Harvest A Summer Meal

Among the recommendations in the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the advice to eat more vegetables.

Though the amount varies from person to person, an adult eating a total of 2,000 calories a day should have about 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day. Children can eat proportionately fewer cups, but they also need to have a good assortment of veggies daily. The Guidelines recommend a mix of dark-green, orange and starchy vegetables, plus legumes (such as cooked dry beans) and other vegetables.

As you harvest summer’s bounty from your garden or the supermarket, keep eggs in mind. Versatile eggs can help you increase your family’s vegetable intake. The complete protein that eggs provide can turn the incomplete protein of vegetables into a main dish. In turn, veggies supply carbohydrates and fiber to make a well-balanced meal. Vegetables, in fact, make good flavoring foods for a number of quick-to-fix egg dishes.

Fried rice is one easy-to-make example. To cook it, simply stir-fry cooked rice with veggies, pour on eggs mixed with a touch of soy sauce and scramble. You can also turn vegetable soup into a hearty entree by poaching eggs in it. It’s quick and easy, too, to cook a frittata, an unfolded, family-sized omelet that makes a handy skillet supper. Just pour seasoned eggs over cooked veggies and let the mixture cook without stirring.

When you introduce new veggies, let the kids help. Children are more likely to try new foods when they’re involved in the cooking process. For the Wagon-Wheel Frittata, young helpers can beat the egg mixture, prod the broccoli florets into place with a fork, arrange the tomato slices and sprinkle on the cheese. Older children and teens often prefer more strongly flavored foods, so let them choose a frittata topping from among several choices, perhaps a spicy pizza sauce, salsa or hot pepper sauce. Whatever they choose, you can rest easy knowing they’re eating their veggies.

Wagon-Wheel Frittata

  • 6 servings
  • 2 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) fresh
  • broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup (about 1.5 oz) sliced
  • fresh mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • or butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup skim or low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian
  • seasoning, crushed
  • 4 very thin tomato slices
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded
  • Parmesan cheese

In 10-inch omelet pan or skillet over medium heat, cook broccoli, mushrooms and water, covered, until broccoli is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Remove pan from heat. Add oil. Arrange broccoli florets evenly around pan. Set mushroom slices between broccoli florets.

In medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk and seasoning until blended. Pour into pan over broccoli and mushrooms. Cover. Cook over medium-low heat until eggs are almost set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Place 1 tomato slice in center. Cut remaining tomato slices in half. Arrange over top to resemble wagon-wheel spokes. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top. Cover and let stand until eggs are completely set, about 5 minutes. Slide from pan onto serving plate or cut into wedges and serve from pan.

Nutritional information per serving of 1/4 recipe using cooking oil and skim milk: 189 calories, 13 gm total fat, 322 mg cholesterol, 233 mg sodium, 203 mg potassium, 5 gm carbohydrate, 14 gm protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamins A and C, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, iron.

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