So, awkward but.

My brother gave me an ugly sweater for Christmas.  Okay wait.  That’s not quite right.  He didn’t give me an ugly sweater.  He gave me an “ugly sweater”.

Do you see the difference?


I don’t think I’m being clear.  Either that, or you guys didn’t take the class in EatsWellWithOthers Semantics and Euphemisms 101 in college.  It’s okay. I’ll speed you up.

An ugly sweater is a sweater that just happens to be ugly in the eye of the beholder.  An “ugly sweater” is a sweater that was made to be ugly in the eye of every beholder.

Basically, the way my brother tells the story is that he went into a vintage thrift store and asked the owner for the three ugliest Christmas sweaters they had.

You know the ones I’m talking about.  The ones you wouldn’t be caught dead out of the house in because they remind you of something that your 90-year-old kindergarten teacher would wear that you thought was so cool back in the day.


Right.  So Daniel thought it would be “so funny” if he got one for each of us (my sister, himself, and I) and made us pose for blackmail photos in them in front of the Christmas tree.

And then we’d burn them or gift them to my grandmother or my mother would wear them to amuse her preschool class.

Except. His plan totally backfired. Because Dana and I wore them. All. Day. Long.

They were the best.

They were the best at keeping us warm since I had to keep the door open to prevent my lungs from closing due to dog allergies.  (Bonus shot of my parents’ adorable puppy.  How could I possibly keep my hands off her?)


And they were also the best at hiding our burgeoning bellies after we ate Italian bread. And mozzarella.  And puffy pastry baked brie bites.  And rainbow cake.  And salad.  And buckeyes.

Really…these things were big enough to fit two of me inside.  Maybe more.  And so I may or may not have attempted to eat for two.  No comment.


Anyway, as they say, you can’t sweat the small stuff and you can’t sweat Christmas cookie calories (at least not the ones that were eaten on Christmas Eve/Day).  All you can do is pick your butt off of the couch.  Cook up some super healthy food.  And go for a run.

Wait. What?  Run?

Oh. Yes.

Tomorrow, December 29th, is my official “Return to Running” date.  I might try to convince my boss it’s a national holiday and take off from work. You should do the same.

One would think that after two stress fractures and a whole slew of muscle injuries, I would have given up on running by now.  But the thing about running is that when it’s good…it’s the best.  (At least for me.)  I can’t explain the feeling of lacing up my shoes and pounding out step after step, mile after mile.  It’s like a high, but it’s not just reserved for the endorphin rush after the run is over. No. It’s every foot in front of the other.  Every hill.  All of it.  It makes me feel alive.

Hence the quote.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about or crave running.  And that’s why I can’t just give up or trade in my running shoes for a road bike.  Because living without ever feeling that elation…isn’t really living at all.

This motto can be applied to lots of healthy living goals.  Eating right, losing weight, hitting the gym.  If you want it so badly that it hurts, then giving up isn’t an option.  Even after an indulgent day or a bad run or a week off from the gym, just get back up and try again tomorrow.  It’ll be worth it.

After all of that indulgent holiday fare, I made sure to get right back on track on December 26th.  Because let’s be honest.  Although I do have a soft spot in my heart (and thighs) for that oversized ugly sweater…there’s no way I’m wearing it to a New Year’s Eve party.

So I picked up one of my favorite healthy eating inspiration cookbooks – Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day – and decided to make this frittata.  Amazing.Delicious.  The Thai red curry flavor was subtle and the hints of spice went so well with the sweet onions and broccoli.  Heidi as a way of consistently pairing simple ingredients and flavors and turning them into something miraculous.  And this was no exception.  Hence why it is my PRINT healthy living inspiration for the week (though we’re really posting about TV today…but I may or may not have gotten my alphabetical order confused last week).

Before you dive into the recipe, you should know that I don’t make the frittata the typical way by cooking it in a cast-iron skillet half on the stove and half in the oven. Instead, I took inspiration from Pam and baked it in a 10-inch tart pan.  Which worked out awesomely.

So tell me, what are some of your favorite healthy cookbooks?  And be sure to check out Cate’s, Sarah’s, and Patsy’s blogs today for some more Eat.Live.Be. inspiration!

