Growing up in the Southwest, a tortilla was a thin flatbread used to wrap grilled meat and make tacos. I was in my 30s before visiting Barcelona, ââSpain, and I 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 with sliced ââpotatoes, vegetables, and usually tasty jerky, like chorizo ââor Spanish sausage. The tortilla is served hot or cold, cut into quarters – small pieces for an appetizer or larger pieces for a main course. It’s perfect at room temperature for picnics, hot for a lazy Sunday dinner, or chilled in the fridge, for a protein-rich, easy-to-eat snack.
I was surprised to find out how many calories were in one serving of this favorite Spanish dish. I decided to give it a little makeover by making three changes. First off, given the current trend of swapping 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 boards (the large, falling florets can be used for another recipe.) Steam the boards in a shallow sautÃ© pan covered with a little water just for a few minutes to tenderize, and the cauliflower planks can be layered into the tortilla just like you would use baked potato slices.
The second change was in the egg batter itself: I used reduced fat milk instead of the whole version (or cream, depending on the recipe) and removed the yolks from half of the eggs. , leaving the tortilla decidedly enough yellow and egg, not egg white.
Finally, I used low-fat soy chorizo ââwhich gives a ton of flavor for a fraction of the fat and calories of the regular version. (It’s fresh chorizo, which is Mexican, not Spanish, but it works wonderfully.) Surprisingly, you can buy it at many regular grocery stores, but if not, substitute for the reduced-fat Italian sausage. by a pleasant flavor, so different.
The combination of grated zucchini and onions, cooked until tender and sweet, made the body of the tortilla both tasty and nutritious. The result is a quick, inexpensive dish loaded with protein and veggies.
LIGHT SPANISH TORTILLA WITH SWEET ZUCCHINI AND CHORIZO
Makes 8 servings
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into thin slices, about 1/4 inch each
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped, about 1 cup
2 medium zucchini, grated with large holes on a box grater, about 3 cups
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 ounces of reduced-fat soy or chorizo ââchorizo ââ(or other reduced-fat sausage)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil spray or non-stick spray
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In an 8-inch non-stick skillet, place the cauliflower planks and cover with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Place over medium-high heat, cover and steam until cauliflower is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove the cauliflower, pat dry and set aside.
Wipe out the pan 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 ââand smoked paprika and cook for another five minutes, stirring often, then remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg whites and milk. Add the zucchini and chorizo ââmixture and stir. Add the cheese and stir.
Spray the pan with a little olive oil in a sprayer (or non-stick spray). Pour the egg mixture into the pan, then layer the cauliflower planks on top of each other, pressing gently on the eggs. Bake in the preheated oven until the egg is completely set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for at least five minutes. Use a spatula to gently loosen the tortilla from the pan, then carefully flip the entire tortilla onto a large plate or cutting board. Cut into quarters and serve. Can be served lukewarm or chilled.
PER SERVING: 117 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 6 g fat (2 saturated), 62 mg cholesterol, 253 mg sodium