as soon as you put them in the pan. **You can test the heat of the pan by just putting a small drop of the batter in the oil to see if it sizzles. When it does, the pan is hot enough. Using tongs, pick up a bundle of battered stems, and place in the pan. Pat down slightly so the patty is a single layer. Proceed to do this to fill up your pan.

20130516-200852.jpgWhen the edges start to round and get lightly brown (about 2-3 minutes), the patties are ready to be flipped.

20130516-200907.jpgThe bottoms should be lightly browned when you flip them – see below.

20130516-200930.jpgThe patties will take an additional 2-3 minutes to cook on the other side. Then remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to cool. You can blot both sides of the patty with a paper towel.

20130516-200956.jpgContinue this process with the remainder of the batch. You may need to add a little more oil while cooking. The patties will get flatter as the oil is used up.

When cool enough to touch, (I usually wait aaabbbout 1 minute) Salt to taste and DEVOUR! Because we leave the stems whole and don’t dice them up like other recipes, the stems are still full, fat and tender and have a meatiness to them. This is in delicious contrast to the crispy batter around the meaty stems. Crispy, savory, delicious swiss chard patties.

20130516-201016.jpgYUM! My mouth is watering right now just trying to describe these to you!

20130516-201030.jpgYou can make these for an appetizer, or a side dish to dinner. I’m not sure these have ever made it to dinner, I think we always eat them while cooking them and as a pre-dinner snack.

20130516-230100.jpgRecipe:

Grandma’s Swiss Chard Patties

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bunches of Swiss Chard (any color stems)
  • Flour (~1/4 cup – just enough for sprinkling the stems)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (We use 4C brand)
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Vegetable or olive oil to cook patties in (NOT extra virgin olive oil, it will burn)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (we usually sprinkle in a little pepper into the batter, but leave the salt out till the end)

Instructions:

  1. Trim the very bottom of the swiss chard stems and discard. Then cut off the thick part of the stems, could be as large as 5-6 inches (see description above). Set leaves aside for later recipe
  2. Wash stems
  3. Boil stems in water for about 5-10 minutes until stems are soft and flexible
  4. While stems are boiling, prepare the batter. In a large bowl, combine eggs, bread crumbs, cheese, and a generous pinch of pepper, mix well.
  5. Drain stems, and spread them out on dish cloth topped with paper towel (see above). Pat dry with an additional paper towel
  6. Sprinkle flour on top and roll from side to side (see above for technique)
  7. Dump the stems into the batter and stir so all the stems are coated.
  8. Prepare a medium to large cast iron skillet or frying pan by coating the bottom with oil and heating on medium
  9. When pan is hot (a drip of batter will sizzle), use tongs to grab a bundle of swiss chard stems (like 4ish) and place in the oil and press down very lightly
  10. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, edges will be slightly brown, and rounded, and bottom will be lightly browned. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side. When browned, remove from pan and let cool on a paper towel-lined plate. ***If your patties start to brown too quickly before the edges round, you may need to turn down the heat. Heat settings on stoves vary
  11. Salt to taste and ENJOY!

Recipe source: My grandma, via my mom.

Bacon, Spinach and Sweet Piquante Pepper Frittata

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About a year ago, I become addicted to frittatas. Like, really obsessed. I’d have friends over for brunch once a week and they would bring different things like pancakes, scones or muffins and I would ALWAYS make a frittata. Sure, I love eggs scrambled, fried and poached. But nothing is as versatile and as easy as the amazing frittata. One of my favorite reasons for loving the frittata is that you can put almost ANYTHING in it and it will taste great! Leftover vegetables from last night’s dinner you don’t want? Throw it in the frittata. Have some extra onion you need to use up? Throw it in the frittata. Do you have a little salsa left that is not enough for all those chips? Go ahead, it will taste GREAT in a frittata with some cheese! Ok, I hope I’ve sold you on the versatility and simpleness of a frittata. So keep reading. If I haven’t sold you yet, keep reading anyway. I bet you will be convinced by the end.

One of my best friends from grad school came to visit this past weekend. She was around for my frittata phase – that has clearly persisted – and so I made us a frittata for breakfast, you know, for old times sake. *I promise I won’t post frittata recipes too often, but here is the first one.

