Chicken-Apple Sausage + Spinach Frittata

I am on Day 12 of Whole30. Needless to say, that means the menu in my household has looked quite different lately. I wanted to share a staple breakfast item that I have been enjoying every morning since beginning Whole30 - this breakfast frittata.

I have literally never made a frittata before this wellness experiment. I am a mad quiche lover, and this is something like that, minus the buttery crust and indulgent cheese, of course. But I have grown to love my morning breakfast because it is so filling and savory and hearty - just what I wake up craving. Isn't that weird? And wonderful. It's actually kind of wonderful. What is happening to me.

One thing I love best about this recipe (which I've adapted a bit from the one in the book) is that the ingredients can be switched up so it doesn't taste the same everyday. You can sub in green, red and yellow peppers, kale, diced sweet potato (Stevie likes this, I'm not a huge fan of the sweetness in my eggs), olives, artichokes - really, the sky is the limit! As long as you have that chicken sausage and a bit of avocado, I promise it will taste dreamy. Also, don't forget the secret extra ingredient - the lemon zest and juice! It will MAKE this frittata for you :)

- 4-6 eggs
- 1 link chicken-apple sausage, precooked (I used Aidell's Organic version)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 gigantic handful spinach
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lemon slice + some lemon zest

1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

2. Heat your oven-safe skillet (I am loving my new Staub skillet!) over medium. Drizzle with some olive oil.

3. While the skillet is heating, whisk together your 4-6 eggs. I say that range because it depends on how big you want this frittata to be. 4 if you're wanting it to feel more veggie-licious, 6 if you went to the gym and you need some serious monster eggs in your life STAT. Salt and pepper the eggs to your liking. Then set them aside.

4. Once the skillet is heated, add the chopped onion and grape tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the tomatoes are wilted.

5. Add spinach to the skillet. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until almost wilted.

6. Then add the chicken sausage. This is already pre-cooked, but you want to reheat it and let the flavors all get to know each other a bit. Mmm things are starting to get savory.

7. Now you you pour in your beaten eggs to the mixture. At this point you don't really want to mix anything around. Just let the eggs begin to set in the skillet.

8. Then add the diced avocado to the mixture, if you're into that kind of thing. Avocado is basically the perfect replacement for cheese in a Whole30/Paleo situation, so I never forego it.

9. The extra special ingredient is the lemon and zest. Take a microplane grater and zest a bit of lemon skin on top of the frittata. Then take 1 slice of lemon and squeeze a bit of juice on top of the frittata. It will add a little extra note of flavor, and believe me, you will love it.

10. Once the frittata is "set" (after 3-5 minutes on the stove), transfer the skillet into the oven. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes. It will be ready once it's lightly browned on the top. Slice and enjoy!

I love this frittata. You can top it with hot sauce or salsa for an extra kick of spice. Stevie and I have been dominating the entire frittata everyday, and believe me, it will fill you up! Very satisfying. For all of you who are curious about Whole30 and whether you can actually eat "good food" while on this plan, I would definitely encourage you to give this recipe a try!

My Favorite Tools in the Kitchen.

It's no secret that I love to cook. I am on a personal name basis with half of the ladies who work at my local Williams Sonoma, and I can often be found peppering them with questions about competing products and how they do meal prep. I've even squeezed a few amazing recipes out of them, which are the days when I really count myself lucky. Over the past 8 years or so, I have goofed off in my kitchen, experimenting with different recipes and foods and techniques, all in the name of learning. Stevie has been there for the not-so-great dishes and some of the most spectacular surprises. I'm grateful for him, my professional taste-tester. And I am so grateful that I enjoy my time in the kitchen, because we have to eat either way! Might as well enjoy the process! But truly, making a delicious meal is kind of like art to me - it's peaceful, it's therapeutic, it's spontaneous, it's exhilarating, and it's most definitely creative. And I am totally the creeper that likes to watch people as they bite into something I made - the satisfaction of knowing that I concocted something that someone else can consume and enjoy is so very gratifying. I know. Creeper in the kitchen.

