How to make a Spinach Omelette
First, is having eggs for breakfast good for you?
There’s ongoing controversy on whether dietary cholesterol from eggs is a risk factor for heart health. The research continues to go back and forth, so it can be hard to know what to do.
The first thing to understand is that cholesterol is an important building block for the body to make hormones like estrogen and testosterone, vitamin D, and other vital compounds like bile acid.
It is important to distinguish between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood, which are only weakly related. The liver MAKES cholesterol, and tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood, modifying how much is produced based on how much comes in from food.
The biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the amount of saturated fat and dietary fiber you eat - not the amount of cholesterol you eat from food.
(So if you’re saying no to eggs because of cholesterol but putting butter or coconut oil in your coffee, you are doing it wrong.)
Yet, people who experience high LDL cholesterol or diabetes may wish to cut back on egg yolks, and substitute egg whites for some or all whole eggs.
Is spinach omelette part of a balanced breakfast?
That being said, whole eggs are an affordable and nutrient dense food, containing high quality protein with minimal saturated fat. If you are healthy, 1-2 eggs even a few times a week can provide many nutrients (including vitamin D and folate) in the context of an eating pattern that is also rich in vegetables and whole grains, especially when compared to other breakfast foods made from refined grains which lack any significant protein or fiber, such as dry breakfast cereal, pancakes, or bagels.
Cholesterol in the blood is recycled by the body unless it is swept out by fiber. If you would like to make dietary changes that may lower your blood serum cholesterol, a healthy breakfast idea with eggs is to enjoy them with more whole plant foods as a part of your balanced meals.
(As long as we’re talking about it, another way to mitigate cholesterol buildup in the arteries is through exercise. Staying active by walking or cycling can also help increase the HDL (good) cholesterol and even change the size and nature of the particles carrying cholesterol to be less likely to clog arteries. )
Which is better, fresh or frozen spinach? What about baby spinach?
So using an omelette recipe with spinach as a filling is an effective and tasty way to add fiber to the meal, along with the additional nutrients that vegetables bring. This recipe also calls for onion, but you could experiment with any number of vegetables you may have on hand, such as mushrooms, garlic, finely diced zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, different kinds of greens, or fresh herbs. Whatever you choose, sautee them first to soften and steam off excess moisture.
You can use mature spinach with large leaves, though you may want to give it a rough chop so you get an even amount of spinach in each bite, or you can use baby spinach, which is just the early small leaves of the plant.
Fresh spinach may only be available seasonally, and might be kind of expensive for the fullness and caloric energy it provides, but the great thing is that frozen spinach is pretty cheap, ready when you need it, and is just as nutritious. Maybe even more nutritious, because it is picked and flash frozen at the peak of freshness. To use frozen spinach, simply allow it to thaw and squeeze a little to drain excess liquid (can be reserved for adding to the whisked eggs instead of water). Fluff it back out a little before adding to the pan, where it will warm and steam off any remaining moisture.
The key to a fluffy omelette
Be sure to use a whisk to beat the eggs rather than a fork, because the additional air incorporated will help your omelette come out fluffy and not tough. It is also easier to incorporate air if the eggs are more room temperature than straight from the refrigerator.
You may also choose to whisk in a tablespoon of water, which will turn to steam and fluff the omelette as it cooks.
An omelette pairs well with a lightly dressed salad of leafy greens, seasonal fruit or slice of melon, or even a side of beans!
Mealtime conversation starters
Connecting with others leads to deeper relationships. Morning conversations can be rather sparse at times. Ask this question and listen to the response. It may just make your day.
Who made you feel special yesterday?
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- 1 cup spinach fresh
- ½ cup onion diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 oz cheese shredded
- Pick any tough stems off spinach, and rinse in colander. Set aside to drain.
- Dice onion into 1/4 pieces with chef knife
- Over medium heat, warm oil, then add onions. Saute, stirring occasionally with spatula, until translucent.
- While onions are cooking, crack eggs into mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp water and whisk well to incorporate a lot of air. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- When onions are ready, add spinach and cover to wilt.
- When spinach is reduced, empty skillet into a small prep bowl and set aside.
- Pour whisked eggs into hot skillet. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese, then add the spinach onion mixture back onto one half of the eggs. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until edges are set
- Using the spatula fold the empty half of the omelette circle over the spinach half to form a half moon shape. Cover and cook for an additional 2 minutes to set the center and let the cheese melt. Flip and finish for 1 minute on the other side.
- Cut in half, and serve hot.
Hand Size Portions
When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.
Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.
Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.
Heather Lynn Darby helps office and tech professionals disrupt the cycle of chronic stress that undermines their health, and to recover from the negative effects of sitting at a computer all day. Find other articles written by Heather on her coach profile.
If you are largely sedentary at work and rely on your intellectual acumen for success, her take on body-mind interventions will help you find a balance between being "in the zone" and getting the amount of movement that will optimize your mental productivity and prevent health problems.