Yummy Span­ish tor­tilla mi­nus all the calo­ries

A Span­ish tor­tilla is some­thing like an in­cred­i­bly tasty frit­tata

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CLASSIFIEDS | FOOD - BY MELISSA D’ARA­BIAN

Grow­ing up in the South­west, a tor­tilla was a thin flat­bread used to wrap around grilled meat and make tacos. I was in my 30s be­fore I vis­ited Barcelona, Spain, and was served a Span­ish tor­tilla - a com­pletely different dish - and I fell in love in­stantly.

A Span­ish tor­tilla is some­thing like an in­cred­i­bly tasty frit­tata made from sliced pota­toes, veg­eta­bles and usu­ally a flavour­ful cured meat, like Span­ish chorizo or sausage. The tor­tilla is served hot or cold, cut into wedges - small pieces for an ap­pe­tizer, or larger ones for a main dish. It’s per­fect at room tem­per­a­ture for pic­nics, warm for a lazy Sun­day sup­per, or chilled in the fridge, for an easy-to-graze pro­tein-filled snack.

I was sur­prised to dis­cover how many calo­ries were packed into one serv­ing of this Span­ish favourite. I de­cided to give it a lit­tle makeover by mak­ing three changes. First, given the cur­rent trendi­ness of trad­ing out pota­toes for cauliflower, I couldn’t help but won­der if this swap would hold up for my beloved Span­ish tor­tilla.

The an­swer is yes. The trick is to cut the cauliflower head into thin planks (chunky flo­rets that fall away can be used for an­other recipe.) Steam the planks in a cov­ered shal­low saute pan with a lit­tle bit of wa­ter just for a few min­utes to ten­der­ize, and the cauliflower planks can be lay­ered into the tor­tilla just as you would use cooked potato slices.

The sec­ond change was in the egg bat­ter it­self: I used re­duced fat milk in­stead of the full fat ver­sion (or cream, de­pend­ing on the recipe), and re­moved yolks from half the eggs, leav­ing the tor­tilla de­cid­edly yel­low enough and eggy, not egg whitey.

Lastly, I used re­duced fat soy chorizo, which gives a ton of flavour for a frac­tion of the fat and calo­ries of the reg­u­lar ver­sion. (It’s fresh chorizo, which is Mex­i­can, not Span­ish, but it works beau­ti­fully.) Sur­pris­ingly, you can buy this at many reg­u­lar gro­cery stores, but if not, sub­sti­tute re­duced fat Ital­ian sausage for a nice, if different, flavour.

The com­bi­na­tion of shred­ded zuc­chini and onion, cooked un­til ten­der and sweet, made the body of the tor­tilla both tasty and nu­tri­tious. The re­sult is an in­ex­pen­sive, quick dish loaded with pro­tein and veg­gies.


Serv­ings: 8

Start to fin­ish: 30 min­utes

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into thin planks, about 1/4-inch each

2 tea­spoons olive oil

1 yel­low onion, chopped, about 1 cup

2 medium zuc­chini, shred­ded with large holes on a box grater, about 3 cups

1 tea­spoon smoked pa­prika

2 ounces soy chorizo, or re­duced fat chorizo (or other re­duced fat sausage)

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1/2 cup re­duced fat milk

1/2 cup shred­ded ched­dar cheese salt and pep­per olive oil in a mis­ter, or non­stick spray

Pre­heat the oven to 350 F. In an 8-inch non­stick saute pan, place the cauliflower planks and cover with 1/4 cup wa­ter and a pinch of salt. Place on medium high heat, cover and steam un­til the cauliflower is ten­der, about 6 min­utes. Re­move the cauliflower, blot dry, and set aside.

Wipe the pan dry and add the olive oil and onion and cook over medium heat, stir­ring, un­til the onions soften, about three min­utes. Add the grated zuc­chini, and cook un­til ten­der, stir­ring of­ten, about five min­utes. Add the chorizo and smoked pa­prika, and cook an­other five min­utes, stir­ring of­ten, and then re­move from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk to­gether the whole eggs, the egg whites and milk. Add the zuc­chini and chorizo mix­ture and stir. Add the cheese and stir.

Spray the pan with a lit­tle olive oil in a mis­ter (or non­stick spray). Pour the egg mix­ture into the pan, and then layer in the cauliflower planks, gently press­ing into the eggs. Bake un­til egg is com­pletely set, about 15-18 min­utes. Re­move pan from oven and al­low to cool for at least five min­utes. Use a spat­ula to loosen the tor­tilla from the pan gently, and then care­fully flip the whole tor­tilla onto a large plate or cut­ting board. Cut into wedges and serve. May be served warm or chilled.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 117 calo­ries; 54 calo­ries from fat; 6 g fat (2 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 62 mg choles­terol; 253 mg sodium; 9 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 8 g pro­tein.

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This June 24, 2017 photo shows a lightened sweet zuc­chini and chorizo Span­ish tor­tilla in Coron­ado, Calif. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d’Ara­bian.

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