The demands of my daily life—all the roles that I play—need to be stepped away from, from time to time; I need to take a breath, and bring simplicity into the picture. A simple skillet frittata filled to the brim with nourishment for both body and soul, is a perfect meal to help bring in a brand new year.
The days of our lives can be filled with what seems like much complexity: complex emotions, complex problem-solving, complex scheduling, complex relationships.
Taking a moment to simply breathe, to gather one's thoughts and composure can feel almost like a luxury.
With a beautiful, brand new year now underway, I'm at a place along my journey where I'm doing a lot of soul-searching and trying to explore the different areas that make up the totality of who I am.
I'm trying to figure out what is most important, and how to best live a balanced and healthy existence, in order that the portion of light that I've been given to share can shine at its brightest and most effective.
Being a woman, my desire is to nurture, to soothe, to solve, and to keep the integrity of the various aspects of life strong and healthy, but all of that can be a tall order.
The different roles that I play—wife, mother, daughter, creative, friend—all originate from a common place within me, that core where my values, my personality, and my passions lie; but each of those roles requires the use of very specific aspects of my being to come into play, specific parts of myself to be activated, all in the name of appropriateness for a given situation.
And there are moments when my humanness wants to buckle under the real gravity of all of that.
For me, keeping up with all that life brings to the table ultimately requires a quieting of my soul, a gentle hushing of any chatter or buzz that resides within my being.
It requires all of those things that loom and that vie for my attention to be kindly and lovingly shushed and stepped away from, even if only momentarily.
It requires simplicity, getting back to basics, getting back to where my sacred “arc” is kept within me, and releasing preconceptions and undue burdens that creep their way in over time.
It is listening for the quiet voice of the One who made me, and being present enough to hear His whispered response to my, at times, weary heart, lovingly reminding me that He is there walking alongside, perfectly willing (and even waiting) for me to hand Him the load.
And I sigh at the very thought of that.
I gain instant relief because I know that there is comfort to be found in handing over the reigns, of stepping back to look at the bigger picture; of finding any stones that have been placed upon the pile over time, quietly, discreetly, and in the dark of night when I wasn't keeping as close a watch, and removing them to, once again, balance things out.
Sometimes it seems like the message that the world gives is that to get lost in the complexities, in the hustle and bustle, is to be productive.
I find that to be a sticky web, one that traps and holds, and causes one to become further tangled.
What I am interested in is freedom.
I want to understand what appropriateness for each situation I find myself in looks like; I want to learn what balance means.
I want to welcome, with open arms, in this new year more simplicity, more quiet stillness, in order to get closer and closer to the truth of who I am and where my effectiveness truly lies.
I want to taste it.
And so in order to keep complexity to a minimum in this moment, especially in regards to what I feed myself, a simple recipe is what it is in order, something with a few nutritious and comforting ingredients, simply prepared yet entirely nourishing: a skillet frittata, piping hot, lightly puffed, and fresh out of the oven.
Nothing complex, just something that gets me back to basics.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Simple Skillet Frittata with Shiitake Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Baby Broccoli
by Ingrid Beer
*This is a recipe that is perfect as either a breakfast or dinner option; and for dinner, you can always add a little green salad and some crusty bread to round it out.
Yield: Serves about 6
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or other oil)
• 2 small white onions, quartered and sliced thinly
• 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 6 ounces baby broccoli (the kind with the thin, longer stems), stems peeled and everything chopped into very small pieces
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Black pepper
• Pinch Italian seasoning (dry Italian herbs)
• 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped cilantro
• 12 eggs
• ½ cup half & half
• Pinch cayenne pepper (leave it out if you don't like any spiciness)
• 1 ½ cups gruyere or white cheddar cheese, grated (or if you have a Trader Joes, get a block of the Gruyere/White Cheddar combo
-Preheat oven to 350°.
-Place a cast-iron (10 inch) skillet, or other non-stick and oven safe skillet, over medium-high to high heat, and add in the butter and the oil; once the butter has melted, add in the sliced onions, and allow them to caramelize a little, for about 12 minutes.
-Add in the sliced shiitakes, and continue to cook until the mushrooms become golden-brown, about 4 minutes; add in the chopped baby broccoli and stir that in to incorporate, and allow the broccoli to become crisp-tender, about 3 minutes or so.
-Add in the garlic, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, a pinch of Italian seasoning, and the chopped parsley and cilantro, and stir to combine; once the garlic becomes aromatic, turn the heat to low, or turn off for a moment.
-Whisk together the eggs, the half & half, a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, the pinch of cayenne, and about 1 cup of the grated cheese, whisking only until then eggs are broken up—do not over-whisk.
-With the heat back on (or turned up now), pour in the egg mixture and stir gently with the sauteed vegetables to incorporate; then, allow the egg/veggie mixture to cook, undisturbed, for about 2-3 minutes, or just until the sides begin to set up; sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese over top.
-Place the skillet into the oven, and bake for about 24 minutes, or just until the frittata is puffed and set; allow for a few minutes out of the oven before slicing and enjoying.