Meal prep these protein and veggie packed Muffin Tin Veggie Frittatas for a quick breakfast made more delicious with my secret ingredient.
I’m proud to partner with Ajinomoto to bring you this blog post. I was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own and I was not paid to publish positive comments.
Meal prepping is key to helping busy people live healthier. After all, surveys reveal the number one reason people skip breakfast is lack of time. My tasty Muffin Tin Veggie Frittatas make breakfast easy with the bonus of 4 different veggies to help you jump start your produce intake for the day. And, I used a secret ingredient to help lower the sodium by 25%- MSG!
What is MSG?
Yes, I said MSG. MSG seasoning is also known as umami seasoning. Umami is the core fifth taste—scientists identified umami taste receptors on the human tongue in 2002 (alongside sweet, salty, sour and bitter taste buds). Meaning, umami is an inherent taste universally enjoyed. To get technical, umami is the taste of glutamate, an amino acid that is one of the building blocks of protein. Glutamate occurs naturally in the human body and in many delicious foods we eat every day, including, but certainly not limited to, aged cheeses, cured meats, tomatoes, mushrooms, salmon, steak, anchovies, green tea and more. Glutamate is even present in breastmilk! Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a seasoning that combines sodium (like that in table salt) with glutamate, the most abundant amino acid in nature. MSG separates into sodium and glutamate when it’s exposed to water in foods or saliva in the mouth, which is why the body cannot distinguish between the glutamate naturally present in foods (such as Parmesan cheese) and added MSG.Meal prep these protein and veggie packed Muffin Tin Veggie Frittatas for a quick breakfast made more delicious with my secret ingredient. #ad Click To Tweet
MSG is a quick and easy way to deliver savory deliciousness to foods and added dimension to flavors. It can be used to build savory, rounded flavors that enhance plant-based dishes. The reason I’m interested in MSG is for sodium reduction. In cooking, one part MSG to two parts table salt gives foods a flavor boost while decreasing sodium by 25 percent, compared to table salt. That’s a big difference and as a nation, we simply consume too much sodium.
How do we know MSG is safe?
Before you ask, it’s been widely established that MSG is safe to consume. Over the past 30 years, scientists, regulatory agencies, and public health organizations have verified MSG’s safety. So how did MSG receive a bad rap? The answer is, there is no legitimate scientific reason. In 1968, a letter to the editor of a prestigious medical journal described the author’s anecdotal account of generalized weakness, palpitations and numbness in the arms after eating at a Chinese restaurant. He noted that any number of ingredients may have caused his symptoms – sodium, alcohol from the cooking wine, MSG. However, the letter spawned the idea that MSG may be associated with such symptoms, which was coined “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.” (7) So it was a “fake news” issue not centered in science. Over the last 30 years, American scientists have independently verified that MSG is safe to consume using validated scientific methods. Health experts have endorsed the safety of MSG based on extensive scientific research and a long history of use around the world. (1-4) Some people identify themselves as sensitive to MSG, however, reactions have not been consistently demonstrated in double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials. (4-6) In fact, MSG is not considered an allergen. (5) Also, the International Headache Society removed MSG from its list of causative factors for headaches in January of 2018. (6)
Simply put, MSG has been used worldwide in cooking for centuries. If you grew up with an Ac’cent seasoning container in your kitchen, you were enjoying it too. I love the flavor boost it provides to eggs and vegetables. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- ½ red bell pepper, diced (approx. ½ cup)
- 3 medium/large white mushrooms, diced (approx. 1 cup rounded)
- ½ medium onion, diced (appox. ½ cup rounded)
- a few fresh spinach leaves, ripped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup liquid egg whites (4 whites)
- ¼ cup 1% milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Ac’cent seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ounces reduced fat (2%) shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese, divided
- Heat a skillet on medium/high heat, add olive oil and sauté peppers, mushrooms and onions until soft, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add spinach and stir until wilted.
- Remove veggies from heat as set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Combine eggs, whites, milk, Ac’cent, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Stir in 2/3 of the cheese and veggies.
- Grease muffin tins well with oil.
- Pour egg mixture into tins (about 1/3 cup each). Top with remaining cheese.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes until set, do not overcook.
- Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.
- Remove frittatas and place on a rack to cool.
- Refrigerate and reheat leftovers to enjoy for up to 5 days.
For a balanced breakfast, I suggest pairing 2 frittatas with whole grain toast, a small bowl of oatmeal or high fiber cereal and a piece of fruit. 🙂
What questions do you have regarding MSG? Look for more of my recipes and videos coming soon!
PIN FOR LATER
- JECFA. Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. (1988). L-glutamic acid and its ammonium, calcium, monosodium and potassium salts In: Toxicological evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants. 97–161. New York: Cambridge University Press.
2. SCF. Scientific Committee for Food. (1991). Reports of the Scientific Committee for food on a first series of food additives of various technological functions, Commission of the European Communities, 25th Series. Brussels, Belgium.
3. FASEB. Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology. (1995). Analysis of adverse reactions to monosodium glutamate. Washington, DC: Life Sciences Research Office – FASEB.
4. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. (2003). Monosodium Glutamate A Safety Assessment. 20: 1-36.
5. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy: Assessment of the Global Burden, Causes, Prevention, Management, and Public Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
6. IHS. International Headache Society. (2018). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd Edition. 38(I) 1–211.
7. Kwok R. H. M. (1968). Chinese-restaurant syndrome [letter]. New England Journal of Medicine, 278, 796.