Conscious Cook: The marvelous month of May

“The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful; the blackbird sings his full song, the living wood is his holding, the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; there is a welcome before the brightness of summer.” — Lady Gregory

How precious and perfect is the month of May? There is such a softness in the gentle unfolding of petals on the trees and the peaceful unfurling of gardens. Such beauty inspires beautiful cooking for the people we love.

A healthy and luscious meal will fill your mother with one of the most essential elements of conscious cooking — LOVE. Choose something simple yet sumptuous, such as an egg-based dish that can be served for either breakfast, brunch or a light dinner.

Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein. Whether scrambled, sunny side up, poached, fried, souffléd, hard or soft boiled, or made into frittatas or omelets, eggs are nourishing, satisfying, and usually quite easy on the digestive system. Filled with restorative vitamins, such as A, B5, B12, B2, eggs support the body. Eggs contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which can enhance eye health. With significant amounts of folate, selenium, zinc, iron, copper and choline, eggs will give Mom a wonderful boost of health and flavor. If you are lucky enough to have local eggs available, be sure to purchase some for your Mother’s Day meal. The freshness and flavor is unparalleled.

A salute to Moms everywhere, who inspire us to prepare our own delicious lives.

Mother’s Day Frittata

Serves 4 to 6

1 bunch fresh spinach or Swiss chard, stalks removed, washed and dried

1 cup of chopped sweet onion

2 large roasted peppers (Trader Joe’s fire roasted peppers are excellent. Drain well and coarsely chop)

6 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup fresh bread crumbs

½ cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh basil

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray. Stack the Swiss chard leaves and cut crosswise into thin strips. If using spinach, cut only if the leaves are large. If using baby spinach, no need to cut them. In a large sauté pan, sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil until golden brown. Add the chard or spinach, herbs and salt and cook until the spinach or chard is tender.

Remove from the heat, stir in the peppers and let cool. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the milk until blended. Add the bread crumbs and cheeses and stir into the cooked mixture. Season with a bit of salt and the black pepper. Transfer to the baking pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is firm and the crust is golden. Remove from the oven. Serve immediately or let cool, wrap well and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be made one day ahead.

Be sure to wash all the dishes, set the table with a pretty flower, and serve Mom her frittata with a lovely salad of fresh baby lettuces, sliced strawberries and a light lemon or strawberry vinaigrette.

Robin Glowa , HHC, AADP, The Conscious Cook, writes about preparing a delicious life and presents healthy food workshops throughout New England. She is a professional cook, organic gardener, and a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.