Got leftovers? Throw them into this tasty eggcentric dish

Pour the egg mixture over your veggie/cheese/leftovers for a delicious frittata. —Nicole Jackson

If you’re anything like me, you hate to see good food go to waste. When I have a fridge with random ingredients from previous recipes inching closer to their expiration date with nothing I can piece together for dinner, the answer is eggs. You can dress them up or dress them down, kind of like a good husband (or wife). Last week I grabbed a dozen eggs from the store and thought about the difference between a quiche and a frittata. There are extensive online answers referring to the differences between the two, but the CliffsNotes version says a quiche has a crust and a frittata doesn’t. I prefer a frittata, and not just because it is more fun to say.

Waitressing the breakfast shift at the Black Dog Tavern really expanded my ideas about egg options above and beyond the basic ham and cheese I grew up with. Making a frittata is a great way to clean out your fridge and don’t be afraid to think outside the pie shell.

A good place to start is vegetables — you know, the ones you bought with the intention of “eating healthy.” Roast them up, throw them in. Wouldn’t it be nice to use all those bags of cheese with just a bit left in them, or those blocks of cheese that just aren’t enough for cheese and crackers? I make a frittata almost once a week, and I haven’t gotten bored of them yet. Sometimes I buy ingredients I am craving, other times I work with what I have. Some of my favorites are potatoes, sausage, kale, broccoli, chickpeas, shrimp, chicken, avocado, onions — pretty much any vegetable or poultry item — the possibilities are endless. You could even crush crackers for a quick carb topping.

My latest frittata creation was divine. Was I biased? The friend I was cooking the frittata for posted a poorly taken iPhone photo of it on Facebook, and comments and likes confirmed my eggcellent dinner frittata recipe.

First, I chopped up red onion, sweet potato, chicken, and broccoli and mixed them with a little vegetable oil, and baked it 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.* While the chicken and veggies were cooking, I whisked up a dozen eggs, salt, and pepper with a glug* of cream because I was out of milk. I took the veggies and chicken out of the casserole dish to apply butter to the bottom of the pan. “The cook doesn’t clean” doesn’t apply in my house; I wasn’t going to risk having to scrub cooked-on egg. I put the vegetables and chicken back in and poured the egg mixture over the top, baked at 375° for 40 minutes. You must be thinking, What fun is a frittata without cheese? When it was done baking, I sprinkled a container* of crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle* of store-bought balsamic reduction on top. I recommend putting the goat cheese on right after it comes out of the oven; the heat from the eggs makes the cheese melt in your mouth. I named my masterpiece the Frickin’ Chicken Frittata.

Eggs offer your body great protein, are relatively inexpensive, and you’ll even have leftovers to enjoy. I encourage you to try something new; everything’s better with eggs, except chocolate. I would save that for dessert.

* Measurement Key

Occasionally = Every 10 minutes
Glug = ¼ cup
Container = 4 oz.
Drizzle = 3 Tbsp.