This frittata is layered with zucchini, or courgettes, along with pizza like tastes – tomato, basil, oregano, and garlic. This dish is one of two ways my kids will eat zucchini, and it’s so simple to throw together.
My brother-in-law and his family have been put through the wringer this past year, and it looks like they may be starting the journey all over again. Last year, just after Easter, their five year old youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia. He was in the hospital for six straight weeks before he could come home to visit, my sister in law coming home for a visit once a week. Thus began over a year of hospital stays, chemotherapy, low immune system, and a host of other concerns. My nephew lost weight, lost his hair, but retained water due to the cortisone. They just finished the third intensive block of chemo, and are currently down to weekly checkups.
Cancer puts a strain on the whole family. The worries, the fears. Dad and four other children had to learn to get by without mom holding the fort together. There’s an overarching cloud of concern, running through all aspects of life.
But recently their next youngest son, 12, has been exhibiting some health problems. A couple check ups showed something wasn’t quite right, but it could be this or it could be that. His mom worried about cancer, but what are the chances, right? Well, it looks like he does have cancer, in the lymph system. They are currently doing tests to determine exactly what it is and how to proceed.
Bobette, my sister in law, said that she has been sustained by prayers these last few days. They would appreciate any prayers you could offer for them.
It’s sadly ironic. They live in Austria, the country that hates nuclear power, where everything is available as organic. Gaming is in the foothills of the Alps with clean air and pure water. She avoids plastic and cooks real food. Neither parent smokes, the kids play outside. No cell phones allowed. Why, why two kids with cancer??
Which got me thinking about one of the arguments against universal health care in the States, basically, “I don’t want to have to pay for slobs who don’t take care of themselves.” In other words, why should I, who takes care of myself, pay for the health problems of those who smoke/drink/do drugs/eat unhealthy food/are promiscuous/don’t exercise/etc.
Yesterday, it just dawned on me how self-righteous and judgmental that is.
It’s like there’s a ladder of culpability, and there is always someone above saying, “You should have/shouldn’t have done this.”That ladder never ends, though, and there could always be someone thinking that you didn’t do enough.
At the bottom of the ladder is some poor bloke who does it all – smokes, drinks, does drugs, eats fast food and considers walking to the fridge a form of exercise. The mom who cooks from scratch looks down at him, and the raw vegan or paleo eater looks down on mom. The eat-only-organic or exercise guru knows that they have the key to health, while the meditating de-stressor knows that stress has a negative bodily impact. Another diy-er makes all her own cleaning products and won’t let plastic in the house.
Healthy eating, exercise, and all the rest are all good things, but the possible pit fall is that we can become complacent to the sufferings of others because they don’t adhere to our standard of healthy living. There are so many ‘standards’, it’s impossible to live up to them all.
I try to live a health lifestyle within the framework that I have. And I know that it is so easy to be self-righteous. It’s unfortunately easy to imagine a playground full of mothers, whispering among themselves: “They feed their kids sugar, no wonder they have behavioural issues.” “They still eat gluten? No wonder they have diabetes!” “All they do is watch tv, no wonder they are fat.”
Now, I do believe healthy lifestyle is important. That’s one reason why I have this blog, to help others cook nourishing food. Educating others about the impacts of our choices is important. But I can never be smug.
For example, I don’t do drugs, but I’ve never had to overcome an addiction to them either. I can say ‘drugs are bad’, but I can’t say ‘hey you, drug user, all your problems are your own fault and therefore I don’t care.’ Even if a drug is the source of an illness and is, in a sense, self induced, my compassion ought to propel me to help this person.
Most of us do the best we can with the knowledge, budget, and time that we have. Those who aren’t even trying have other problems that need to be resolved, perhaps depression or other mental illness.
And sometimes we do everything right, that we know of. And shit.still.happens. Perhaps there is a hidden cause we find out about, perhaps we will never know why.
So, for those who disagree with universal health care, please don’t argue that you don’t want to pay for the mistakes of others. You yourself can never reach the top of the ladder of culpability, and you never know when you will be the one needing help.
Zucchini, or courgette, is layered like lasagna noodles in this casserole, but eggs are the filling between the layers. Mixed with Italian flavours, this frittata tastes like pizza.
This time of year many of us are looking for a way to use up zucchini. Others are looking for a way to make it palatable to children. And who doesn’t want a super simple recipe? No precooking meat or lasagna noodles. A one pot meal, no stirring involved.
If you can eat cheese or nutritional yeast, by all means throw it in there, it would make a delicious dish even tastier! I only didn’t include it because we can’t eat either at the moment.
I was a bit hesitant to put this recipe up on the blog, as it is rather moist. I thought some people might have a texture issue with it. But after making it for something like the fifth time in a few weeks and having the twins chow it down, I thought I’d share it with you anyway. A dry cheese like Parmesan or nutritional yeast would help dry things up too.
Note: When cooking with zucchini, most recipes call for salting it beforehand to release some water, but I found when I did that it released even more water while baking. So I recommend not salting it before, just slice the zucchini and put it straight in.
- 10 eggs
- 500 g / 2 cups tomato puree
- 4 crushed garlic cloves (+/- according to level of garlic love)
- scant 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil (or 2.5 tbsp dry)
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tbsp dry)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp (unrefined) salt
- nutritional yeast or cheese, optional
- 2 med zucchini (courgettes), about 1 kg/2lbs all together
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk.
- Add in tomato puree and rest of ingredients except zucchini. Whisk until mixed.
- Slice zucchini lengthwise, about 1 cm/1/2 inch thick.
- Pour a third of the egg/tomato mixture (1 1/4 cup) into 9x13 inch pan, spread to cover the bottom.
- Line the pan with zucchini slices on top, like lasagna, wiggling to settle the zucchini into the egg mixture and covering the whole pan.
- Cover with another third of egg mixture, cover with another layer of zucchini, and top with the rest of the egg mixture.
- Bake for about 45 min, until the centre has cooked. The top becomes red; if it becomes brown it will be rather chewy.
- Take out of the oven, cut into squares, serve.