Jul 252014

I have been doing daily, hand to hand combat with leftovers this summer. It seems that I have been routinely cooking too much food, either by miscalculating how much my family would enjoy a meal or by how many people would be eating the meal. My refrigerator shelves are a maze of containers full of meat, vegetables and rice or pasta. It’s a daily dilemma deciding what to do with those bits & bobs of meals past.

Eggs are a great partner in the fight to use up food before it has to be thrown away. Today I whipped up a Southwest-flavored frittata for one. It was my lunch, but could easily have been scaled up to feed more people. Here’s my basic “formula” for creating frittata from leftovers.

1. Raid your refrigerator for leftover meats, vegetables and grains or pastas. Chop whatever you choose into bite-sized pieces, keeping in mind that the more ingredients you have the less you’ll need of any single item.

2. Heat olive oil or butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add any uncooked ingredients, like meat or vegetables, and saute until cooked through. Add cooked ingredients (rice, quinoa, macaroni, cooked meat, grilled veggies, salsa, etc.) and heat until warm.

3. Meanwhile beat eggs. Two or three should be enough for a frittata for one person. Feel free to add a splash of water, milk, sour cream or even plain yogurt, along with salt and pepper.

4. Reduce heat to medium low and pour in eggs. Quickly stir to distribute the eggs. Cover and cook until top of eggs are set. Top with shredded cheese and recover to melt for a minute or two. Loosen the edge of the frittata with a spatula and slide onto a plate. Serve with hot sauce or salsa, if desired.

What is your favorite way to use up leftovers?

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads.


Dec 122013

I am literally in the middle of writing my mystery novel right now. Every day is spent squeezing in as many hours writing as I can. A quick lunch is good. When only a few more minutes spent prepping makes the meal really good . . . I’m a happy woman. My brain definitely needs some mid-morning fuel, along with more coffee, to keep writing for the following two hours or so before my kids get home from school.

So I’ve decided to share some of the particularly tasty lunch creations I occasionally invent. I try to keep inexpensive, squiggly blocks of ramen noodles on hand. If I’m really in a hurry I just cook the noodles and make a sauce with light miso (another pantry staple) dissolved in a bit of boiling water. It’s a warm, umami loaded meal for the bitterly cold winter days that have now arrived in Michigan. Yesterday I raided my refrigerator and came up with a slightly more sophisticated version of ramen with a bit of protein from the meat and egg along with a salty, sweet and slightly hot sauce. Of course, you can start with the noodles, egg and sauce then customize to your heart’s content. Add in some cooked chicken, cubed tofu or even leave it out. Adjust the sauce with more sriracha or maybe even a splash of rice wine vinegar or citrus juice. Some vegetables would be lovely, like a handful of frozen peas or bean sprouts added at the end along with the egg. A bit of sesame seeds and some green onion would’ve been delicious sprinkled on at the end. As you can see, it’s a rather homely dish made of brown on tan, but I thought it was very good.

How do you dress up ramen noodles?

Ramen Noodles with Egg Threads & Pork
Recipe type: Lunch
Serves: 1
A quick and inexpensive meal that is much tastier than using the seasoning packet that comes with the noodles
  • 1 - 3 oz. package ramen noodle soup (any flavor)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup cooked pork, finely chopped
  • Sauce:
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 t oyster sauce
  • 1 t brown sugar
  • ½ t sriracha hot sauce
  • ½ t toasted sesame oil
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add ½ of the seasoning packet that comes with the noodles and the block of noodles, broken up a bit to make them easier to eat. Boil noodles for about 2 minutes, or until soft. In the meantime, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. With a fork, quickly stir the noodles and drizzle the beaten egg into the swirling broth/noodles. Add the pork. Heat for another minute or until the meat is warm. Drain in a mesh strainer. Put in bowl and stir in sauce.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads

 December 12, 2013  Posted by  Recipe, Writer's Lunch Tags:  12 Responses »