Frittata with Thai Red Curry, Broccoli, Shallots and Feta Cheese
Serves 4, adapted from Super Natural Every Day


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz fingerling potatoes, sliced into paper thin rounds
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • about 8 oz broccoli, chopped
  • 8 large eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onions, potatoes, shallots and two big pinches of salt.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the broccoli and cook for another minute or two, until they soften up a bit.  Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp curry paste into the eggs.  In a 10-inch tart pan, put half of the veggie mixture.  Pour in the eggs.  Top with the remaining vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle the top with feta cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until set.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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73 Responses to Frittata with Thai Red Curry, Broccoli, Shallots and Feta Cheese…Eat.Live.Be.

  1. 1) Love the ugly sweater story. 2) This recipe looks wonderful! 3) Good luck with your return to running tomorrow! Loved your description of what running means to you. Well said 🙂

  2. Simply Life says:

    ha, you’re brother sounds like quite the character- I was hoping for a pic of the sweater but this delicious frittata has distracted me enough 🙂

  3. I love all the delicious layers in this frittata! Ha I love that you and your sister wore the sweaters, I would have done the same… especially if it meant I had room for more dessert!

    Jumping up and down for your return to running!!

  4. Claudia says:

    I need this in my life – now. Even have the ingredients. Won’t the family be surprised when they wake up…

    I used to run. Sigh. Used to. Maybe I should resign myself to the ugly Christmas sweater routine – except I don’t own one.

  5. That Girl says:

    Your brother is awesome. Mine would do something very similar if we did Christmas.

  6. Beth says:

    What? No sweater photo?

    Never mind. A healthy recipe is a close second!

  7. I love this. Its like a heavenly dish of nothing but the best ingredients! YUM

  8. Mary F says:

    Hi! Found your blog through a comment on Beyond The Peel. (Nope, Not a stalker. Promise.)

    My running days are long over but I can (an do)still eat and I do have an “ugly sweater” from 197something that I just can’t bear to part with.

    The fritatta looks incredibly good. It has um, let me think… 9 of my favorite ingredients in it and I love that I have all of them on hand right now.

    Following you now through RSS and looking forward to checking out more recipes. Have a very Happy New Year!

  9. It sounds like you guys had a fun time during Christmas parading in the “ugly sweater.” Daniel must be a hoot.

    This frittata is what is needed after the holiday feasting frenzy. Love the idea of creating it in a tart pan.

  10. Danielle says:

    What – no picture of the ugly sweater?

  11. Foodycat says:

    “ugly sweaters” seem to be very fashionable this year!

    That frittata looks delicious – enjoy the return to running!

  12. Lizzy says:

    You know I love anything with thai chili paste! Adding this to my weekly menu- can’t wait for it!

  13. Mo Diva says:

    i am such a fan of frittata. The only problem i have with it is that I cant stop eating it! therefore, i only make single servings. 🙂
    Lately, I have been reading Not a cook book but Gina takes our favorite dishes and turns them into healthy knock offs… love her.

  14. Ha, love the sweater backstory. Hope the return to running goes smoothly! This frittata sounds like a great way to get back on track!

  15. We seriously have to see those pictures! Although I can totally picture them.

    Fritata looks amazing!

  16. Amy says:

    Paul and I have joked about taking a holiday picture with an ungodly amount of make-up, stupid bow in my hair…and ugly sweaters. Maybe I’ll borrow yours!

    I’ve been engaging in my Insanity regimen (on and off) for the past month, in an effort to balance out all the fudge. I much prefer the fudge.

  17. There’s another more practical version of the saying: beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder:)
    Why don’t you let us decide whether its ugly or not? This reminds me of a Russian saying “its better to see something once than hear about it a hundred times”. Get the subtle hint:)
    BTW I had frittata for lunch today. With so many people in the world chances of having the same lunch as someone else will happen but its exciting to hear anyway:)

  18. well to pay back your brother just give him a gift card to an ethnic restaurant. since we all know how much he hates eating there. best revenge.

  19. Oh yes, this tart looks fabulous. BUT, you don’t know how disappointed I was to make it to the end of the post and not see a picture of you guys in your “ugly sweaters”!

  20. Michele says:

    That dish looks amazing! I want to see the pic of your ugly sweater! No fair.

  21. I was just thinking about making a friatta! And I’m stepping up my running from two to three days next week–I’ve been easing my way back in! Here’s to less spinning, more running!

  22. brocstar says:

    I was hoping for a picture of that sweater.
    Congrats on making it to Dec 29 (almost!) Last time I was injured, I had a paper on my fridge where I drew a running man stick figure every day for the 6 weeks I was off. I was elated when I drew the last one! I still keep it up to remind myself to keep my body healthy and respect my limits.

