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Sunday, July 1, 2012

[Skillet Dinner]

One thing I love about summer is the ability to get fresh produce from local farmers and even our own gardens. I don't have a veggie garden myself (I'm testing myself for a couple years with flowers first), but my parents do. As a result, for a couple of months, I get as much zucchini and summer squash as I want. There are others in their garden, but these are my personal favorites.

Recently, I started to play around with these veggies to figure out a meal that's fast, easy, healthy, and filling, as well as tasty. I did have the additional challenge of suspecting that I might be allergic to tofu, so I had to go back to eggs to get my protein (I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but I do try to keep from overeating meat). Eventually, I worked out one skillet dinner that's good enough that I'm eating it almost every day. It's fast (important when I'm in and out of class for twelve hours four days per week), flexible, and healthier than some other dinners I've encountered.

You'll need:

  • Whole grain tortillas
  • Red or russet potatoes, diced
  • Red or white onions, diced/chopped
  • Zucchini or squash or both, diced
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Eggs 
  • Sea salt
One thing I like to do is chop up all my vegetables all at once, maybe once every one-to-two weeks, and place them in labeled bags or containers. It takes a couple to a few hours, but then the rest of the week is easier, and I'm more likely to cook dinner than to heat a frozen meal. This also allows me to make this recipe for either one meal or several days' worth. The recipe I'm going to describe here fits in a 7-inch skillet and covers my one tortilla completely. My goal is to not have to snack for awhile, so I can get more accomplished with my time. :)

Before beginning, drizzle olive oil in your skillet so that the entire bottom is coated (you can use more if you want--I'm usually just trying to keep my food from burning if I get momentarily distracted). Then, depending on your preferences, mince one or two garlic cloves and spread the garlic evenly in your skillet. Turn the burner to medium to medium high heat, and toss in a handful of chopped onions before the skillet gets hot. Let it cook for about 15-30 seconds before tossing in your diced potatoes (again, about a handful, depending on your appetite). When the onions begin to become transparent, toss in the zucchini/squash (a handful or two--it's the healthiest part, so you can be a little more generous). You don't want to throw the squash/zucchini in too soon, because it gets soft much faster than anything else in the skillet, and while you do want to cook it more than stir-fry "crisp," letting it get soggy creates a greasy feel. Then again, go with your gut. When you notice the z/squash beginning to turn translucent (cooked, but not to the point where you want it to be when you eat it yet), crack an egg or two into the skillet. 

Sprinkle with sea salt, then toss until the eggs are cooked and scrambled. Add additional salt to taste and serve on an open tortilla (it's not exactly the most burrito- or taco-folded friend meal--it's a bit messy, but delish!). Enjoy!

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