Skinnier O’Brien Frittata

Recipes at the top, sweet blog post below.

Skinnier O'Brien Frittata


Preheat oven to 450°F. Boil potato on the stove top for about 10 minutes. Dice pepper and onion while potato boils. Drain potato and set aside. Mix egg, egg whites, spices, and ¼ cup of the cheese. Set aside. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over a medium heat. Once skillet is hot, melt butter. Add onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and canadian bacon. Saute until onions are translucent. Stir in potatoes. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and cook for only about 5 minutes longer on a medium low heat until the eggs are almost set. Do not stir. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Open oven and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the eggs. Bake for another two minutes until the cheese has melted. Let cool for several minutes before cutting and serving. 


To serve, cut into 8 equal pieces. Optional: Top with a dollop of sour cream (not included in Nutrition Facts). If you are looking to lower the carbs, try swapping out the potatoes for cauliflower.

So I got this great recipe book as a gift years ago called Comfort Food with a Light Touch¹ that was put out by the Machine Shed. Unfortunately, you can’t really purchase the book new anymore it seems from what I could find online, but if you happen to run across it I highly recommend it. It may be available at the restaurants though. I’m not sure since I don’t live near one anymore. You’re probably like, what’s a Machine Shed? It’s this great little midwestern chain that serves a lot of classic American food that could only be described as comfort food. With only 6 locations, it’s no wonder you probably haven’t heard of it. I only know about it because of the time I spent living in proximity to one.

So the reason that I am rambling about the Machine Shed is because their recipe book had this great recipe called a “O’Brien Frittata,” which is exactly what inspired my version. I added a few extras and swapped some ingredients but their recipe is the base. I assume they named it thus because of the potatoes.

Frittata just sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? I always thought this was a dish where I should be wearing a giant hat, sunglasses and a string of pearls around my neck while drinking a mimosa. In truth, a frittata is anything but fancy. The word comes from the Italian verb friggere², which means “to fry.” A frittata is more like an egg based dish that you would have made with the random assortment of leftovers in your fridge. The only way it really even differs from a French omelette is that the ingredients are mixed in with the egg rather than placed in the center and the egg folded over it. Although attributed mainly with Italy as its place of origin, frittatas are not a traditional Italian dish.

This particular recipe is closer to a Spanish Tortilla³ though, due to the incorporation of the potatoes. Unlike a spanish tortilla, you don’t flip a frittata. It is started on the stovetop and finished in the oven.  So although a frittata is considered a staple brunch food, I think you can really eat it any time of day and put whatever you want into it.

Feel free to take HUGE liberties with this recipe and try your own mix of meats and veggies! I think this is one of those foods that you can make really terrible for you or really healthy. I mean you could go all veggie and take out the meat and cheese. I bet it would be fabulous and fluffy.

Like this frittata, sometimes you have to just take things and make them your own in life. This includes who you want to be. My whole life I struggled with just being myself because I always felt like it was never enough and I had to be a certain way to just fit in. I didn’t want to make waves and I wanted people to like me. I think we all wear a mask for this very reason. Here’s the thing though, being someone other than who you truly are deep down will wear on you and present the damage in different ways. In my case, I would eat my emotions. Any time I was sad or felt like I had to hide who I was or was feeling down on myself, I would eat. That’s how I rapidly grew from 106 lbs to pushing over 180 lbs. It was so bad because then I would get more depressed because of how I looked and how I felt. On a 4’10” frame, 180 lbs is a lot of weight and I was in constant pain and it literally felt like my organs hurt. 

I fought my weight for almost a decade and every step of the way was hard. I didn’t give up though and along the way I found something. I found out that I was worth something and who I am is not a mistake. I was worth loving. God doesn’t make mistakes and you are who you are for a reason. If in His infinite wisdom He made you and loves you as you are, don’t you think you should give yourself a chance to? Look in a mirror. You’re beautiful inside and out. My friend, you are so loved and you don’t need society to approve of who you are to know that. Who cares what the world thinks! Embrace your uniqueness and fly that flag high! I can promise that the moment you stop caring what other people think is one of the most freeing and joyful moments you will experience. 

So did I lose my weight because of what other people thought? Heck no! I lost my weight because I felt awful and it wasn’t healthy. I needed to be who I was and live a healthy life with good choices. I had to get a healthy relationship with food back. I had to embrace my weirdness and run with it. I know that living my life to the fullest as the person God made me will not always win everyone over. You know what though, that’s okay. Not everyone is going to like you and they don’t have to. We all have free will in this life and I feel like we just all need to find our people. You know, the ones who also march to the beat of your same drum. Make strong, healthy relationships. Cultivate the ones that make you grow and happy, not the toxic ones that make you wither and sad. Embrace joy and grow.

¹ Schneckloth, Mary. Comfort Food with a Light TouchQuixote Press, 1 Feb 2000.

² “Frittata may have roots in Italy, but it’s not your traditional Italian dish.” National Post, Postmedia, 10 June 2015, nationalpost.com/life/food/frittata-may-have-roots-in-italy-but-its-not-your-traditional-italian-dish. Accessed 20 Feb 2020.

³ Castillo, Maria. “Spanish Tortilla.” Food Network, Discovery Inc. foodnetwork.com/recipes/spanish-tortilla-recipe0-1940959. Accessed 20 Feb 2020.

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