Category Archives: Vegetarian Friday

Vegetarian Friday: Easy veggie frittata

This frittata goes together quickly and is a great way to use up leftover vegetables. This is more a method than a recipe, as you can substitute any kind of cheese and any kind of vegetable you want and adjust your spices accordingly. If I were making it again, I’d leave out the squash in favor of mushrooms — which have a more assertive texture after an hour in the oven — and add some green chile. Mozzarella and pizza toppings would give it an Italian flavor.

Ingredients:
About 3 cups of chopped vegetables (I used onions, celery, peppers, squash, tomatoes and cilantro)
Olive oil
Handful of any kind of cheese, shredded or crumbled (I used a Mexican blend I had on hand and added some homemade taco seasoning to give it a Southwestern spin)
Four eggs, beaten
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or pie pan with cooking spray and set it aside. (I recently bought one of those sprayer bottles that turns olive oil into an aerosol, and it worked very well and didn’t impart any of the weird flavors you can get with commercial cooking sprays.)

Sauteed vegetables are the centerpiece of this easy, high-protein meal.
Sauteed vegetables are the centerpiece of this easy, high-protein meal.

Saute vegetables in olive oil in a wok or large skillet until onions are clear, adding delicate vegetables last. If you’re using any kind of spices, add them now.

Layer the cheese with the vegetables so it doesn't dry out or scorch on top.
Layer the cheese with the vegetables so it doesn’t dry out or scorch on top.

Put half the vegetables in the 8-inch skillet. Sprinkle cheese over vegetables. Cover cheese with remaining vegetables. Carefully pour eggs over vegetables and cheese and bake at 400 degrees until the top starts to brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean (about an hour).

Pour eggs over vegetables and bake.
Pour eggs over vegetables and bake.

Frittatas and quiches don’t microwave very well, but they reheat well in the oven for a low-effort meal on a weeknight.

Emily

Vegetarian Friday: Salad in a jar

saladsmall

Whether you’re vegging, counting calories or just trying to get more green stuff in your diet, finding something suitable to eat on the fly can be tricky.

One way around that is to prefab your meals. That works fine with casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, but salads tend to get yucky in a hurry.

Enter this awesome idea I cribbed from The Kitchenista, who posted it on her Twitter account one day several weeks (months?) ago after hearing about it somewhere and giving it a whirl. This isn’t so much a recipe as a technique, but it proved so handy that I decided it was worth sharing.

By layering ingredients strategically, filling the jar completely and closing it tightly, you can keep salads fresh for much longer than you could if you just tossed a salad and packed it into plastic containers. Normally, a salad wilts or starts getting slimy after a couple of days in my fridge, but I made the salad you see above after work Saturday night and shot the picture Thursday night. I was particularly impressed with how well the cilantro fared; fresh cilantro tends to spoil quickly, but it held its own just fine in the jar.

I didn’t have any salad dressing on hand, and I knew I’d be eating these at home, so I just layered vegetables in the jars and topped them with a handful of pecans I had leftover from a candymaking project a few weeks ago. When it was time to eat, I just tossed a handful of prepackaged lettuce in a bowl, dumped the contents of the jar on top and drizzled the salad with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If I were making these to take to work, I’d use bigger jars and spring for some ranch dressing.

The big trick here is to put a barrier between the dressing and the more delicate ingredients, which will turn to sludge if they spend too long in the dressing. Basically, you put the dressing in first, then add a layer of sturdy vegetables that won’t get nasty if they swim in dressing (cucumbers and peppers work well for this), followed by proteins, delicate vegetables such as sprouts or lettuce, and garnishes such as nuts or seeds. You could make a pretty respectable vegan lunch out of tahini dressing (whisk together equal parts tahini, lemon and water), your favorite vegetables, and a handful of soynuts, cashews or almonds.

If you need full-blown salad recipes, Tammy over at Organize Yourself Skinny has several here.

Emily