For the love of chickens and a dairy free frittata

One of the Araucana Americana hens with a Barred Rock hen behind her

Chicken love.  It’s in magazines everywhere lately. I made a run to Barnes & Noble bookstore and picked up a few favorite titles, and this is what I found during that one trip.

A gorgeous Appenzeller Spitzhauben pullet named Heidi sports the cover of the June/July issue of Organic Gardening. Inside, an article models especially fancy schmancy breeds.  Most of my chickens aren’t quite so stylish, but they still sport a certain undeniable chicken splendor.

Black Australops are among my favorite breeds. They are gentle and excellent layers of brown eggs.

In the current issue of Urban Farm (a sister publication of Hobby Farm Home), chickens abound, and there’s a great article on backyard coops in the city. Locally, Oklahoma City still doesn’t allow city chickens (ridiculous), but there are still plenty of people with them ensconced in their backyards. Interestingly, I’m told Edmond, an upscale suburb about twenty minutes south of me (and marching my way), allows up to three hens. No roosters.  In Guthrie, the small town north of us, chickens are encouraged.  Another article in Urban Farm is “Barnyard Backyard” wherein cute bunnies, lambs, sweet-eyed goats, and yes, chickens grace its pages. Editors, take note, this is a great publication full of information and glitzier than its cousin. I’m sure it appeals to Generation Y along with everyone else, and no, I don’t write for them, yet.

Chickens have indeed arrived, again, because everything comes full circle. My grandmother always had a backyard flock in her small town of Commerce, and when I would visit, one of the highlights was going to the coop after supper leftovers in hand.

Egg dishes abound at our house this spring.

So, when I grew up and moved to the country, I keep my own mixed flock of sturdy hens.  I’m often asked, what do I do with all those eggs?  In spring, when hens produce more in their endless dance in the circle of life, we are awash in eggs. I give some away, sell others, and we often have eggs for supper especially during spring.  Omelets, frittatas, and quiche all call out for greens also ready now, and as I whisk up a dish, I’m reminded of my grandmothers making more egg recipes during spring.

This afternoon, Bear and I were home alone as the boys went camping so I decided to make a frittata to go with strawberries picked this morning. I prepped the berries and put some sugar on them. Because I wanted the sugar to draw out their juice, and I was in no hurry, I then went outdoors to feed the chickens and gather the eggs.  I am fortunate to eat eggs laid the same day.  Because we have chickens, and it is spring, I embrace this luxury.

Chickens are very social animals. See this Rhode Island Red talking to her henmates, an Araucana Americana and a Barred Rock

Shaking the pan of berry tops, I called to the flock who gathered at my feet. Chicken joy ensued with much discussion over the berry tops and other scraps.  Inside the coop, I found four hens “on the nest.” Although they have nesting boxes, my hens often want to lay eggs on the floor. I reached under three different girls and pulled out eggs so fresh they were still warm and had the dusky membrane not completely dry. I brought in six of these beauties, along with green onions, spinach, and chard. I added garlic, potatoes and dairy free cheese to create a frittata. The recipe is below.

Alex, my mystery chicken. I don’t know his breed, but the girls are not impressed. He’s a bit of a lone wolf (not by choice).

Although Alex wishes things were different, here, Rocky Rococo is the ruler of the roost. While the chickens ate their treat, Rocky walked about showing them the best pieces of berry. You’d of thought he prepped the berries himself.

Rocky Rococo in his glory. If Alex gets close to Rocky’s hens, Rocky chases him away and then lets go with a trumpeting crow.

I sat and took photos giggling at his antics. Chickens are more entertaining than most TV.

Just brimming with all sorts of good things, don’t you just want a bite?

Dairy-free spinach frittata

A delicious frittata with no dairy.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive, grape or canola seed oil
  • packet hashbrowns
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, kale or chard
  • 2 green onions (sliced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed, sliced or chopped)
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup hemp or almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup dairy free Daiya cheese (Try the Havarti. It's good.)
  • Salt and peppers to taste

Directions

Step 1
Heat oil in broiler proof skillet. Add potatoes and cook until they become a bit crispy (about 10 minutes). Add greens, green onions and garlic and cook until greens are wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Whisk eggs and almond milk together. Pour over potato and veggie mixture.

At this point, you may want to add a bit more salt and pepper to the eggs. Top with cheese substitute.

Cook for ten more minutes on medium until eggs are set. Then, place under broiler until cheese is melted and eggs are slightly brown on top.

Serve with favorite fruit and enjoy.

*If you’d like to make this recipe with dairy, just use Monterey jack cheese and regular cow’s milk instead of the substitutes.

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17 comments on “For the love of chickens and a dairy free frittata

  1. Cindy, MCOK

    You make me want chickens, Dee, for the pleasure of truly fresh eggs. I’d even cook them! Alas, the yard police would not allow even hens here on my corner of Katy. Annie the Terrierist would also be most upset!
    .-= Cindy, MCOK´s last blog ..Three for Thursday: Vitex ‘Montrose Purple’ =-.

