With Valentine’s Day looming, it’s time to show me some heart healthy love! How? Well, first let me sleep late in my favorite pjs, then bring me some coffee and the newspaper and tell me how adorable I am. Now, get in the kitchen and make me some eggs.
Wait a minute, I said heart healthy and then I said eggs. What’s up with that? Well, it seems that the US government is about to withdraw its warnings about consuming cholesterol. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee which provides the scientific basis for published Dietary Guidelines has recommended that the warnings be lifted. While the final report has not yet been filed with the Department of Heath and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, it is rare for the guidelines to vary significantly from the recommendations of the committee.
This new stance will likely result in some confusion because many of us have been taught consuming cholesterol is DANGEROUS for everyone, but it appears that the science to support that conclusion was weak at best from the very beginning. About 25% of the population on average will experience detrimental effects from consuming cholesterol. The rest of us can enjoy our Valentine’s Day frittatas with total peace of mind.
Speaking of frittatas, I like them for brunch and for dinner whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not. They’re quick, easy, and a perfect delivery system for lots of yummy, fiber-filled left over vegetables. I can throw one together in a heartbeat when guests arrive tired and hungry. If I’m low on leftover veggies, I use frozen English peas which I always have on hand. Okay, I’ll admit sometimes I sauté onions, shiitake mushrooms, and red bell pepper rather than using leftovers. They make one of my favorite delicious combinations in a frittata or alongside a slice roast beef.
I don’t limit the ingredients to vegetables. Country ham and asparagus; bacon and cheddar; sausage, feta, and kale; salmon and dill are all flavor combinations I love encased in fluffy eggs. Just like the traditional one pot meal, you can throw in anything that you think will taste good.
So what’s the formula for a successful Valentine’s Day frittata? Use an oven safe skillet, get the broiler hot, coat your skillet in oil or butter, choose fully cooked meats and/or vegetables with complimentary flavors and enhance them with herbs or cheese, salt and pepper. Warm the meat, vegetables, and herbs in the oil coated skillet over medium low heat. Add a splash of water to 6-8 eggs for fluffiness before you lightly whisk them along with the salt and pepper. Add the eggs to the skillet, sprinkle with cheese and cook until the eggs set and only a tiny layer of liquid egg is left in the center on top. Finish under the broiler causing the eggs to rise and lightly brown.
Most importantly, don’t forget to include the love. It’s the most important ingredient for heart health every day!