Archive for the ‘Quick lunch’ Category

This idea is not new but is a little different than this casserole. Mostly it’s just simpler and doesn’t require me to remember to thaw some beef.  Today it also happened to use up rice and spaghetti sauce that needed eaten. 

Gotta love an easy lunch that empties the fridge of food threatening to spoil! 

Simple Rice Pizza

3-4 cups leftover rice

1/2 up cottage cheese

2 eggs

1/2 t oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup sautéed onion

1 cup grated melty cheese

Mix rice, cottage cheese, eggs, oregano and seasonings. Press into the bottom of a greased 8″ baking dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with onions and cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover last 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temp. 

Serves: 4-6


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So I pressure canned some dried beans the other day. I’ve never done that before. Pressure canned, yes. But not dried beans. 

 I did it in hopes of actually getting my chickpeas totally soft because I don’t like eating gritty hummus.  

 Well, it worked. And I made too much hummus. 
 So I need to find ways to use it up. Not everyone in the family loves the stuff. 

 Chapatis were yesterday’s method and how fun! If you have several small children and the same amount of rolling pins, they will happily do most of the work for you. In fact, they had so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to tell them to stop rolling. Chapatis are supposed to be fairly thick. Oh well. Still yummy!  


1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 t melted lard or butter 

Pinch salt

1/2 – 3/4 cup water


Mix flours, fat, and salt. Slowly add water and stir until a soft dough forms. Knead a few minutes to bring the dough together and then cover and let sit 30-60 minutes. 

Divide dough into 10 pieces. Roll each one into 4″ circle. Fry on a hot, ungreased skillet until bubbly and just a bit golden brown, flipping and frying the other side, too. Place in a damp towel after brushing one side with a bit of softened butter. Helps to keep them soft and pliable. 

Serve traditionally with Indian food or with hummus and various toppings, rolled up taco style.

Yield: 10

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I was asked recently what some of my go-to quick lunches are and I sort of drew a blank. It’s been a while since I visited that subject! 

Here’s a new one. I’ve seen this recipe so many times in the More with Less cookbook and thought it looked boring. Then this morning I realized the only leftovers I had to serve the littles for lunch were noodles and broccoli so I needed to get creative. 

This is such a simple idea but not one I would have come up with on my own. Of course it would have a hundred different variations, using whatever is on hand in your fridge. Add the cooked veg straight to the pan! Throw in some hot sauce!  Sauté a bit of onion in the butter before adding noodles. Etc, etc. 

The recipe suggests tomato wedges to go with it. I think that is a wonderful summer idea! But alas, it’s March, and tomatoes are nowhere to be seen in the windy tundra out there so carrots, hummus, and leftover cooked broccoli it was!   

Scrambled Eggs and Noodles

Adapted from More with Less

1 T butter

1 1/2 cups leftover cooked noodles

3 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk


Parsley, fresh or dried 

Heat butter in skillet. Fry the noodles for a minute or so. 

Mix the eggs with milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over hot noodles and scramble until cooked through. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. 

Serves: 3 small appetites

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I have been meaning to make this for years. I’m now sad it took me so long. What on earth was I waiting for?!  

 This sauce is so simple. And then you just throw some eggs on top and breakfast is ready.

I like the hint of spice in the tomato sauce. Quite warming on a chilly winter morn. 

PS. Spellcheck keeps wanting to change shakshuka to sharks hula. I’m giggling at the thought of sharks wearing leis and dancing about.  


1 T olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper 

1/2 t chili powder

1/2 t cumin

Pinch red pepper flakes

Sprinkle of salt

Pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey 

2 t tomato powder (or 1 T tomato paste)

1 pint canned diced tomatoes

4 eggs

Parsley (fresh is best but dried will work mid-winter)


Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add bell pepper and sauté a bit more. Throw in spices, sweetener, and tomato products. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. 

At this point I transferred half of the mixture to a smaller skillet because I wanted a personal size serving. I saved the other half of the tomatoes for another day. 

Break eggs into the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 5-15 minutes, depending on how hard you like your eggs. Check tomato sauce occasionally to make sure it’s not burning. 

Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper and serve with crusty bread (toasted sandwich bread will do). 

Serves: 2

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I guess I’ve been craving beans? Weird.  

 These are the simplest and most flavorful beans I’ve ever made. It was a quick lunch for Bennet and I. I’m not sure he enjoyed them but he did eat his bowlful without complaint before digging into his sugar cookie. 

I particularly loved the oregano. I never would have thought to use it, opting typically to go with cumin in such places.

They might look boring in the bowl but your tastebuds might be surprised by everything going on. Give them a try…if you don’t like them just turn them into soup!

 Cuban Black Beans

Adapted from Extending the Table

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (frozen is fine)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T lard or bacon fat

4 cups cooked black beans 

1/2 t oregano

1/2 t salt (if beans are unsalted) 

3 T apple cider vinegar 

Heat fat in skillet. Add pepper and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and cook a bit more. Throw in everything else and simmer with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary to keep them from sticking. Serve immediately with butter bread (or rice, if you are feeling authentic). 

Served: 3-4 for a light lunch. 

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I meant for this to travel with us to the cabin for the next two days but it didn’t make it there. When I plated it for the photo, I had to take a bite. And then I ate the whole pile. 

If it WOULD have made it to Christmas, it would have been the perfect antidote to all that sugar I know I’ll consume. 

Kale Salad

Told to me by my mom 

Kale (4 c finely chopped ended up giving me a pint of salad)


Lemon juice 

Sliced almonds 



Grated sharp cheddar (or crumbled feta)


Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Black pepper

Remove the stems from the kale as well as the larger veins. Chop it very fine and place in a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt and a sprinkling of lemon juice.  Then comes the fun part. Get your hands in there and smash that kale all up. Really give it a good massage. You want it all to turn wet and dark green. 

Next toast your almonds. Use a skillet on the stove top or a pan in the oven. Whatever floats your boat. Than throw the hot nuts on top of the kale and give it a stir. Add remaining ingredients, but don’t overdue it on the balsamic. It’s a background flavor. And you don’t need much oil. Give it a stir and eat immediately or refrigerate up to a day or two. 

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I thought I didn’t like mashed potato pancakes. Turns out I was doing it wrong. The egg in the batter is important. And by all means, please fry them in lard. Mmmmmm.   

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 large egg

Handful of grated cheese


Flour (whole wheat, white, or a combo)

Mix everything together, using enough flour to make a thick batter. It will depend how much milk you used in your mashed potatoes. Fry in 1/8-1/4 inch hot lard. Be sure to let them brown well on both sides. Don’t mess with them prematurely or you’ll break the seal of good taste! Serve hot with sour cream or ketchup. 

Yield: about a dozen 3-inch cakes

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