Friday, February 28, 2020

Spinach Frittata Made Healthier With Culinary Herbs


I enjoy cooking with culinary herbs. They really enhance the flavor of foods.  As a holistic nutritionist, I also know the medicinal benefits of spices.  There are so many good ones, but today I would like to focus on two of my favorites, oregano and garlic.

Oregano

Oregano, or Origanum vulgare, is a popular herb whose name means "mountain joy" It is a small, perennial shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small oval leaves and tiny white flowers.

Oregano has amazing health benefits!  It contains rosmarinic acid and thymol. Both of these act as powerful antioxidants that have been closely linked to reducing oxidative stress in the body, thus boosting immunity.  Oregano has clear antibacterial properties, due to the presence of carvacrol, as well as the aforementioned  thymol.  Both compounds  can help defend the body against a wide range of bacteria. In the herbal world, it is considered a broad spectrum herbal antibiotic. Oregano is also loaded with fiber, a half-gram per teaspoon, so despite its small size, it can have a major impact on your digestive system health. Additionally, Oregano is a natural form of omega-3 fatty acids, the beneficial type of cholesterol that improves your heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to rebalance cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation, thereby helping to reduce the chance of heart attack and stroke. Oregano also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids that help to alleviate inflammation-related diseases.

Garlic

Garlic, or  Allium sativum, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. It is closely related  e the onion, shallot, leek, and chive.  Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been a common seasoning worldwide.

Garlic grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole bulb. Each clove will multiply in the ground, forming a new bulb that consists of 5-10 cloves. 

Garlic has many health benefits.  It been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure, thus protecting the heart. Significant evidence suggests that garlic's phytochemical content can play a role in the prevention of cancer and the slowing of its progression. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds found in plants that protect cells from damage that lead to cancer. Additionally, crushed garlic contains allicin, which has antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that help stop the growth of unwanted organisms, such as bacteria and fungi. 

The aromatic flavor of oregano and the pungent taste of garlic are a delicious combination  in Mediterranean cuisine This is one of my favorite recipes incorporating both.  It's the perfect healthy start to a great day!

Spinach Frittata

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped oregano
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 
  2. Crush garlic with the side of a knife and let it rest for ten minutes, then mince. 
  3. Coarsely chop spinach and set aside. 
  4. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of a 9-inch cast iron skillet; add chopped onion and cook until translucent.
  5. Add garlic to skillet and continue cooking on low for 1 minute, then turn off burner.
  6. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and pour into skillet.
  7. Sprinkle the spinach, oregano. and feta cheese over the top.  
  8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15-18 minutes until top is slightly browned.

Makes two servings.

Enjoy!