One of the easiest and most satiating 5-2 fast day meal ideas has to be frittata. Whisk a few eggs and generously fill your skillet with any variety of seasonal produce and a little cheese. The possibilities are endless, bounded only by your imagination and what is fresh and abundant at the markets.
Plunged into the depths of winter and a freezing cold snap, kale has become my leafy green of choice. It’s a brilliant substitute for soft lettuce leaves in all manner of salads. Stripped from their stalks and shredded, the bright emerald leaves are effortlessly massaged into deliciously sweet silky softness with a little olive oil and lemon. It’s fair to say this super green has now become something of a staple on my winter menus.
Gorgeous as it might be fresh and raw in my salads, kale is equally wonderful sauteed, Italian style with a little onion, garlic and bacon. Cooked down it collapses and wilts much like spinach or silverbeet. What seems to be a huge pile of shredded kale at first glance quickly decreasing in volume as it touches the heat.
In today’s 5-2 fast day frittata idea, I’ve taken a whole bunch of kale and combined the best of both worlds. Two thirds of the stripped and shredded leaves sauteed as the basis of a filling for my frittata, the remainder duly massaged with lemon and olive oil and tossed with shaved fennel to make a tangy little salad garnish. The result? 275 calories of nutritious deliciousness. What’s not to love about that?
Kale and Bacon Frittata Dressed With a Fresh Kale and Fennel Salad
Serves 4 (275 calories per serve)
For anyone not feeding a family or looking for a smaller portion size, included at the bottom of the recipe is an option for individual frittatas baked in the oven in Texas muffin tins at just 137 calories per serve. These are suitable to freeze, dress with salad just before serving after frittatas have been thawed and reheated.
I small bunch (about 5 cups) kale, rinsed and dried, ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise (170 calories)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (240 calories)
1/2 small brown onion, finely diced (15 calories)
1clove garlic, finely sliced (4 calories)
3 short cut (lean) rashers bacon, rind removed (138 calories)
5 eggs (375 calories)
4 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese (116 calories)
1 baby fennel bulb (33 calories)
finely grated zest and juice of half a small lemon (6 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
PREHEAT oven grill to high.
HEAT one and a half tablespoons oil in a heavy based 18cm non-stick ovenproof frypan over medium heat. Reserve the remaining olive oil to dress the kale and fennel salad.
ADD onion, bacon and garlic and sauté until the onion has softened but not browned.
ADD 3 cups of shredded kale, reserve the remaining 2 cups for the salad. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until wilted but still a vibrant green.
MEANWHILE whisk eggs until just combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and stir in grated cheese.
ADD egg and cheeses mixture to the pan, tilting the pan as you pour to ensure an even spread over the kale, bacon and onion mixture.
REDUCE heat to low and continue to cook the frittata on the stovetop for 10 minutes or so until almost firm.
REMOVE from stove and place under a hot grill for a few minutes until the frittata is golden and puffed.
PLACE remaining 2 cups of shredded kale into a large bowl and toss with remaining half tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and zest and a generous pinch of sea salt. Massage with your fingertips for a minute or two until kale is shiny and well-coated. The leaves should be a little darker in colour and volume decreased by a third.
USING a mandolin or very sharp knife very finely slice or shave fennel bulb. Add to kale and toss gently to combine.
TO SERVE, allow frittata to cool a little and dress with kale and fennel salad just before bringing to the table.
Alternatively bake individual frittatas (137 calories per serve) as follows:
PREHEAT oven to 180°C. Grease 8 holes of two large texas muffin trays ( 3/4 cup capacity per hole), and line the bases of each hole with a circle of baking paper to ensure the frittata doesn’t stick.
DIVIDE sauteed kale, bacon and onion mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups. Pour over cheese and egg mixture and bake for 20 minutes or so until golden brown and puffed.
ALLOW to cool a little before removing from the tin. Top each frittata with a little kale and fennel salad. Serve.