I wanted to share a few items in my kitchen that are the workhorses of the bunch. The almost daily-used tools and machines that are in heavy rotation in and out of my hands while I cook. I couldn't possibly be as efficient without these few amazing tools in my arsenal. I am grateful for the years of Christmas gifts (which most of these have been!), because my kitchen is shaping up rather nicely these days. Though I have an ever-growing list of items that I am constantly on the hunt for, especially if I can find a deal on them. If you're interested in investing in a few stellar cook's gadgets and utensils, here is a personal recommendation for my favorite tools in the kitchen.

Dutch Oven.
This was an enormous game-changer when I received this rad dutch oven for Christmas a few years ago. My Le Creuset Dutch Oven, in the classy shade of Marseille, is my first choice as an investment for the kitchen. This particular pot does it all. You can cook anything on the stove in it, including pan-frying chicken, sauteing vegetables, cooking a stew - anything! And then it transfers to the oven like a dream, thanks to the heat-safe enameled cast-iron. This is where you can braise lamb or slow-cook a roast. This particular item introduced me to "big girl cooking" beyond what I was capable of doing in a regular Pyrex glass dish. And the most amazing thing about this particular dutch oven is that I will have it forever and will it on to family. That's how long Le Creuset holds up - forever! It's quite an investment but completely worth it when you think about how much it will be used over the course of a lifetime of cooking (and eating!) in the kitchen.

Wooden Cutting/Pastry Board.
I discovered this solid wooden Boos Block cutting board a few years ago, when I baked cookies with Mary the Cookie Lady. Some of you might remember that particular post, a time that still lives on in my mind in a hushed reverence of pastry enlightenment. Mary taught me a world of good when it comes to all things sugary and bake-able. And we spent that one special day hard at work on her infamous maple-wooden pastry board. Her particular pastry board was passed down to her from her mother, and I was envious of such a meaningful (and incredibly useful!) item that was ingrained, literally, with such significance to Mary. Every time she cuts on that board or rolls out a fresh batch of cookie dough, she thinks of her mother. And you know what? My darling Aunt Shirley sent me this Boos Block Pastry Board as a housewarming gift a few months ago, when we moved into our new digs. When I say that we use this an overwhelming amount, I mean it. This pastry board stays on my counter top, proudly looking down at all the other flimsy plastic sheets that claim to call themselves cutting boards. This cutting board has upped my chopping skills and when this Whole30 situation is over, I will be kneading some mean Valentines treats on it, as well.

Chef's Knife.
Any great cook will credit their Chef's Knife as a significant player in their daily cooking practice. I received my 8-year old J. Henkels 8-inch Chef's Knife as a wedding gift, and it has certainly done the trick for all these years. I use it everyday to chop and dice 90% of everything you see here in my recipes on the blog. However, I do dream of upgrading to this Wustof Classic Ikon masterpiece sometime in the future.

Cast Iron Skillet.
This Staub Cast-Iron 10-inch Skillet in sapphire blue has me swooning big over it's incredible stove top-to-oven durability. I've been making a frittata almost every single day in this skillet, and it behaves like a non-stick pan, even though that's not one of the main claims of this item's quality. It's pre-seasoned, heats food ridiculously evenly and has that richly-colored enamel coat that just has me dreaming of when i can invest in another!

High-Powered Blender.
Vitamix = Love. LOVE I SAY. My particular model of the Vitamix is the 5200 package from Costco (which is totally the way to buy it, if you ask me - such a deal compared to the regular retail price!) We make EVERYTHING in this thing. Soups, dressings, sauces, smoothies, juices, BABY FOOD, bread mixes of all kinds, desserts, and seriously, the list goes on. It has completely replaced my food processor and we use this thing every day.

Who doesn't love their slow cooker? I'll admit, mine isn't anywhere near fancy, but it doesn't need to be! This 4-Quart Crock-Pot has been our winter go-to for years and years. I love throwing random veggies, meat and stock in the crock-pot and letting it do it's thing for 6-8 hours. Low and slow. That's the way I like to go :)

And that's it! Those are my everyday kitchen favorites. Of course, those aren't all my favorites, but those are the items that I use absolutely every day. Do any of these match up with your everyday used kitchen items? I would love to hear about your favorite cooking utensils!