A frittata is a substantial omelette made using eggs, potato, a variety of vegetables and sometimes cheese, fish or meat. It’s one of my favourite meals for busy endurance athletes who want homecooked food but have limited time. Why is it such a good option?
- You can make a frittata in around 20 minutes
- You can eat it hot or take it with you to eat cold later (pack in an airtight container)
- It works either before or after training
- You can eat frittata for breakfast, lunch or supper – and even as a snack
- It’s high in protein, especially if you include cheese, fish or meat as well as the eggs
- You can vary the amount of potato you use in line with your carbohydrate needs for that meal
- You can pack in several different coloured vegetables, helping you to ‘eat a rainbow’ and benefit from a variety of health-promoting phytonutrients.
Here’s my recipe for Sweet Potato and Feta Cheese Frittata. The feta cheese provides 7g of protein on top of the 21g in the three eggs. It’s also a good source of calcium to support bone health and sodium to replace that lost in sweat. Feta is made from sheep’s milk and some people find it easier to digest than cheese made from cow’s milk. I use sweet potato in this recipe rather than white potato as it provides additional nutrients eg beta-carotene (an anti-oxidant which converts to vitamin A) and more fibre. In addition to the ‘orange’ sweet potato, there’s also a ‘white’ vegetable (garlic), a ‘red’ vegetable (pepper), a ‘yellow’ vegetable (more pepper), a ‘purple’ vegetable (red onion) and a ‘green’ vegetable (peas), so that’s six different colours with a wide range of phytonutrients which contribute, for example, to the healthy functioning of your immune system.
Time required: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 1, but double to make two portions)
50g feta cheese
1 medium sweet potato
1 garlic clove
1 small red onion
¼ red pepper
¼ yellow pepper
2 tbsp frozen peas
1 tbsp olive oil
- Bring a saucepan or steamer of water to the boil.
- Peel and chop the sweet potato into small cubes (the smaller they are, the quicker they will cook) and then steam or boil them for 15 minutes, with the lid on.
- Chop the onion and peppers and crush the garlic. Cut the feta cheese into 5-6 cubes.
- Put the grill on to heat up.
- Add the olive oil to a frying pan. Start to sauté the onion and garlic on a low heat.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and put aside.
- Add the peppers to the frying pan.
- Once the vegetables have softened and the potatoes are cooked (which should be around the same time), add the potatoes and the frozen peas to the frying pan and then pour over the beaten eggs. Top with the feta.
- Allow the eggs to cook for 2-3 minutes until you see bubbles rising through the egg and it has started to stiffen. Don’t overcook at the point.
- Place the frying pan under the grill for a further 2-3 minutes to soften the feta and finish cooking the frittata.
Jo Scott-Dalgleish BSc (Hons) is a BANT Registered Nutritionist, writing and giving talks about nutrition for endurance sport. Based in London, she also works as a Registered Nutritional Therapist, conducting one-to-one consultations with triathletes, distance runners and cyclists to help them eat well, be healthy and perform better through the creation of an individual nutritional plan. To learn more about these consultations, please visit www.nutritionforendurancesports.co.uk.