The Protein Power of Perico

This popular Venezuelan breakfast dish is typically served with bread or stuffed into arepas. Its colorful name means "parakeet" in Spanish. In this recipe, we use just egg whites for extra protein -- studies have also shown that egg whites include essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium. By itself, egg white has a bland flavor which allows it to pick up the flavors of the peppers and onions used here.   Makes 4 servings.



    Ingredients: 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 cup Spanish onion, finely chopped
    1 Bell pepper (red, green or yellow), finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
    1 pint egg whites*
    Salt and pepper -- to taste
    *Egg whites are readily available in the dairy section of your grocery but if hard to find, use the egg whites of 8 extra large eggs. You can freeze the yolk individually for future use and use them in recipes such as tiramisu, hollandaise sauce and puddings, to name a few.


    Step 1: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-heat and finely chop peppers, onions and garlic.


    Step 2: Add the onion, pepper and garlic to skillet and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion is softened and translucent.


    Step 3: In the meantime, cut and seed tomatoes.


    Step 4: Add tomatoes to skillet and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.


    Step 5: Reduce heat to medium low, add the egg whites, salt and pepper and cook, gently stirring the eggs occasionally. Scramble them just long enough to cook them through while keeping them soft. For firmer eggs, cook a bit longer, about 10 minutes.


    Step 6: Serve with bread or arepas and a couple of cubes of queso blanco.
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