Meatless Monday: Clean-Out-the-Fridge Frittata

The dish that'll cross off two to-do list items in just a few minutes: clean out the fridge and make dinner -- frittata.
By: Michelle Buffardi
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Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

On any given day there's quite a random assortment of whacked-out ingredients in my refrigerator: a few tiny portions of leftovers I'm likely to never eat, a half bottle Sriracha, pickled dilly beans, a jar of mom's homemade blueberry jam, a hunk of aged Parmesan, a half a carton of buttermilk from last weekend's pancakes and, way in the corner, a shriveled apple that's been around since fall. Some of it, like the ancient apple and the buttermilk are bound for the trash, but some of the other assorted bits can be turned into an actual meal.

My fridge is always flush with produce in many states -- whole, roasted/steamed/baked in small containers, or, like the unfortunate apple, slightly decayed. Plain old vegetables or tiny amounts of leftover cooked vegetables are not satisfying on their own, but in a couple of minutes can be turned into a complete meal -- a fancy-sounding one at that: fritatta. Beat some eggs, grate some cheese and grab your vegetables -- you're not only minutes away from dinner, but pretty close to a clean refrigerator as well. You can make the frittata in a skillet on the stove, or you can coat a pie plate with cooking spray, add your vegetables and enough beaten eggs to come up to the tops of the vegetables (8-10 eggs), salt and pepper (add some fresh herbs if you have them) and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until frittata is set and cheese is bubbly.

Serves: 4
6 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 potato, peeled, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced

In a bowl, beat the eggs with freshly grated cheese. Season with salt.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Add the potatoes, red peppers, and onions, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

Pour the egg mixture into the pan. With a fork, evenly distribute egg mixture to the edges of the pan.

Cook for approximately 3 to 4 minutes with a lid on. Carefully flip the frittata over and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

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