In times of great uncertainty and anxiety, it is leftovers that I crave the most. I need food that keeps me grounded and reminds me of years past, when my days were candid, and my family was complete.
Life was definitely simple while I was growing up. There was very little food, and the scarce ingredients we had at our disposal were turned into delightful feasts by my mother and my aunt. Those women were true artists, who would never let anything go to waste. One of the many things I learned from them is to be judicious with my own use of ingredients. The experience of being hungry as a child definitely affects you for a lifetime.
Times and places have changed, but my passion for using every bit of food I have has remained. That’s why when we had veggies left after a recent grilling session in our backyard, I knew the last thing I wanted to do was to put these veggies in the fridge, and to forget all about them. I wanted to do justice to their marvelous flavors and bright colors, and I decided to use them in a hearty breakfast salad.
My grilled veggie mix included gold and sweet potatoes, bell peppers, onions, and rainbow carrots. You can pick different veggies to suit your tastes and preferences.
I usually don’t do much to prepare veggies for grilling – I believe less is more when it comes to staying true to natural flavors and colors. I “massaged” the veggies with olive oil and dried oregano, the latter being our family’s favorite herb.
I took the leftover grilled veggies, cut them into medium-size pieces, and turned them into a salad by adding mustard greens and a simple, delicate white vinegar-based vinaigrette. I put a fried organic egg on top to counteract the assertiveness of the vinaigrette-bathed veggies, and finished off with sprinkles of sweet paprika and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, which added flavor and texture, and made the dish complete.
Simple, easy to make and delicious, this breakfast dish represents a down to earth re-purposing of vegetable goodness, which might otherwise go to waste. Moreover, it is a hearty meal idea, which keeps your energy levels up until lunchtime, providing an ongoing influx of delicious nutrients. On a personal level, this salad is an homage I pay to precious childhood memories, and to my mom and my aunt’s lessons in frugality, creativity, and determination. No waste, but joy in simple flavors, timely brought together, and skillfully made to talk to each other.
What is your favorite way to re-purpose leftovers? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Grilled veggie breakfast salad
- 1 1/3 cup grilled veggies, cut into medium-size pieces
- 1/3 cup mustard greens, chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (for the vinaigrette)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (to fry the egg)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Everything but the Bagel seasoning
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the grilled veggies and fresh mustard greens in a large bowl. In a small bowl make a simple vinaigrette by mixing oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the veggies, and mix until combined. Fry the egg in a small skillet over medium heat, turning once during cooking. Place the egg on top of the veggies, and finish with sprinkles of Everything but the Bagel seasoning and paprika. Serve warm.