Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leftover Tuesday: Bagel Melts with Curry Roasted Vegetables on the side

This week was tricky. We didn't have much to work with.

Here you see (clockwise starting at left) some green onions that were getting sketchy up top, about 1/2 C spaghetti with sauce, some leftover Ranch chicken (1/4-1/2 C), the rest of that darned head of cauliflower (it can hang on surprisingly long), a bit of hamburger that we'd used in the spaghetti (1/4-1/2 C), half a head of broccoli, 1 Tbsp or so pesto, and some brie cheese, which I was really hoping to use, but that had been hanging around for too long and which ended up in the garbage because it was stanky. We also had some plain spaghetti sauce and a couple of pancakes from breakfast that I forgot in the picture.

Kip looked at our paltry leftover offerings and casually said, "I'm hungry; do you think that's going to be enough?" I told him to have faith in leftover Tuesday. And then, struck with the inspiration that so often besets the believing (forgive the irreverent humor, eh), I remembered we had two lonely bagels hanging out in the freezer. We also had some cheddar to take the place of our stankified brie. And some mushrooms I'd just bought on sale that could fill in any gaps that our paltry meat toppings would leave. And so we had bagel melts (2 with mushrooms for me, one with chicken and one with beef for Kip--yes, it could have all been mixed, but Kip hates mushrooms) with curry roasted vegetables on the side. And in keeping with my irreverent metaphor on faith, let me say that we actually ended up with too much food (a la Jesus and his baskets of bread). But don't worry, just like Jesus told his disciples to gather up that bread, we gathered up our leftover leftovers too. I'm looking forward to a lovely lunch as a result.

What I Did:

-First off, I took advantage of those pancakes. Elizabeth and Savannah each had one (they were 100% whole wheat, okay).

-Secondly, I took advantage of that spaghetti sauce and made a small pot of spaghetti to go with it. Mark, Savannah, and Emma all had some of that.

-For the curried vegetables, I chopped up the cauliflower and broccoli, drizzled them with olive oil and then sprinkled them generously with salt, pepper, and curry. I roasted them at 400 for about 20 minutes (tossing after ten minutes). I do wish I'd chopped them smaller, so they would have had more flavor per bite. If you do chop yours smaller, watch the oven because they can burn quicker.

-For the bagel melts, I got the mushrooms cooking first. I sliced the mushrooms and put them in a skillet with a good Tbsp butter. I let them simmer until they'd released their liquids and were turning golden. I could have stopped there and consumed the whole delicious pan. But I didn't.
-While the mushrooms cooked and the vegetables roasted, I toasted 4 bagels halves. I then put the cheddar on them and put this under the broiler for just a minute or two until the cheese had melted.
-When all this cooking, toasting, and roasting was almost complete, I shredded my cubed chicken and warmed it up. I also warmed the hamburger up. I was tempted to toss them together, but thought Kip would prefer them separate, which he did.
-Once these toppings were ready, I threw them on the melted cheese bagels. I added some chopped green onion to my mushroom melts. And we consumed them, yes we did.

The result: The melts were awesome, especially the chicken and mushroom ones. Kip didn't love the hamburger one (would have been better with the pesto, but Kip doesn't like pesto), but it was certainly edible. Also, we managed to use up all these little bits of leftovers in a fairly cohesive meal, which was nice. (Except the green onions, which we just used a bit of--anybody got great ideas for green onions?) We did have to pimp the meal up with some other food, although the only non-leftovers we used were cheese and half a pint of mushrooms. Not bad. I still have a bagel half and some roast vegetables to be reheated for lunch. And I sent a bit of leftover spaghetti to school with Mark.

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