  2. Window On The Prairie

    Love the chicken pics, and I’ll have to try that recipe.
    Suzanne

  3. sharon Lovejoy

    LOVED meeting Rocky, Alex, and your “girls.” Such refined little things.

    We enjoyed every second of our time with you and your wonderful family. What a treat to finally talk “live” and in person.

    Sending love,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    P.S. Check out your pictures on my new posting. You look GREAT!

  4. Michelle

    I REALLY want chickens, but my hubby says no…Very sad! He doesn’t want to find someone to look out for them if we go away. We still have to have the garden and the dogs looked after, so what’s a few chickens I say!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Chickens ! =-.

  5. marnie

    Hi Dee, what a handsome rooster.

    I guess I can understand why some people in town wouldn’t want chickens roaming around free (you know some owners wouldn’t keep the chickens penned properly). They would tend to scratch up a flower garden. But on the other hand. if the chickens were kept at home and no roosters to annoy folks, I don’t see a problem.

    I’ve wanted to keep chickens here but between the coyotes and the below zero winters, I haven’t tried.
    Marnie

  6. Gardener on Sherlock Street

    Love Alex. He’s cute! Do your roosters fight a lot? Roosters didn’t last long on my parents’ farm. They were always fighting and chasing us. Mom only wanted hens from the hatchery but a few rooster still came home with us every year.

  7. Oz Girl

    Just popped over from Sarah’s blog (Brit Gal in the USA)…. love your blog! I live just to your north, right over the state line in KS. (We’re only 1 mile from OK.) We’ve got 27 acres, 3 horses, 3 dogs, and 3 cats, and an empty chicken coop. We’ve finally started fixing it up, and I’m hoping to have my own chickens by this fall, or at least next spring fershur! I love the australorps and was planning to get a few of those.

    Great blog here, I love it! 🙂 Have a wonderful week.
    .-= Oz Girl´s last blog ..Springtime Giveaway Winner{s} =-.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Wow! You are one busy girl of remind me of when I first moved out here. If you’re planning on chicks, I’d get them in the spring because winter is hard on them especially in somewhere like Kansas with the wind.~~Dee

  8. Kelly Bundy

    I love all your chicken pictures, Dee! I just love chickens. We are averaging a doz eggs a day. I sold 3 doz at my local farmers market Saturday. It is more rewarding to just give them away though.
    Thanks always for all the good information you post. I’m gonna try your recipe. It looks yummy!
    Have a great week!
    Kelly
    .-= Kelly Bundy´s last blog ..garden shoes =-.

  9. Susan aka Miss R

    I don’t really want chickens–can’t take care of more than I am already and I gave up being super woman with my last corporate job…but am definitely going to make that fritatta. YUM!

  10. wiseacre

    I had chickens in the past and you’re right they’re more entertaining than TV. But so is watching the grass grow these days. We’re preparing to go full circle as soon as I ‘retire’ and don’t have to leave home for extended periods although I’ll skip the milk cow this time.
    .-= wiseacre´s last blog ..Toothpaste Slime Mold =-.

  11. Linda at Meadowview Thymes

    I love garden tours. About a month ago I went on a “Peep at the Coops” tour. It was gardeners that raised “city chicks.” So many unique ways to house the chickens. I was so amazed at each home. Some of those chicks live quite well! 🙂 It was a wonderful tour!

  12. Gloria Bonde

    Hi Dee – Your frittata looks amazing! I will have to try it! Yesterday I made eggs with freshy picked asparagus and some self sown brocolli rabe. Last year I planted the rabe. It makes lots of seed and I have seen it coming up here and there. Your right about Blotanical being hard to navigate especially lately. Thanks for the visit and comment –

  13. mary

    I grew up with chickens, ducks, and geese. We always had eggs! We kept the geese to work the cotton. Dad also raised turkeys for a while.
    .-= mary´s last blog ..Photo Albums =-.

  14. rebecca sweet

    Lovely chicken post, Dee! I’m on my third round of chickens right now, and mine are only about 7 weeks old (Delaware variety this time as they’re supposed to be quieter – we’ll see about that!). I agree with you – they’re SO much more entertaining than TV. My 14 year old daughter comes home from school every day and we go outside to just ‘hang with the girls’ – perfect way to relax! Will print out your frittata recipe and file away until they start laying eggs – looks delicious!

  15. compostinmyshoe

    I grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Ohio and we always had chickens. You are right about full circle. Organic gardening, fresh food from the garden, composting. I’m back around like I’m 10 years old and not sure if I can build the new chicken coup by myself this time around!
    .-= compostinmyshoe´s last blog ..It’s the Most….. Wonderful Time…of the Year =-.

  16. Lisa at Greenbow

    Not only do I want a bite, I want chickens. We can’t have them here. WAAAHHHHHH
    I keep purchasing publications about chickens. I enjoy them vicariously. Ha..