We’ve all seen them, a pale white floppy omelet with little appeal and no flavor. But it is easy to remake a classic omelet that is satisfying and still heart healthy.
Since my husband’s heart attack last year, we’ve been cautious about saturated fat and cholesterol in our diet. Cautious is probably not the right word, we were quite fearful at first about eggs, or rather the egg yolks.
Since he loves eggs for breakfast, I thought a redux of a classic omelet would be in order.
No matter how healthful, it’s got to taste good!
My number one rule when making healthful swaps in dishes is that it has to taste good! But looking good is also important.
First of all, the color. Pallid, cooked egg whites are not appealing unless there is a bright orange yolk sitting in the middle. I knew that was the first step, or the omelet wouldn’t even be tried.
No demons here
Egg yolks add a lot of richness, but the egg whites lend much of the ‘egg’ flavor, so that is an advantage if you are making an omelet with just the whites. Close your eyes! Most of the protein is in the egg whites, but the yolks contain many beneficial minerals and vitamins including B vitamins, so they are certainly not a demon food, just one that has to be limited if you’ve had clogged arteries. The yolks also add flavor and richness.
A bit of experimentation
I used turmeric first, and that lent a medicinal taste to the omelet and no real egg color. I experimented, and mixed in some salsa to the whites, but that was just lumpy and weird. However, the color was closer. I finally settled on one of my favorite hot sauces Cholula Chili Lime Sauce with its vibrant orange color. It tinted the eggs to a nice yellow, and added a little zip and flavor, making up for loss of flavor the egg yolk usually adds.
The omelet was cooked in a flavorful, fruity olive oil that added a bit more flavor as well, and, of course, an omelet is all about what you stuff into it. You can also use a vegan butter. I’ve made this now dozens of ways, often using a bit of fish from supper the night before, or whatever veggies were left over. One of our personal favorites is sautéed mushrooms and onions.
Don’t forget the cheese
Of course, there needs to be cheese. Most of the vegan cheeses are not good at melting, and don’t really taste that great. The one I settle on most of the time is a smoked provolone, mild in flavor with just the right amount of smoke to add interest. My husband likes a pepper jack, also packed with lots of zing. You can also skip this and add just a sprinkle of Parmesan or vegan Parmesan on top after removing from the oven.
What’s on hand?
This time around, I used the last of the cherry tomatoes from the garden and some local watercress, as well as the last little scallion in the crisper drawer.
Don’t overcook and scorch the omelet for the best flavor, and to keep it tender. While I don’t usually finish my omelets in the oven, the vegan cheeses take longer to melt, and I don’t want it to overcook!
The bottom line
The result are quite amazing, with little sacrifice in flavor. Egg white omelet: 271 calories, 4 grams of saturated fat, zero cholesterol. Classic three-egg omelet: 21 grams of saturated fat, 603 mg. of cholesterol, over 200% daily recommendations for normal diet.
He still has a whole egg twice a week, all things in moderation, but whenever he gets the urge for more eggs, especially for supper, this omelet is quite satisfying, both in the visual and taste.
Egg White Omelet with Watercress and Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 large egg whites from local organic source if possible
- 4 or 5 shakes of Cholula Chili Lime Hot Sauce
- Pinch of salt and few grates of black pepper
- 1 tbsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil or 1 tbsp. vegan butter
- 5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup watercress, chopped
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Separate the eggs (save the yolks for another use or freeze them). Place the whites in a small bowl and add the hot sauce, salt, and pepper. You can also add a few herbs at this stage as well, a bit of tarragon is nice as is parsley or chives.
Beat the whites together well.
Over medium high heat, add the olive oil to the pan, swirl it around, and add the eggs. Let sit undisturbed for about 10 seconds, then, using a silicone or rubber spatula, gently move the eggs from the outside to the middle, letting the egg run under. Do this just until it starts to set, the top will still be quite loose.
Remove from the heat and add the filling ingredients evenly, then top with cheese. Place in the warm oven until the cheese melts, then invert the omelet onto a warmed plate. Garnish, and serve with a lovely slice of wholegrain bread.
We had leftovers from a cod in tomato sauce dinner. Sunday morning, the cod filled the omelet, and the sauce gave this egg-white omelet a boost of even more flavor. Just a little grate of Parm, and we had aa feast!
Always look for the freshest, local eggs, organic if possible. It really makes a difference. They are worth the price, and still a bargain meal.
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