Veggie omelettes

Omelette makes an incredibly quick and easy midweek dinner that is filling but not too heavy, versatile and full of high quality protein.  I also thought eggs would be particularly appropriate this week for Easter.  There are so many flavour combinations that work well with omelette that you are never going to run out of different ones to try.  I particularly enjoy vegetable and vegan cheese ones (or normal cheese if you can have dairy) so have picked two of my favourite ones to share with you here, but please experiment to find your personal perfect omelette filling.  For my first recipe, I have used broccoli and spinach as the main flavours.  I love the way you can stir finely chopped spinach into the egg to make a green omelette (maybe there is some childhood nostalgia for the Dr Seuss “green eggs and ham”?).  Broccoli makes an unusual but pleasantly creamy, savoury and healthy sauce base.  The second recipe is really my omelette version of my creamy mushroom pasta recipe, which shows how you can adapt other favourite dishes into omelette form.  The flavours of mushroom and tomato with egg are rather reminiscent of a traditional cooked English breakfast, but this version is far less fatty than the normal fry up, and also contains that winning combination of tomato sauce and melted cheese popular in Italian favourites like pizza.

Green omelette

Cooking time: 15 minutes preparation, 5-10 minutes cooking time

Dietary info: vegetarian, dairy-free (if you use vegan cheese and dairy-free stock cube), gluten-free (if you use a gluten free stock cube)

Serves: 2

  • 4 eggs
  • 100g chopped frozen spinach
  • A pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 25- 30g finely sliced cheese (vegan cheese for a dairy free version) – I used a hard smoked vegan cheese

Broccoli sauce

  • 1 broccoli, chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic (or normal garlic powder if you can’t find smoked garlic)
  • ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp dill seed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Put all of the broccoli sauce ingredients, apart from the soy and lemon juice, in a saucepan, covered, over a medium heat and simmer until the broccoli is soft (about 10 minutes).
  2. Put the broccoli sauce in a blender and process until smooth (if you don’t have a blender, chop the broccoli more finely before cooking and roughly mash the sauce when the broccoli is soft to break it down further).  Season with soy sauce and lemon juice.
  3. Steam the frozen spinach until defrosted and warmed through (about 4 minutes).
  4. Steam the leek until soft (about 8-10 minutes).
  5. Beat the eggs with the spinach, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  6. Put a large frying pan over a gentle heat and pour in the eggs.  Allow to cook for about 30-60s until the edges are starting to solidify but there is still a lot of uncooked egg in the centre.
  7. Use a spatula to draw the cooked edges in towards the centre and tip the pan so that the runny egg flows out to cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Once the egg is set, lay the sliced cheese over the egg, then put the leek over the top and cover with 3-4 tbsp of the broccoli sauce.  Cover the pan with a lid, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a minute to let the cheese melt.
  9. Use a spatula to fold the omelette in half and slide out of the pan onto a plate.  Heat through the remaining broccoli sauce and serve on the side of the omelette with some steamed green vegetables or salad if you want.

A few tips to prep ahead:

  • Make the broccoli sauce and keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Slice the leeks and keep in a sealed bag in the fridge for 1-2 days (though be warned, sliced leeks can have a bit of a funny smell – the first time we did this my husband spent some time looking for a gas leak until we realised what the source of the smell was)
  • For the mushroom omelette, make the tomato sauce and the mushroom / onion mixture and keep in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to a week.

Some tasty little twists…

A few other ideas for omelette fillings include:

  • My husband would always advocate adding cooked, chopped pieces of bacon to any omelette for a non-vegetarian version.
  • Smoked salmon would make a nice addition to the spinach and broccoli omelette for another non-vegetarian option.
  • You could replace the leek in the cooked omelette with more spinach and the cheese with cream cheese and then add smoked salmon.
  • Fill a plain omelette (like the one for the mushrooms below) with chopped sundried tomatoes, olives and onions, cooked until soft in a non-stick saucepan with a splash of water to stop them sticking and 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
  • Fill a green omelette (made with spinach in the eggs as above) with steamed asparagus sprinkled with a squeeze of lemon, 1 tsp ground black pepper and finely grated parmesan / vegan parmesan or another hard, strong cheese.

Cheese and mushroom omelette

Cooking time: 15 minutes preparation, 5-10 minutes cooking time

Dietary info: vegetarian, dairy-free (if you use vegan cheese and dairy-free stock cube), gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free stock cube)

Serves: 2

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 30g vegan cream cheese (sliced if firm enough), or 15g vegan cream cheese and 15g grated hard vegan cheese (replace with cream cheese, mozzarella or any mild grated cheese if you don’t want a dairy-free version)

Mushroom and onion filling

  • 400 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Tomato sauce

  • 300ml passata
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic powder (or normal garlic powder if you can’t find smoked)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  1. Put all of the tomato sauce ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring until the stock cube has dissolved (about 3-4 minutes). Alternatively, put in a covered microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 3 minutes then stir thoroughly.
  2. Put the mushrooms, onions, stock cube, smoked garlic powder and paprika in a non-stick saucepan with enough water to come halfway up the onions and mushrooms.  Heat over a low heat, stirring to stop them sticking, until the onions and mushrooms are soft and most of the water has evaporated.
  3. Beat the eggs with the salt and paprika in a bowl.
  4. Put a large frying pan over a gentle heat and pour in the eggs.  Allow to cook for about 30-60s until the edges are starting to solidify but there is still a lot of uncooked egg in the centre.
  5. Use a spatula to draw the cooked edges in towards the centre and tip the pan so that the runny egg flows out to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once the egg is set, lay the sliced or grated cheese over the egg, then put half the mushroom and onion mixture over the cheese and drizzle with 3-4 tbsp of the tomato sauce.  Cover the pan with a lid, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a minute to let the cheese melt.
  7. Use a spatula to fold the omelette in half and slide out of the pan onto a plate.  Heat through the remaining mushroom and onion mixture and tomato sauce and serve these on the side of the omelette with some steamed green vegetables or salad if you want.
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