Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Spinach-Cheese Omelet for dinner—another healthy way to (nutritionally) survive the December ratrace

Things don't get any easier—or healthier—than this. I'm still majoring on what every cook knows is the major trial of of Christmas Month. It may be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but it's also the most frustrating month in terms of trying to get quick, healthy meals on the table . . . and deck the halls, buy the gifts, wrap the gifts, address the cards, and meet social obligations. If I neglect to prepare IN ADVANCE for our food needs that will arise in this important month, I pay for it during the (now) 21 days until Christmas.

A recent issue of Prevention magazine addressed this dilemma by presenting a step-by-step illustration of how to make a "dinner" omelet. The article begins with the words, "Got eggs? Then you've got supper." The recipe is packed with substitutions—water for milk or cream; egg substitute for whole eggs; and olive oil rather than butter. It suggests throwing in whatever veggies you have on hand, thus sneaking in an extra veggie serving as well as using up leftovers (particularly Thanksgiving ones). Adding crusty French bread and a serving of grapes or a cut-up orange or other fruit makes for a classy meal.

The leftover I had on hand was about half a bag of fresh spinach, which as we all know goes South very quickly. In the microwave I steamed the spinach with a teaspoon of water and a dash of salt substitute. Then I stirred in about 1 teaspoon butter and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. My filling then was ready to stuff into my omelet (omelet instructions to follow).

The portions in the recipe below for Classic Spinach and Cheese Omelet make one omelet; obviously multiply portions by however many people you're trying to feed. Use whatever cheese you like: cheddar, feta, brie, Swiss, Monterey Jack. Make up individual omelets one at a time; keep ready ones warm in a very low oven until dinner time.

The troops are fed, the clean-up is minimal, health has not been sacrificed, and then you're off to play Christmas CD’s while you spend the rest of the evening stitching that grandchild's Christmas stocking (or whatever Christmas task awaits you on your to-do list!)

Classic Spinach and Cheese Omelet

2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 teaspoon water
pinch of salt (or salt substitute)
pinch of black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated cheese (your choice)

Beat eggs, water, salt, and pepper in bowl with fork just to blend. Heat oil in 8-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture. Stir constantly with heatproof rubber spatula until eggs thicken to a custardy consistency, 10 to 20 seconds. Tilt pan to allow any uncooked egg to run to the side. Run spatula all around edge of omelet. Sprinkle cheese over half of omelet. At this point add spinach that has been cooked according to directions above. Fold other half of omelet over cheese and filling. Turn off heat and let stand 30 seconds to set around filling. Use a spatula to gently push omelet onto a plate.

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