Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Place Winner - Spicy Zucchini Omelet

July was a busy month for me, but somehow I found a sliver of time to participate in the Summer 2011 Dining on a Dollar Contest on It's always a surprise to me when I enter more than one recipe in a contest to see which one gets the most attention. There is always one that I put the most time and effort into, convinced that it's the best creation, and there is always one (or maybe two) that I feel are good, but not great. It amazes me that the less I over-think a recipe the more attention it gets. Someday I might learn that it's always going to be that way and I'll quit over-thinking... well, maybe.

This contest was no different though, and after toiling for days over two over-constructed, over-thought and out-of-the-box recipes, I just needed to use up the rest of the contest ingredients and submit the two best recipes. It was breakfast time, on a day when Bryan and I were both off work, and the "genius" recipe I had planned on winning the contest with was a total flop! We still needed to eat, but I wasn't going to make my family suffer that atrocious creation. The Mystery Muffins went straight into the garbage and I took one last look at the list of contest ingredients.

I needed to use five ingredients from the list, and one of them had to be zucchini to qualify. I scanned the cluster of vegetables and spices already on my counter top and gathered the shredded zucchini, eggs, cumin, purple onion and jarred salsa. Before I knew it I was cooking up an omelet to feed the family. When we sat down to eat and my feedback was all positive, I realized I could submit this recipe for the contest instead of one of the other two I had planned on. It was really down to the wire for submissions and I hadn't done any "work" on the recipe, but at this point I had nothing to lose.

I've had several recipes in the top 5 or 10 over the years, but the fun of contests for me is simply the challenge of creating a new, original recipe, using specific ingredients. Often there are ingredients I wouldn't normally pair up that turn out surprisingly good. I was delighted to see my omelet in the number one spot this round, but especially surprised when it stayed there and took home the first place win! I'd like to share the slightly revised recipe. After all the reviews were in I took the main suggestion to saute the onion and zucchini before adding to the egg mixture. This is probably something I would have done anyway, had I considered what I was doing contest-worthy, and not just a way to use up the ingredients and quiet the natives. Feel free to substitute white onion for the purple, reduce the number of eggs, and even add some garlic, if desired. Enjoy!

Spicy Zucchini Omelet

2 tablespoons purple onions, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh zucchini, shredded (squeeze tightly to remove moisture)
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cold water
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons salsa (medium to hot)
sour cream (optional for serving)

1. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat on medium heat. Saute the onion and zucchini to soften, but not brown.
2. Meanwhile, add the water, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to the eggs and lightly beat to combine.
3. Pour egg mixture into skillet, over the onion and zucchini, stir quickly to combine and then allow it to cook, untouched, for about 3 minutes.
4. Using a rubber spatula, gently lift egg around the edges, pushing slightly in toward the center, to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 3-4 minutes, or until the top is mostly set.
6. Pour the salsa in a straight line from one end of the omelet to the other, just off center.
7. Gently pick up the opposite side of the omelet with your spatula and quickly fold it over onto the salsa.
Serve with sour cream and additional salsa.
Serves: 3-4, Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 8 minutes


  1. Congratultions on your win! I have been negligent with since I started my blog. I admit when it was Reciezaar,I was there ALL the time. You are inspiring me to go more often.
    What a simple yet great recipe; love it.

  2. Thanks, Rita! I'm not there 24/7 anymore either since I started the bakery, but I'm trying to get back into it since I'm not cooking much at home anymore and I really miss it. :)


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