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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Serve up frittata hot or cooled

By Carol Devenot

Swiss chard leaves add color to a frittata, a baked omelet of herbs and vegetables.

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Every morning, when my son, Mark, is scheduled to work at the Keck Observatory, he has to take a 1 1/2-hour ride to the summit of Mauna Kea. About halfway up the hill, he and the other workers stop to make a hot breakfast at Hale Pohaku, a facility that provides services needed by the organizations which make up the Mauna Kea Observatories, including food and lodging for those who work up there.

This rest stop gives my son and his fellow commuters a chance to acclimate to the high altitude. Steve Garcia, one of the cooks, usually prepares pancakes, eggs, omelets and other dishes. Mark says he also prepares great fish and salsa. Garcia, an avid reader of the column, has requested that I come up with a recipe for the men who work at the observatories.

Since "real men don't eat quiche," I thought a frittata would be perfect. This is a tasty, healthy recipe and perfect for work at 13,000 feet. A frittata is a baked omelet with a medley of herbs and vegetables. I have also prepared this recipe with broccoli and potatoes. You can substitute any summer squash for the zucchini and spinach for the chard. The red Swiss chard gives a splash of red color. Because it is an Italian dish, I matched it with the Italian seasoning. You could substitute other seasonings, if you prefer. Serve it with whole-wheat french bread, or a multigrain toast. Steve could even serve it with his famous salsa. Leftover frittata can be sliced and served atop a salad, as in the Insalata Contadina at Cafe Sistina in Honolulu, or just munched at room temperature as a snack.


  • Extra-virgin olive oil spray

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large red Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 medium-size zucchini, coarsely chopped

  • 3 eggs

  • 3/4 cup egg substitute

  • Sea salt to taste

  • Ground pepper to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning mixture

  • 1 cup (3 ounces) grated low-fat parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a nonstick skillet with olive oil. Saute the onion, garlic, chard and zucchini for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow vegetables to cool for 5 minutes. Beat eggs, then stir in egg substitute, pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir in the cheese and cooled vegetables. Pour frittata batter into a 9-inch pie pan sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed and browned. Serve hot.

    Makes 6 servings.

  • Per serving: 160 calories, 9 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 120 mg cholesterol, 430 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 15 g protein

    Want a local recipe lightened up? Write Light & Local, Taste Section, The Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802 or taste@honoluluadvertiser.com. Carol Devenot is a Kaimuki-raised kama'aina, teacher and recipe consultant, and author of "Island Light Cuisine" (Blue Sea Publishing, paper, 2003). Learn more at www.islandlightcuisine.com.

    Reach Carol Devenot at taste@honoluluadvertiser.com.