Lovely leftovers make beautiful breakfasts

Raised as I was, in a somewhat grim financial environment, we didn’t save our leftovers and food scraps to be conscious of our “carbon footprint”, or to make a  social/political statement…we saved our leftovers and food scraps because it might be all we had to eat the next day.

On of the greatest food inventions that my Italian ancestors gave the world was the frittata. Wikipedia says this about it:

“Frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelet or quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. It may be flavored with herbs. and such  ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw rather than being laid over the mostly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in a conventional omelet.”

Frittata’s are the perfect foil for food scraps and leftovers, and may be the single greatest “choose your own adventure” food, there is!

I grew up on frittatas, often with some pretty bizarre combinations of ingredients, and I can tell you this…you really can toss just about anything with eggs and a few complimentary ingredients, and create something unique and wonderful.

For me, they’re a trip back to pop’s kitchen, they’re comfort food. I love ’em.

So…for our hautemealz.com subscribers, I have great news…your weekly menu plans are an IDEAL ingredient provider for an almost unlimited variety of these  tasty breakfast dishes, and all those little odds, ends, and extra ounces here and there should be finding there way to a special corner of your fridge!

I took a look at next week’s menu, just as an example, and here are some ingredients you may find yourself with a few leftovers of:

click to enlarge

Again, these are just examples from a single week’s menu plan, so your ingredients (and possibilities) are going to be new every week.

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Based on this list, here are a few frittata adventures that sprung to mind:

The Bruschetta: Bacon, Roma tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh basil leaves, fresh garlic, French Bread (cubed and toasted in butter), and Asiago cheese.

The Farmer’s: ground beef, cremini mushrooms, jalapeno pepper, fresh rosemary leaves, fresh garlic, and sour cream.

The Souk: pork loin chops (diced), Kalamata olives, sweet potatoes, mint leaves, raisins, and sesame seeds.

The Hoagie: deli-sliced turkey, Roma tomatoes, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh thyme, cheddar cheese, and avocado.

Wow…now I’m all hungry!

Okay, so once you’ve decided on the what, here’s the how…it’s pretty easy:

Mix the eggs with some salt and pepper in a bowl until well mixed. Add a splash of milk for taste and consistency. In a second bowl, toss veggies, herbs and spices, and meats together, set aside.

Heat oil or butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Spread it around, then add the egg mixture.

Preheat the oven broiler to high.

Sprinkle any cheeses, as well as your bowl of goodies into the egg mixture. Stir the mixture gently once, and then cook for five minutes, or until it just starts to brown on bottom (use a spatula to lift the edge and peek). Don’t get it too brown, ’cause it’s going to keep cooking in the oven. Don’t worry if it’s still a little runny on top.

Pop the skillet in the oven and broil for a few minutes, watching closely, until the top just starts to brown and bubble.

Pull the skillet out of the oven with an oven mitt. Careful! The skillet handle will be very hot! (If I had a dollar for every time I’ve forgotten that dang oven mitt!) Also, it’s going to be an unconscious response to grab that handle a minute later, when your brain has forgotten that you’ve just pulled it from the oven…

Tip: Leave the oven mitt, or kitchen towel, draped over the handle, just in case.

Pretty easy, huh?

Slice, top each piece with a helping of your fresh toppings, and serve with toast, or as is!

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