Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sexy, Healthy Food Porn!

One way to get skinny...
A few nights ago, my husband and I were supposed to go to a cookout with some friends after he finished golf, so I got sort of gussied up (in a cookout kind of way) and was all ready by the time he told me he'd be done. Well due to some unforeseen circumstances, he wound up being quite a bit later than the time he had said. Since it was too late to head out to our friends' house, we decided to go out to eat.  We picked Zio's Italian Kitchen, and it was a lovely dinner. He had the traditional spaghetti dinner, and I had a nice chicken dish with angel hair pasta. Knowing that this meal was flying in the face of my diet, I ate all the chicken and veggies, and left about a cupful of pasta behind. When I got home, I looked it up, since Zio's is a franchise, and the nutritional info was listed on their website. Even having left a bunch of pasta behind, I still estimated that I had consumed about 900 calories and over 80 grams of fat in that one meal! What a disaster for my diet! (It was still yummy, though.)
So in an effort to know what I'm eating and keeping better track of my nutrition, I've been trying to cook for all of us as much as possible. I've been making big batches of breakfast food and tracking all of the ingredients. I've made massive amounts of French toast, oatmeal (I prefer Coach's Oats) and quinoa hot cereal, and more scrambled, mostly whites, eggs than you can imagine.  Today I made another big batch of breakfast, and this one is fast becoming my favorite.  Breakfast Strata.  Think omelet + toast + whatever you want to throw in there, all in one pan.  Here's the result:
Sorry I forgot to take the picture when it first came out of the oven, but this gives you the idea. My only bit of disappointment was that, despite the nonstick pan AND olive oil spray, it still stuck to the pan like crazy!  But that was only a minor bummer, as this thing turned out utterly delicious.
Keys to the healthy success of this meal include:

  • Nature's Own Double Fiber bread (since the bread soaks up the egg anyway, you can hardly even tell there's bread in it)
  • Half whole eggs, half whites
  • Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Dash of nutmeg (if you think it sounds weird, just trust me, you'll be hooked for life)
Here's the full-out recipe:
16 eggs, half whole, half whites only
1 cup nonfat milk
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon (or so) dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
a couple generous shakes of nutmeg (so like, 1/4 teaspoon, maybe?)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices of wheat bread (I used Nature's Own Double Fiber bread), toasted
7 or 8 slices of turkey bacon, cooked
1 frozen brick of spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook up the bacon, blot the grease off in a paper towel, and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, crack your whole eggs, separate your whites, and make sure the dogs appreciate that they are getting the yolks. Add milk and seasonings and beat until well mixed.  In a well greased baking pan (mine is 13" x 9" x 2"), break the toast up into chunks (like 4ths or 6ths) and layer it across the bottom evenly, squishing it down a little as necessary. crumble the bacon slices across the top of the bread. Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly across the whole pan. Now make an even layer of spinach across the top of that (or you could mix it in with the egg, I just thought it came out more even this way). Layer on the cheese, making sure to get it evenly distributed across the whole pan.  Cover the pan with foil (so the cheese doesn't get brown too fast) and put it in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, taking the foil off for the last five minutes.  Cooking times may vary, depending on the dimensions of your pan.  Test with a knife in the middle, it can come out a little moist, but not wet.  Serves 6 hungry people.

As you can see from the big chunk I ate right away, I was really hungry. Since I cut up my strata into 6 even pieces, I figured out the nutritional data calling that a serving.
Calories: 394
Protein: 34.8 g
Fat: 20.7 g 
Fiber: 8 g
Total carbs: 21 g