We had been up late drinking wine the night before, and so were a bit behind but the girls and I had all of our gear loaded up in the car, ready to head for the mountains when Melissa popped her head into the kitchen and asked “do you have any bars? Or something to take on the road?”
I opened my mouth to speak, and closed it again, knitting my eyebrows because I realized that – in fact – I didn’t. Typically, I whip up something each Friday to take with my on rides, or hikes, or walks with Gunner on the trails near home. But the girls had surprised me on Friday and I had completely forgotten this duty.
It wasn’t a terribly big deal, because we grabbed a couple of oranges, a bag of almonds and then we stopped at my favorite espresso outpost to stock up on breakfast sandwiches, coffee (and, cardamom donut holes, of course) on our way West. But the though stuck with me all during this busy week.
When I was racing for LUNABar we actually had to clean out a hall closet to store my back stock of every bars in. But since I’ve stopped racing as aggressively, and embraced eating real food as fuel, we’ve stopped ordering/acquiring/accepting packaged energy bars all together. It’s less a protest and more a natural progression; once we started making our own portable snacks, we started looking at everything as something quick, nutritious and yummy we can take along. If you have something cravable in your pocket already, something you dreamt up yourself, you aren’t likely to start craving an item called a “bar.”
This came to mind early this morning as I was packing us up for our annual winter road trip to Montana. I’ve been so busy this week (working on a fun, bikey project I’ll announce soon!) that I had – once again- forgotten to make portable snacks for us to enjoy on our drive. No worries, because I had everything I needed to make these Red Pepper + Feta Frittata Muffins on hand. In fact, this was EVERYTHING we had on hand. Ah, serendipity!
You may have seen other versions of these portable little frittatas around; there’s one in the Feed Zone Portables book, and another from Green Kitchen Stories I saw recently. But this one is mine. Nothing about this recipe is fancy, though I think a hash brown crust, fancy carmelized garlic, or a bit of truffle oil would send these over the top. I can’t recommend enough that you use tall, tulip-like parchment cups – this helps your little frittatas to rise at will. If you don’t have kale, red pepper and feta in hand, I urge you to use what you do have: bacon, any and all cheeses, greens, herbs, you name it. A little crème fraîche whipped into the eggs with the cheese is also excellent.
Please excuse the lack of great photos of this one in advance. This red pepper + feta combination came together in ten too-early-in-the-morning minutes and then baked in the fifteen minutes I needed to make myself a coffee and pull on my jeans and shoes for the drive. I tasted one, knew we’d nailed it, snapped a couple of shots and then, out the door we went. They really are that easy. Not to mention healthy, and versatile. We packed them into the space behind the seats along with this, this and this for a little road trip bean feast. Wyoming never looked so delicious!
By the time you read this, we’ll be pulling into the driveway of the cabin in Montana; I’m imagining it starting to snow as we make the turn off the main road, rumble past the hay bales and horses. We’ll roll over the bridge across the creek, make the right at the big barn that got a fresh coat of red paint last summer, and into the meadow where the cabin perches on an overlook; the lights glowing like beacons from miles away because there are no city lights, (only stars) to compete with their glow. More from that special place later this week. Meantime, happy quick + healthy breakfast-ing! Xo – L
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 2-4 kale leaves stemmed and chopped finely
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 10 large eggs, beaten
- paper lines for muffin tins
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the pan with olive oil or coconut oil. In a medium sized bowl, combine the red pepper, onion, kale, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and massage with your fingers to wilt the kale. Allow to sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add the feta and perhaps more salt and pepper. Divide the red pepper mixture evenly amongst the muffin tins. Then, pour over the egg mixture, again, as evenly as possilble. Jiggle the muffin pan briefly to ensure that the egg has worked its way amongst the other ingredients then bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the egg mixture is just set. As soon as these pop from the oven, they're ready to serve!
- (If you're not going to be eating these for a bit, cool them completely then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day.)