Monthly Archives: August 2016

Ricotta and Mint Omelette

Ricotta and Mint Omelette From The Healthy Heart

On a recent trip to Corsica I came across a cheese new to me. It is called Brocciu and is made from ewe’s milk. Unfortunately it is not available in the summer months as it is a fresh cheese and made with winter milk. In the summer months a replacement cheese is eaten called Brousse which is made with whey. It is similar to Ricotta in taste but slightly firmer I thought. I found it to be delicious, although I am told that it is not a patch on Brocciu – and it is very versatile. It is served in mini doughnuts, cheesecake, ravioli and even omelettes. Many restaurants serving traditional Corsican cuisine have an omelette with Brocciu and mint on the menu. In season of course. Out of season the omelette is made with Brousse I guess.

As soon as I returned home I bought ricotta and set about making my own version of this omelette. I would recommend that you try to get a fresh ricotta from an Italian deli rather than using the supermarket variety as the former has a better texture.

Some people still believe that eggs are not good for cholesterol control. This idea has been debunked and I eat eggs regularly as part of my lowering cholesterol plan. I don’t eat much butter – even though the debate about saturated fats suggests one can – but for making an omelette I do use a small amount of butter. You can use olive oil if you prefer. Using a non stick pan reduces the amount of fat needed.

I have not yet mastered the art of cooking two omelettes at the same time – perhaps I need to buy a second omelette pan – so I cook one after the other.

For 2 people:

4 eggs
1 ricotta
A handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
A knob of butter

Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly. Add a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix in.

Break the ricotta into another bowl and add the chopped mint leaves and mix in.

Melt the butter in a small, nonstick pan and add the eggs. I cook my omelettes on a medium heat and gently lift the sides with a spatula while tilting the pan. This allows the uncooked egg to run underneath the egg that has already begun to set. When most of the egg is set, add half the ricotta mixture (the other half is for the second omelette) and cook for another minute. Now carefully fold over the top half of the omelette and slide onto a plate.

Now make the other omelette.

Serve with a simple green salad on the side.

Back to the Beginning

A confession: it is months since I last wrote a blog post and I have neglected From The Healthy Heart almost as much as I have been neglecting my health. No doubt the two neglects are related. The truth is that I have not been looking after my eating and therefore felt somewhat hypocritical writing about lowering cholesterol. The result of lack of exercise and constant eating of everything and anything is that I approach the end of summer many pounds heavier and feeling sluggish. Having taken a fortnight’s holiday in Corsica did not help either as the cuisine is rich with charcuterie and cheese. I ate a lot of it and tasty it was too.

So what is to be done? Well, I have been considering my options. I definitely need to shed the extra weight and I shudder to think what level my cholesterol has risen to while it has been left unattended. I also must get back to regular exercise. Promptly.

I could embark on the 5:2 diet as several of my foodie friends have done. They tell me that it is wonderful for people who are eating out a lot as they can plan around these events. Eat only 500 calories twice a week and what you like the rest of the time. Somehow this seems too good to be true even though I have seen the results in friends. But I am not a fan of calorie counting. While it might lead to weight loss, eating rich foods as I do when out on blogging events – especially afternoon teas – is not a good way to look after my arteries. For lowering cholesterol one cannot really just eat whatever you like 5 days a week.

All other diets are bound to rebound in even further weight gain as this is what diets do so I have no plans to go down this path. I guess that leaves the option of what has worked before – my own plan which began years ago when I first began to lower my cholesterol. It resulted in weight loss partly as I was exercising a fair amount and also due to eating a low fat diet devoid of all cakes, biscuits, sweets, charcuterie and the likes.

I am thinking about getting out the food diary I kept at the time – it took 3 months – when I documented everything I ate (call me obsessive) and simply following that. It makes perfect sense. The only sticking point is that I know that I have nothing like the steely determination I had back then. Still, even following 80 % of the plan might help. After all I can no longer fit into much of my wardrobe so action is needed. If that is what I look like from the outside what is my system looking like on the inside?

My other new plan is to eat more fermented foods. I have been researching this for an article I wrote and am taken with the idea that our gut bacteria is depleted and can benefit from the healthy bacteria in fermented foods.

I enclose the link to my article on fermentation for anyone interested to read it.
http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/travel/2016/08/26/appetite-for-fermented-food-grows

So if you too are in need of getting your cholesterol down and want to do it in a measured and healthy way, join me as the summer draws to a close and let’s eat well – stock up on salmon, almonds, oats and pulses and we can get started.