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The Enlightened Za’atar Omelet

Makes 1 Omelet

This is one enlightened omelet. It has been around the block, been filled with all kinds of distractions, been beaten and whipped. It has learned the hard lessons omelets have to learn, but now, enlightened and confident that all has been contemplated, it sits knowing its place in the world and more importantly on your plate.

It’s been a few years now that I have had the luxury of eating eggs that come from happy hens who spend time basking in the sun and frolicking in the grass. Before moving to the Middle East, I scoured the internet for all kinds of information regarding our new soon-to-be home. Admittedly, most of that research was about food. I was confident I’d meet people and find things to do once I got here, but access to quality food was the deal breaker (believe it or not).

What never came up on my hundreds of Google searches is new friends who keep chickens, ducks, and rabbits, for consumption. I didn’t get links showing me the ex-pats doing everything they could to bring this kind of food to what would be our new community. I had no idea people here were also concerned about UHT milk, antibiotics and hormones in meat, eggs and dairy, pesticides on fruits and vegetables and parabens and phtalates in our skincare products. (More on this skincare to come.)

Yet, that’s exactly what I found here; a community passionate and fervently involved in nourishing their families with the best quality foods the Earth has to offer. A community hell-bent on creating community and shaping a positive, loving, au naturel environment to our raise our families in. It’s pretty awesome.

What’s also awesome is that those friends who keep chickens become friends who give away beautiful, free-range, organic, delicious eggs. I can’t really express how grateful I am for this. Eggs are a big part of our diet, and knowing EXACTLY where our eggs come from is a great comfort.

Eggs are recently gaining back some of their superfood status. Fear of cholesterol has kept yolks separated from their whites for far too long. I’ve had egg-white omelets before and they are sad expressions of lost potential. Yolks and whites are meant to be eaten together. Together they are a whole food which means your body knows exactly what to do with all those (yummy) nutrients and your palate knows what to do with all that deliciousness.

I would always recommend eggs from pastured hens, that is, hens that have had the luxury of being outside for as long as they want to be. Stress-free hens that eat what they’re meant to (grasses, bugs, worms, etc.) will yield healthier and tastier eggs. It may sound idyllic, but it’s just going back to basics. Get to know the people who grow and raise your food and you’re one step closer to claiming your health back from factory farms, corporations and pharmaceuticals.

But, I digress. This is what you’ll find in eggs and why we eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner (not in the same day). It’s a perfect protein, has all the B vitamins, especially choline, and are a very rich source of most minerals. They also have a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory fats. As for the cholesterol controversy, well you can do the research and decide where you stand on that, but I’ll leave you with this: We get most of our cholesterol from our own livers which are very busy producing it, and cholesterol is needed for proper cell function as it builds their walls, and to make Vitamin D as well as some hormones.

The other bonus about ex-pat living is that you make friends with other ex-pats who are from all over the world. Without eggs, you wouldn’t have an omelet, and without za’atar, you wouldn’t have this exquisite and exotic omelet. This za’atar came to me via a Lebanese friend, straight from the homeland, straight from mama’s kitchen. Oh the possibilities!

So, we do this meal for any meal of the day. Sides differ, but only according to what greens we have in the fridge. Go on, enlighten your omelets a bit, pair them with some broccoli or arugula (rocket) or a simple green salad and enjoy the deliciousness that resides in simplicity.

You’ll need:

-2-3 pastured eggs (free-range, organic, those labels will work, too)

-1 t pastured butter

-1-2 T Bulgarian Feta (Any feta will do, but Bulgarian Feta is particularly nice.)

-1/2 t za’atar

-1 t fresh parsley, finely cut

-Optional add-ins are: caramelized shallots, sauteéd shiitake mushrooms, sauteéd greens

To make:

1. Crack the eggs gently in a bowl and beat gently with a fork. You want to just incorporate the yolks and the whites, you’re not looking for frothy and bubbly over-mixed eggs.

2. Over medium heat, add butter to a cast iron skillet and let it melt completely before adding the eggs.

3. With spatula in hand, watch as the eggs begin to cook. As they solidify around the skillet, scrape the edges back towards the center to allow more eggs (the liquid eggs still on top) to spill over and cook. Repeat until it’s mostly cooked, but still semi-liquidy. Here is when you add your feta, za’atar and any add-ins if you’re doing so.

4. As soon as you do this, with your spatula, flip one side over the other. This is the American omelet. (The French omelet takes 2 folds.) It should be done in a few seconds.

You don’t want the omelet to brown at all, or not too much anyway.

5. Serve and enjoy immediately!

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