These frittatas are a great alternative to sandwiches and pack a protein punch.
The quinoa is a protein booster, but there’s not too much in these to be off-putting to fussier kids.
According to the Australian Government Ministry of Health, for a girl aged between 9 and 13, the RDI of protein is 35g. At about 9g varied protein in each, these delicious treats definitely boost daily protein intake. Mine would probably need 2 of these in their lunchbox.
Eggs provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids, in a form we can easily absorb. Plus, baby spinach is loaded with Vitamin A and C, as well as providing a sustained energy release. And with the cheese and cream, you get a great calcium kick.
- Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 6 x 1/2 cup texas muffin pan with patty pans.
- Rinse a 1/4 cup quinoa in water and then combine with 1/2 cup water in a pot. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 13-14 minutes or water has evaporated and quinoa is cooked.
- Combine 200ml pure cream or milk and 3 eggs by gently whisking in a bowl. Just combine, don’t overwhisk.
- In each pan, tear a small handful of baby spinach leaves (about 60g in total). If you like, a little chopped basil here is good too if you happen to have some in the fridge.
- Sprinkle each with about a tablespoon of cooked quinoa.
- Drain 2 x 95g tins of tuna of the brine and divide amongst the pans**.
- Slowly pour the egg/cream mixture over each frittata. Fill so there is about a half-cm gap below the top of the paper patty pan.
- Top each with a sprinkle of tasty cheese (divide about 60g in total), and a halved cherry tomato.
- Drizzle a small amount of caramelized balsamic vinegar over each.
- Cook in oven about 25 minutes or until puffed and golden and there is only a very slight jiggle in the centre of each when you gently shake the pan.
- Cool completely in the pan before chilling in the fridge to firm up. These freeze well too so you could make a larger batch ready for lunchbox filling at any old time.
** Instead of tuna, you could use anything you know your kid will like – could be drained tinned butter beans, shaved ham, shredded poached chicken, drained tinned salmon, smoked salmon, hot smoked trout etc etc
For more info on protein, see our protein lunchbox guide.