Egg whites work magic to make filling omelet for two

Associated PressApril 22, 2014 

Food Healthy Omelet

Extra egg whites add protein to Greek-style souffled omelet.

MATTHEW MEAD — AP

Leaving aside anything made with powdered eggs (which don’t really count as eggs at all in my book), I’ve never met an egg dish I didn’t like. But at the tippy top of my list of favorites is the edible magic trick known as the souffled omelet.

The magic is built into the whites of the egg. A three-egg omelet made the usual way comprises a substantial meal for one person. But a souffled omelet made with three whole eggs – plus two whites – makes the traditional omelet look like a midget and is more than enough for two people.

How can so few eggs produce such an ample dish? Something about separating the whites from the yolks, beating them, then adding them back to the yolks inflates the omelet to almost comical proportions.

Though I personally have never wavered in my partisanship, eggs have shown up now and again as a target of the food police. Eggs are high in cholesterol!

Happily, the most recent studies question whether the sort of cholesterol found in eggs is what we need to be worried about. And, cholesterol aside, eggs are a terrific source of protein, vitamins and antioxidants – and all at about 77 calories per egg. And did I mention they are very high on the satiation chart? Eggs fill you up. In this recipe, the extra egg whites contribute more protein to the mix with very few extra calories.

In a nod to the wonderful Greek omelets you can find in diners from coast to coast, this recipe stars spinach and feta cheese. Of course, you’re welcome to swap in any kind of sauteed greens and any kind of lean-ish cheese, be it goat cheese or low-fat cheese made from cow’s milk. But whatever you do, don’t leave out the grated lemon zest. It brightens up the whole dish.

By the way, when it’s time to clean out the fridge, a souffled omelet is the perfect wrapper for zillions of fillings. Leftover cooked broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, corn, peas, almost any vegetable will always find a happy home in an omelet. Ditto for leftover bits of cheese, though – to keep down the fat and calories – you’ll probably want to bulk up the omelet with veggies to start, then add the cheese as an accent.

This recipe serves two. To make enough for four people, prepare a double batch, pour it into two medium skillets, then bake them in the oven at the same time.

Sara Moulton, former executive chef at Gourmet magazine, hosts public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.”

Greek-Style Souffled Omelet

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

5 ounces baby spinach

Salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces feta cheese, finely crumbled

3 large whole eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Chopped fresh dill, to garnish

HEAT the oven to 450 degrees.

HEAT 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted. Sprinkle the feta on top and set aside.

WHISK the egg yolks in a medium bowl with a hefty pinch of salt, several grinds of pepper and the lemon zest, until the mixture is fluffy, about 4 minutes. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks; stir 1/4 of the whites into the egg yolks, then fold the remaining whites into the yolks gently, just until they are incorporated.

HEAT the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet with an oven-safe handle over medium. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, gently spread it evenly. Place the skillet in the oven on the middle shelf and bake until it is puffed and almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the spinach mixture over medium heat, stirring.

REMOVE the omelet from the oven and make an indent down the center with a spatula. Spoon the spinach mixture over half the omelet, then use the spatula to fold the other half of the omelet over to cover the filling. Return the omelet to the oven and bake for another 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the omelet in half, sprinkle each half with the dill and serve right away.

Per serving: 320 calories; 200 calories from fat; 22 g fat (7 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 295 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 19 g protein; 710 mg sodium.

Yield: 2 servings.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service