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A scant cupful of sautéed or grilled vegetables from last night’s dinner-or even the night before’s.  Eggs. Fresh tomatoes and basil. Or not.  Maybe a little grating of cheese or a little chopped cheese that’s about to mold. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner is then served in under 5 minutes if you make your very own little vegetable frittata, which is just an Italian word for open-faced omelet. Have a little meat, too? Throw it in.  Freshly cooked vegetables are good 3-5 days in the refrigerator.  Cooked chicken, by the way, is ok for 3-4 days, too–as is cooked bacon.  Using up your leftovers will make you feel better about living a green life and will make your wallet happy, as well.

Food Waste Statistics:

  • An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed.
  • When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
  • More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste (MSW).

info– courtesy: feedingamerica.org

If you have cooked potatoes or, even better, sweet potatoes, they’re heavenly  in a frittata. That last bit of pasta from two nights ago? That’s lovely, as well–but not at the same time as potatoes!

Need enough for 4 or more?  Double or triple the ingredients and use a 12-inch skillet.  A couple of years ago I splurged on a 14-inch non-stick skillet so I could make frittatas for 8, which are usually cooked from scratch. I’m seriously crazy about frittatas.  Dave and I began our frittata journey by making Tyler Florence’s Smoked Ham, Gruyere, and Caramelized Onion Frittata. We’ve made dozens since and ventured off onto many different paths, as you’ll know if you’re a long-time reader.

Worried about too much cholesterol? One egg a day is considered fine for your health. You can always beat a couple of egg whites in with one whole egg if you’ve already overdone your eggs, cholesterol, or calories for the week!  Try this:

IMG_2521VEGGIE FRITTATA from leftover vegetables   Serves 1-2

There’s more than one way to make a frittata with leftovers, but here’s a fast way:

  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 -1 cup leftover cooked vegetables
  • 2 eggs beaten with a teaspoon of water and salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheese, optional
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, optional
  • Sliced fresh tomatoes for garnish

In an 8-9-inch non-stick skillet, heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil over medium flame.  When quite warm, add cooked vegetables in a single layer and heat through.  Pour egg mixture evenly over all. Season with a little salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with cheese. Lower heat and cover. Cook another couple of minutes or until just barely done.  Tip over unto plate  and garnish with fresh herbs, if using, and tomatoes. Breakfast (lunch? dinner?) is served.

COOK’S NOTES:  Sautéeing a tablespoon or two of fresh onion with a little garlic before adding the cooked vegetables will give you a different and perhaps richer-tasting frittata.

If you like this, you might like my Smoked Salmon Frittata with Horseradish Yogurt

Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold.

or my fix-it for that small container of egg whites languishing in your fridge:

Garlic-Green Bean Egg White Frittata with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

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Sing a new song; use up your leftovers and eat breakfast at home,

Alyce