  23. Oh, I like the sound of a spicy frittata. Your photo really looks good. It is funny about the “ugly Christmas sweater”. They were the big must do this season…so funny.

  24. I’m waiting to see the picture of you in the ugly sweater! he he Your frittata look super yummy!! I’m so glad you get to start running again!! Funny how we miss those kind of things!

  25. Pierce says:

    That pup is heartbreakingly cute!!!!!!!!!

  26. Aw, no “ugly sweater” photo? Love the story though 🙂

    This frittata sounds amazing, just the thing I need to get back into cooking after days of leftover xmas food.

  27. I want to see the sweater now, lol…well at least it kept you warm, and your parents pup is so cute!
    This friiata is just delightful and loaded with goodies, love the photos too 🙂
    Happy New Year, wishing you an amazing 2012

  28. Elizabeth says:

    Good luck with the running! I’m doing phys therapy for a patella condition, so someday in the future I will have my own return to running day.

  29. OohLookBel says:

    Cute puppeee FTW! My brother gave me a massive bag of chocolate, so pimples here they come. I love frittatas, and this is a good one.

  30. Eggs and cheese with a thai twist? I’ll be over for the leftovers, thanks.

  31. Nicole says:

    Good luck on your return to running! That is so exciting. Getting back after a break or an injury is so exhilarating!

    That frittata is gorgeous. The way you capture photos of your dishes is a serious talent!

  32. Reeni says:

    The frittata look amazing! And doggie too cute. Sweater pictures? Enjoy your run!

  33. Sarah says:

    I am totally drooling over that frittata. I love Thai Red Curry (I dip baked fries in Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce from Trader Joe’s … don’t judge). And I love the story of the sweaters. So funny.

  34. vianney says:

    first off that doggie is TOO CUTE!! love that daniel’s idea backfired, too funny. I wish you the best on your first run!!! yummy!

  35. I would love to see a picture of that sweater!! Next post? 🙂
    Your fritata looks amazing {as usual}! Can I come stay at your place and just eat

  36. So, um, I have about a dozen Ugly Sweaters. True stories. Really. They have appliqued trees, and jingly bells, and … well, they’re something that only someone who works at a school would wear. But, wait. That’s where I work! I bought mine on Etsy and in Vintage shops. (My weird sense of humor.) People love them. But, I can get away with it. That’s what working in a school is all about. I dig ’em out every Christmas with a Grinch-type smile. I’m back in detox. You’re a good influence on me. So, um, is that Ugly Sweater for sale? I need more.

  37. Christine says:

    Isn’t “fashion history” amazing and so dysfunctional in retrospective? I don’t have ugly sweaters but have (actually had) ugly blue denim shirts from the ’80’s with the same type of holiday decorations and sewn in shoulder pads no less. Whatever was I thinking? And, this is the kicker, I actually wore them in public back then!! The frittata has gone on my list of “to make”, thank you! Looks so good.

  38. That is one of my favourite books, and as it turned out I was just looking at that recipe today when I was looking for some inspiration for my dinner. It ended up getting bookmarked as it turned out I was all out of Thai red curry paste. Made the Tortellini Salad instead, which was also insanely good.

    Wishing you much joy and happy running for the New Year, and hoping that you don’t have to wear the sweater to your New Year’s Eve party.


  39. Debbie says:

    What a funny post! I can relate to these sweaters. Ugh…when my kids were little lots of school moms would wear these and I would just cringe!!!! Joanne, you mentioned rainbow cake in your post and I am a rainbow cookie nut! Was this cake homemade and do you have the recipe. I would LOVE to try and make a rainbow cake……

  40. Lora says:

    Ugly Christmas sweaters rock but not as much as this fritatta. Thai red curry? Sign me up. Happy running and happy new year!

  41. marla says:

    Glad you survived the dog…this frittata looks AMAZING!! xo

  42. We don’t get to see the pic of the ugly sweater in front of the tree?
    The fritatta looks amazing! Good luck with the run.

  43. Geni says:

    I am totally pouting! 🙁 See? WHERE’S the “ugly sweater” pic? Not fair. This dish looks wonderful though…I just may forgive you.

