Sometimes, life gets a little absurd. Recently, I’ve been letting my dissertation take over every waking hour, because, well, someday, I want to get out of here, move on, and do something (anything) with my life that people might actually be interested in. I mean more than the 30 or so people in my field, who are working on similarly esoteric stuff. That’s grad school for you, I suppose. But I digress … I’m really here to tell you that there ARE ways to make home-cooked meals, even when life gets crazy. If you have five minutes, and don’t mind leaving the dishes in the sink, you can eat amazingly well even in the midst of work-related chaos. I think I’ll make these meals a monthly feature here on threeForks.
This first one is actually one of my favorite quick meals, especially because you can double the recipe and provide yourself with lunch or dinner the next day, as well. It’s incredibly versatile — you can throw in anything (including leftover pasta!) you need to use up and end up with a gorgeous, filling meal. And it takes a whole 5 minutes, depending on your fillings. I’ll give you a specific variation below, but first, I have some business to attend to.
You can take five items and are allowed one sentence in which to justify your decision. Tag whoever you like and link back! You are on a desert island so assume a plentiful supply of exotic fish, coconuts and sea salt. Ignore any issues regarding storage. There happens to be a very large solar powered refrigerator washed up on the shore as well. Now, on to the list…
1. Olive oil. With all that fish and salt, I’m going to need some to get gorgeous, crackling fish skin.
2. Coffee, because I am an addict.
3. A cast iron pot, because you can cook anything in one of these.
4. Flour, so I can make some awesome sourdough pizza.
5. A tomato seed packet. Then I can grow something delicious.
Ok, now back to the regularly scheduled program…
Spinach, tomato, and feta omelet
This meal is just one of a million different variations. You can make enough for a crowd, too — just turn it into a fritatta by cooking the filling first and then pouring the egg mixture over after the fact. You may need to put the pan in the oven if you’re cooking for a large crowd, but it still takes a total of 10 minutes.
- 2 or 3 eggs per person
- 1″ cube feta per person, crumbled
- 1/2 t. dried oregano per person
- pinch of salt and pepper
- handful of spinach per person. I picked up some bordeaux spinach (I think?) at the farmer’s market for this dish, and it was lovely. It had a richer, less watery flavor than the usual variety, and I highly recommend it if you see it. The downside is that it’s a little expensive…
- 5 or 6 sliced fresh or slow-roasted cherry tomatoes (We roast the ones we grow in large batches. Toward the end of the season, this is by far the better choice, and the roasted tomatoes are bloody gorgeous.)
- Avocado slices (optional), to garnish
- 2 T. olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. (I use a cast iron pan, which is why my omelets are not authentic, beautiful, rolled things, but are simply eggs + stuff, folded over.)
While the oil is heating, crack the eggs into a bowl, crumble the feta into the bowl, add 1 T. water (for fluffiness!) and add the seasonings. Beat lightly until the yolks are broken and the mixture is at least somewhat uniform in consistency. When the olive oil is hot, make sure the inner surface of the pan is coated with it, and pour the eggs in. Twirl the pan so the eggs cover the entire bottom of the pan.
Place the tomatoes and spinach on top of one half of the egg mixture, and cover. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Fold the bare portion of egg over the top, slide onto a plate, garnish with avocado, and eat while it’s still hot.
Some other flavor variations that work well, just to get you started:
- Salsa, avocado, and sour cream
- Pasta in marinara sauce, with extra sauce and a bit of parmesan
- Mushroom and onion
- Grated potato, Spanish paprika, and onion (cook the potato a bit first)
- Spinach and mushroom
- Olive, tomato, and mushroom
- Bacon and cheddar
- Bacon, spinach, and onion
- Grilled veggies and feta
If you have more ideas, share them in the comments!