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Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Caramelized Onions and Sharp Cheddar

Mariel here. While my son has been snoozing steadily through the night for months now, I’ve been struggling with insomnia pretty much since the day he was born. So that evens out to about 9 months of desperately seeking zzz’s. I’ve tried everything in the book from meditation to melatonin, cutting chocolate to sound machines.

I hit my limit earlier this month and decided it was more than maternal vigilance keeping me awake at night; perhaps pregnancy or the post-partum period had somehow knocked my body chemistry out of whack. While my thyroid tests came back normal, my doc called to let me know that my vitamin D3 levels were unusually low. Apparently when you’re lacking in the “sunshine vitamin” it can knock your body clock out of whack, so she has me taking supplements to help get things back on track. Today is day 1 so I don’t know if it’s working, but in the meantime, I’m doing everything else I can to get a good night’s sleep. While some docs also recommend 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to help boost your levels of D, as a beauty and health writer, I’ve come across far too much research on the dangers of UV exposure – (and I’m way to vain to risk wrinkles). Since I won’t be stepping outside un-sunscreened any time soon, I decided to suss out other natural sources…ones that don’t entail skin cancer or downing a glass of milk, which I hate. Eggs are at the top of that list and I just happen to love frittatas, so this one was a no-brainer. Packed with fresh spring veggies and a generous helping of sharp cheddar – cheese also contains D – this is easy, healthy, feel-good food. Here’s hoping it’s so comforting it puts me right to sleep…

Spring Frittata with Asparagus, Caramelized Onions and Sharp Cheddar Serves 4

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter – stock 1 large yellow onion, diced – $1.19 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar – stock 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed – $2.99 2 teaspoons olive oil – stock 1 bunch green onions, diced – $0.89 8 large eggs – stock 1 cup sharp aged cheddar, diced, divided – $2.40 Salt – stock 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper – stock 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – $1.60 Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $9.07 Cost per serving: $2.26 Directions: 1. Melt the butter in a heavy broilerproof 10-inch-diameter skillet over medium-high heat – be sure to spread the butter up the sides of the pan so that the frittata doesn’t stick when you later add the eggs. Add diced onions, sprinkle with a little salt, reduce heat to med-low and sauté for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently until tender and caramelized. About halfway through the caramelization process, add the balsamic vinegar. 2. Preheat the broiler. Toss the asparagus with olive oil and a little salt and pepper and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil for 4 minutes, then shake the baking sheet and broil for another 4 minutes, or until the ends are starting to turn golden and a bit crispy. Cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside. 3. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add egg mixture, asparagus and green onions to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. 4. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese on top. Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.