One of the best things about this frittata recipe is that 2 of the ingredients I have in the freezer pretty much at all times – bacon and spinach. The sweet piquante peppers (shown below) are jarred and DELICIOUS! They are slightly sweet, a little crunchy (even though they are jarred) and have a spicy kick to them. They are great in eggs, sandwiches and salads or just right out of the jar. I buy Peppadew peppers and keep them stocked in my fridge. Most people have pickles stocked in their fridge. I have peppers.

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*If you don’t have these peppers, you can always substitute jarred jalapenos. They are not as sweet, but have a similar spicy kick.

Oh yeah, and then there are the eggs. Of course I have eggs (well, most of the time). So a BONUS about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients on hand! And you can too!

The bacon I keep in the freezer and cut across the strips.

ImageThis way my eggs get a ton of flavor from the bacon, but not too much fat. You only need a little bacon to flavor your eggs. (I got this frozen tip from one of Melissa d’Arabian’s cooking shows) This tip changed my life with buying bacon.

Usually, I would buy bacon, and only use a few pieces and then it would go bad in my fridge. Now, I buy bacon, and whatever I have leftover that I haven’t cooked, I put in the freezer and save for eggs, chilli or whatever else needs a little bit of bacon. Well, I guess you’re probably saying right now, what couldn’t use a little bit of bacon, or a lot. : )

Ok, I digress, back to the almighty frittata!

First cut up the bacon, I used probably about 1/8 cup. But you can use more or less depending on your love of bacon. Fry up the bacon in a oven safe pan. I used a cast iron pan. While the bacon is frying on medium heat, thaw the spinach in the microwave. Spinach cooks down A LOT. I used about ½ to ¾ cup of thawed and drained spinach. When the bacon is just about crisp (or however you like your bacon). Add the spinach and stir. Next add the jarred piquante peppers – halved. Stir these.

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Your pan size, will dictate the amount of eggs you use in your frittata. My pan was about 6 and ½ inches and I used 4 eggs. If your pan is bigger, you probably need to use more eggs. If you increase your pan size and don’t use more eggs, your frittata will come out thinner (which is fine) but you will need to reduce the cooking time – about 6-10 min in the oven.

Add eggs and cook over medium heat until sides touching pan start to firm.

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At his point, place the pan in the oven at 400F and cook for about 10-15 min. until egg is fully cooked. Your kitchen will smell like bacon and delicious peppers. MmmmMMmm

If you like cheese, this is the point you can sprinkle some cheese on top and put it back in the oven for about 1-2 min. to melt Watch this! You don’t want your cheese to burn! I grated fresh pecorino romano cheese on top, but you can also you cheddar, parmesan or mozzarella – or really any hard cheese that you like!

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Let it cool for a few minutes and cut in 4 slices and enjoy!!

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Besides being super flavorful with bacon and sweet peppers with a spicy kick, did I mention this is actually good for you? Look at all those veggies you’re getting! And it’s only brunch. Now that you’ve had this, you can totally have that doughnut, muffin or scone!

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RecipeImage

Bacon, Spinach and Sweet Piquante Pepper Frittata

Serving size: 2

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup of bacon, sliced (or more, depending on how much you like bacon!)
  • ½- ¾ cup of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 6 Sweet piquante peppers, halved (Peppadew Brand peppers) –you can substitute jarred jalapenos
  • ¼ – ½ cup of shredded pecorino romano cheese (you can use really any cheese – cheddar, mozzarella or parmesan. Or even better – all three!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F

2. Cook bacon in a small (around 6-7 inch) oven-safe pan or skillet on med to med-high heat until almost crispy (about 5 min) – if bacon is frozen start at the lower heat setting and slowly warm up to prevent burning bacon.

3. Sauté spinach and peppers with cooked bacon for 1-2 min – just to warm up the components

4. Scramble 4 eggs well and add to pan. Stir so all the ingredients are spread evenly through the eggs

5. Cook on the stove top till eggs cook along the outer edges.

6. Transfer pan to the oven and bake at 400F for 10-15min, until firm in the middle. (gently shake pan and egg should not wiggle)

7. Remove pan, add shredded cheese and place back in the oven, just for 1 or 2 min till cheese in melted.

8. Let frittata cool for about 5 min. Run a knife around the outer edge to loosen egg away from side of the pan. Slice in quarters and serve

If you have any leftovers, store in a sealed container in the fridge. Leftover frittata makes a great lunch!

* If you are only using turkey bacon and/or are using a pan that sticks a lot, you may need to add a tbsp or 2 of oil (olive, canola, or vegetable) to prevent the egg from sticking.

Recipe Source: Deliciousinadash.wordpress.com