Sunday, September 18, 2011

Doing something with the food in the fridge

As I was sitting on the couch yesterday, exhausted by the week and that morning's early wake-up (I don't do single digits on weekends), I began to get hungry. I ran through all the possibilities of food delivery (too tired to go get anything myself), but nothing seemed appetizing. I've been eating out so much lately that all I really wanted was a home-cooked meal. There's really no place around here that offers that, delivery or not, except Whole Foods, and even they rarely have what I'm craving. That, and it's all leftovers that have been sitting out for a while...not something they whipped up just for me. I have issues with leftovers, if you didn't know. And by issues, I mean I don't eat them. Gross.

Anywhos, we get veggies and fruit delivered every Monday and usually half the stuff goes bad or it's eaten in its raw form. The fruit is usually eaten, but I have problems getting all the vegetables gone before they decompose in our refrigerator. We got some delicious (and normal!) stuff this past week so it would've been a shame to let it go to waste. And that's how yesterday's search for a good recipe began.

Let me tell you, finding an acceptable recipe that contains broccoli, leeks, and red peppers is harder than I anticipated. I mean, there's lots of things that use those ingredients, but not many use only those ingredients. Try to throw some celery and potatoes in there and you're screwed.

It's also incredibly difficult to find a simple stir-fry recipe. Most combine four or five different sauces that I don't have and will probably never find a use for. I'm hesitant to buy them if I don't know the outcome of my meal. If I like it, then awesome and I will definitely find a use for the sauce, but unlikely.

After much searching, I decided on a frittata, which is a cross between an omelette and a quiche. I remember the Italian family on whose farm I worked for a few months used to whip this up whenever they didn't feel like making a four-course feast for lunch or dinner, which didn't happen very often. I think I ate frittata about four times during the three months I was there.

I digress. It's essentially any leftover veggies, cheese, and/or meat, coated in a whole bunch of eggs, and fried/baked for 15 minutes or so. In other words, I could throw anything I found in the fridge into this thing! Although I've never been a fan of egg products (I don't know how to make scrambled eggs...for real) I remembered enjoying this so I gave it a shot. And I need to have more eggs in my diet in general, so this seemed like a good place to start.

So here is the recipe I tried. I used it to gauge the egg to veggie ratio as well as the method of cooking. You can also just fry the whole thing on the stove and then put that in the broiler to finish it off, but I prefer baking it for three reasons:

  1. I don't have to stand over the stove and flip the eggs so they don't burn. Lazy wins out again!
  2. I can then put the whole pie pan in the fridge for tomorrow, which takes up less space than a skillet.
  3. I don't feel comfortable putting my skillet in a 350 F oven. I love it too much to let something bad happen to it.

Below is the recipe, courtesy of MyRecipes. You can substitute the veggies and the type of cheese, and also add meat. I used 6 whole eggs instead of 4 eggs and 4 egg whites, mostly because I only had 7 eggs but also because I didn't know what to do with 4 egg yolks. This makes 6 servings, by the way.

Frittata with Broccoli, Potato, and Leeks


  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup chopped cooked peeled red potato
  • 2/3 cup (2.7 ounces) shredded fontina cheese, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek; sauté 6 minutes.
  3. Press broccoli between several layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Add leek mixture, broccoli, potato, and 1/3 cup cheese. Pour into a 9 1/2-inch-deep dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until center is set.
  4. Preheat broiler.
  5. Place frittata on center rack of oven; broil 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Nutritional Information (Amt. per Serving)

  • Calories: 185
  • Calories from fat: 0.0%
  • Fat: 7.7 g
  • Saturated fat: 3.7 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 13.2 g
  • Carbohydrate: 15.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 137 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg
  • Sodium: 423 mg
  • Calcium: 153 mg
The next step in my starting to cook again is using MyRecipe's 1 List, 5 Meals series where they give you a shopping list of ~30 ingredients with 5 different dinner meals to make from it. Although I don't always like all of their suggestions, most are designed for 4-6 people so I can eat leftovers in place of a meal I don't like. And these leftovers are always good for lunch too. Double win. As you can see, I'm trying to get over my dislike of leftovers.

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