  44. YOU GO GIRL! Make running your bitch 😉 And I think it should be illegal for siblings to give each other clothing. Just…no lol

  45. Nicole, RD says:

    YUM! I love red curry paste and always looking for ways to use my little supply of it 🙂 I love the story about the sweaters – too funny. My mom has a sweatshirt (technically, not a sweater) and it has PUFF PAINT on it. My brother and I tried convincing her that it was not “cute” and that it should be burned. She wore it soooo much more after we rebelled against her Christmas sweatshirt!

  46. haha fun! so where’s the pic of the ugly sweater? those are the best 🙂

  47. We don’t get to see photos of the “ugly sweaters?” Boo! I was in the laundromat the other day and noticed a girl washing many, many, many “ugly sweaters”…there must have been at least 20 of them. It was super odd!

  48. kyleen says:

    LOL love the story about the ugly sweaters. I actually love “ugly sweaters”. My mom knitted a sweater for my dad some twenty odd years ago, which he never wore, so now I wear it. That totally makes sense, right?

    Love this frittata. It looks so yummy!

  49. Deborah says:

    I wish I felt that way about running! It’s a chore for me. But I’m so excited for you – today is the big day! You truly are an inspiration.

  50. rebecca says:

    vegetarian yumminess! and an ADORABLE pup to boot. 🙂

  51. Sounds yummy Joanne. I really don’t make frittatas enough and this one sounds great. I love the NON boring flavors you typically use.

  52. Chris says:

    You big tease. I can’t believe you didn’t post a picture of the three of you in the ugly sweaters!

    Hope that you are too busy out running to read this comment right now.

  53. teresa says:

    i want to see the sweaters! 🙂 i think ugly holiday sweaters are the new black, i see them every where these days. plus they’re so dang comfy, i hope they never go out of style.

    i love this dish, and i love the new years goals. i so wish i was a runner, but it turns out i’m more of a lifter. maybe this year i’ll endeavor to be both. good luck to all you runners this new year!!

  54. I remember my daughter going to an “ugly sweater” party a few years ago. Wish you would show us the photo!

    Your frittata looks delicious and loaded with the carbs you’re going to need to get back into running. Have fun!

  55. Dana says:

    First, good for you! You are inspiring. Second, BE CAREFUL. (Sorry, I’m a mom.) Third, we are going to a New Year’s Day brunch and I was assigned eggs and I can’t tell you how much I wish I could make something like this but our group is a little, um, unadventurous. Bummer.

  56. Maria says:

    Fabulous flavor going on!

  57. This is a great looking frittata! And cute puppy too.

  58. I have an “ugly sweater” that I wear to school every year at Christmas- my kids love it. 🙂 This frittata sounds like a wonderful healthy choice after holiday indulgences. (Love that cookbook too!) Hope you have a Happy New Year! 🙂

  59. tigerfish says:

    I like that you are so focused on running! I have more to improve in this aspect. 🙂

    The frittata with Thai curry flavors sounds delicious.

    Happy New Year!

  60. Kerstin says:

    I love all the goodies you packed into that frittata and yay for running again!!

  61. Great flavour combos! And where is the sweater pic?

  62. Kevin says:

    This frittata sounds so good! I really like the use of the Thai red curry paste in it.

  63. If it were only cold enough for big ugly sweaters here. 😉 This frittata looks amazing in that tart pan–love all of the ingredients.

  64. Johanna GGG says:

    I so hoped you would share a pic of the ugly sweater – is it very bridget jones? Or any good for running in? Hope you enjoy your running – must be so nice in the cold (as opposed to our oppressive heat) and then enjoy a big slice of frittata – must check out that cookbook again – one of my fave healthy cookbooks is an australian one called Vikki Leng’s Vegetarian Feast

  65. I’m going to need proof of this so called “ugly sweater” . . . I love a good frittata! Looks fabulous =D

  66. Nicole says:

    Holy wow – that looks amazing!!! And the dog – yes cutie pie!

  67. Completely in love with this frittata! So many delicious things in there, and I’m happy to see you baked it in a tart shell because I don’t have a cast iron skillet. And I love that your brother got you all ugly sweaters!! How awesome. Cute dog. 🙂 My current favourite healthy cookbooks are Appetite for Reduction, Extraveganza and Vegan Yum Yum.

  68. Shannon says:

    Mmmm, another winner. Love me some breakfast for dinner (i’m thinking dinner right now b/c it’s 7:30pm and i’m still in lab) Cute pup, not so cute allergies 🙁

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