Blueberry muffin, Banana bread

Top: Tomato Frittata, bottom: Beef and Spinach Frittata

Linda wanted one more breakfast/brunch class so for our first class in 2011 our menu was:

Master Frittata Recipe (Tomato Frittata for today, oven version)

Beef and Spinach Frittata (stove top version)

Healthy Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

I like the idea of showing someone how to make a “master recipe” so they can choose variations of their own. In this case, a basic frittata, made both on the stove and in the oven is one of those recipes with an endless variety of ingredients, easy to make, and can be healthy as well.
I’ll share the recipes for the Beef and Spinach Frittata and the Healthy Banana Bread today.
Linda is a beef lover, evidenced by her recent purchase of a side of beef, filling her freezer with hundreds of pounds of beef. I don’t know what she will make with all her beef but I’m determined to show her some of the healthiest ways to incorporate beef into her diet. My favorite way is to use a small amount of it in something rather than have the beef as the main focus of the meal. In this recipe a few ounces of lean beef can serve 3-4 people.
Beef and Spinach Frittata
6 large eggs, beaten
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3/4 pound fresh spinach, washed, dried, stems removed, chopped
Heat 1 T oil in large saute pan over high heat. Add beef and cook until browned. Drain well and set aside. Wipe out pan, heat again, and add 1 T oil. Cook onions, garlic, and mushrooms over medium high to medium heat until softened, 5-7 minutes. Return meat to pan and add salt, pepper, oregano and spinach. It will look like way too much spinach but it will cook down quickly. Cook 2 minutes, or less, until it wilts. Add eggs. Reduce heat to low and cook until eggs are softly set–don’t overcook this. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. This dish was be served more like scrambled eggs than a wedge of traditional frittata, so just spoon out portions and serve with crispy french bread or toast and enjoy!

(In case you’re curious, the oven frittata is very similar except after letting the eggs cook on the stove until they’re about 3/4 of the way set the skillet is placed in a 450 degree oven for 7 minutes.)

We talked about all the various types of frittatas Linda could make with her recipes–potato, oven roasted tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers, leftover seared chicken breast, steak, feta or goat cheese, garnished with any fresh herbs, toasted nuts, or grated zest.

She was excited about the possibilities and also pleased that she learned to make a dish for her family or their friends that is quick, easy, and so delicious.

Healthy Banana Bread

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest banana bread fan and I’ve had some slimy, weird banana breads in my time, but somehow I made a really good banana bread one day and couldn’t stop eating it.

It was even made a bit healthier by using whole wheat flour, organic sugar, and oil instead of butter. I used my fresh pecans from San Saba, Texas, toasted first, and that made it even better.
3-4 medium overripe bananas
1 cup organic cane sugar (try reducing to 1/2 cup if you like it less sweet)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup toasted nuts, chopped (pecans or walnuts) (Also, try 1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips)
(Toast 5 minutes in 350 degree oven)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan. (For the class we used muffin pans) In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with the sugar, then mix in the oil. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour with the baking soda and salt and add them to the bowl. Mix just until the ingredients are blended. Scrape batter into the loaf pan and bake until the bread is well-browned and a toothpick come outs clean, about 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes, then unmold and let cool. (For muffins, cook 15 minutes and test.)

I was pleased to see that both Linda and her husband kept sampling the finished banana bread!

Our next lesson is on soups and salads.