03/19/2012 11:58 EDT | Updated 05/19/2012 05:12 EDT

Not all Easter eggs have to be hard-boiled: Recipe for Easter frittata

Quiche often graces the table of Easter brunches, but everything that's good about quiche happens to be what's not good for us.

It's rich. It's creamy. It's filled with cheese. And then there is the crust. The buttery crust that holds it all together is not so great for the body. So we decided to do a little remake.

The easy thing to reach for is the frittata. Like an oven-baked omelette, frittatas are easy and puffy and can be filled with lots of delicious ingredients. The only problem is that traditional frittatas are made without a crust. We wanted a crust. We also wanted at least some of the creaminess that makes a quiche, well, a quiche.

For the crust, we opted for a layer of shredded potatoes. They crisp nicely, adding that starchiness that the crust provides, but little of the fat.

For the creamy texture, we went with fat-free half-and-half and eggs studded with lean ham, asparagus, shallots and a touch of gruyere cheese. You can swap out whatever you like for your fillings, but be sure the ingredients are cooked before they go in.

Easter Frittata

Start to finish: 30 minutes

250 ml (1 cup) chopped asparagus (1.5-cm/1-inch lengths)

4 egg whites

2 whole eggs

125 ml (1/2 cup) fat-free half-and-half

Salt and ground black pepper

50 ml (1/4 cup) shredded gruyere cheese

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

2 shallots, sliced

175 ml (3/4 cup) diced smoked ham

500 ml (2 cups) shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F). Fill a medium bowl with ice water.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes or until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove asparagus from boiling water and immediately transfer to ice water. Once asparagus is cool, drain and set aside.

In a blender, combine egg whites, whole eggs, fat-free half-and-half, 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt and 1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper. Blend until smooth. Stir in shredded gruyere.

In a non-stick, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great) over medium, heat oil. Add shallots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add ham, asparagus and blended egg mixture. Stir for 1 minute or until egg just starts to set up.

Sprinkle shredded potatoes over top and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake for 5 minutes on the oven's centre rack or until eggs are set. Increase oven to broil and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and lightly browned.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 130 calories; 40 calories from fat (33 per cent of total calories); 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 1 g fibre; 330 mg sodium.