30 August, 2012

Quinoa (keen-wah) Bites

I almost always have leftover quinoa. Extra quinoa makes a super healthy and quick lunch the next day thrown on top of greens, wrapped in a tortilla, topped with beans or stirred into a frittata or quiche. And if you are looking for fun, you could always try "quinoa patties" or "quinoa bites".

I have tried several variations but I really like the recipe below written by Squash Blossom Babies . The recipe is just my style: simple and versatile. The author puts her mixture into a mini muffin tin to bake and the quinoa comes out in these cute little crunchy bites of goodness. This recipe would work well with any veggie, herb, and cheese on hand. You could use them as appetizers, snacks, or a side dish with dinner. You could also get crazy with some type of sauce for dipping.
Have fun!

Quinoa Bites
barely adapted by SP

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped mushrooms*
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
Combine ingredients, divide into a 6 cup muffin tin or a 12 cup mini muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

*original recipe uses grated carrots

13 August, 2012

Leftovers? Throw Some Eggs On It!

Original Baked Eggs
A year or so ago I shared a recipe for Baked Eggs that I use often for weekend brunch or week night dinner. One weekend my brilliant husband suggested we use our restaurant leftovers from the night before to make the baked eggs. These leftovers just so happened to be Mexican. The brunch just so happened to be spectacular.
What evolved from there was a very tasty experiment. We love to "throw some eggs on it" and taste what happens. We have used leftover burritos and tortilla chips, pizza and french fries, Cuban sandwiches in Key Largo, fried okra in Alabama.  I will admit there are times when I doubt the outcome. And it turns out great. Every. Single. Time.
Some friends of mine recently sent me a picture of their "Greek Baked Eggs".
We are starting a frenzy!
Don't be scared.
"Throw some eggs on it" and send me a picture!
Leftover Baked Eggs
Serves 2-3 (add eggs and leftovers to serve more)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the bottom of a casserole dish. Add and layer your leftovers.
Crack 2-3 eggs on top and break the yolk. Splash a bit of milk on the eggs to keep it from drying out. Top with cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until eggs are done.
Fried Okra Baked Eggs
Mexican Baked Eggs

06 August, 2012

Greek Pizza

SP Tip: Never ever leave a restaurant without your leftovers in a box. You can always, always  make another meal out of those leftovers. I promise!

Chops before they were turned into pizza.
I was recently treated to a night out with some friends at their favorite local restaurant. They recommended the lamb chops and while I would normally go for fish, I went for the lamb. I tell you this story not to brag, but to highlight the pizza that we made the next night with our leftover lamb chops. The recipe calls for sun dried tomato pesto and I am proud to say I followed this recipe and am so glad I did. The pesto was perfect for this pizza and its ingredients. If you are not in the fortunate position to be taken out to a fabulous dinner with lamb chops on the menu, don't fret. I think chicken would work really well on this pizza. (normally I am not a fan of chicken on pizza). I also think it would be a very tasty pizza with just veggies.

Lamb Chop Greek Pizza
No picture attached because this pizza was literally devoured.

Stay tuned this month for more even more restaurant leftover makeovers.

01 August, 2012

August: Leftover Month

Yay! It is August and I have personally just declared August as "Leftover Month." This is my way of focusing my energies on sharing with you all the fun things you can do with leftovers. I absolutely HATE (I rarely use this word) wasting food. So I have become a self proclaimed expert of turning leftovers into a tasty new dish. So let's get started on dressing up last night's dinner!

Now, I don't know about you but I don't particularly enjoy leftover seafood. When seafood is reheated it tends to give off a slight fishy taste. However, a simple solution is to eat it cold and this seafood salad is the answer. I used leftover salmon and it came out wonderful but I immediately thought this recipe would be good with shrimp, crab, or any type of white fish. You can serve the salad on top of greens for a meal or use it as an appetizer piled on a tasty baguette or fancy cracker.

Seafood Salad
(adapted from Simply Recipes with a few minor SP tweaks)
Serves 2-3 as a salad. Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

1.5 cups seafood
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
juice of lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 splash vinegar (champagne, white wine or red wine)
1 tbsp dried dill *
salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
*The dill went really well with the salmon but I would imagine other herbs like parsley, oregano, curry powder, or basil doing the job also. Play around with it and see what you get.