Frittatas are like a quiche without a crust. They’re a classic Italian egg combination, amenable to just about any vegetable you can conjure. People sensitive to temperature enjoy frittatas because they can be served lukewarm or at room temperature. Eggs are also a great source of protein. Mix in a little Simon and Garfunkel—parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme—and a filling frittata becomes an anytime classic.
Every once in a while a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Many years ago, I was working fourteen hours a day as a cook in a vegetarian restaurant in northern California. Let’s just say the owner was a tad obsessed with keeping his restaurant “pure.” I swear that if you had a tuna fish sandwich in your car, an alarm would go off in his office. Every once in a while I got a hankering for something that required a field trip. There weren’t many choices in town, but one place we all escaped to had awesome mini burgers made with grass-fed beef.
Chicken isn’t given its due as a brain food, and that’s an omission worth correcting. It’s absolutely loaded with tryptophan, which can boost mood and make sleep come easier. It’s also high in vitamin B3 (aka niacin), which the Chicago Health and Aging Project, in a study of more than 3,700 individuals, found may slow cognitive decline. Here we take chicken thighs and jazz ’em up with a tantalizing mint chimichurri: with its South American roots, it’s one of my go-to sauces for chicken.
Frittatas, or baked omelets, are a delicious staple of Italian cuisine. Unfortunately, many people avoid them because they believe eggs raise cholesterol. That just ain’t so. A huge study of 100,000 people proved that to be a myth, and the American Heart Association now says that eggs can be part of a healthful diet, as long as other sources of dietary cholesterol aren’t excessive. Aside from being an excellent source of protein, eggs also support brain health. In this delicious frittata, the eggs frame a whirlwind of flavorful ingredients with all the colors of the Italian flag: Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
Quinoa is its own little ecosystem, containing all of the essential amino acids that we must obtain through the diet. Put another way, quinoa brings some good nutrients to the table that the body needs to begin repairing itself. Its mild taste makes it a perfect backdrop for this nicely layered crunchy/chewy portable dish, in which olive oil, citrus, vitamin-rich pistachios, and raisins dance delightfully on the taste buds, and herbs (mint, cumin, and coriander) provide a huge hit of taste and anticancer nutrients.