Bare-bones recipes from your bare cupboards
The end of one year, the beginning of another. It’s all arbitrary but that’s what humans excel at—making something out of nothing. So when you’re staring down the eggs, peanut butter, bag of pasta and a open bottles of champagne (all that’s left in the fridge and pantry after weeks of relying on festive feasts), call upon that same ingenuity to whip up a little something from the nothing. Whether you’re still hollering, “Happy New Year,” are heading back to work, or are in a state where you’re not sure what year it is, you still have to eat.
Happy New Year! Omelet party! Heat a pan over medium-high heat, coat with cooking spray or a pad of butter. Scramble two eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper and pour into pan, swirling to coat pan. Lower heat to medium-low. Cook, gently shaking occasionally. When the surface looks dry, place cheese and fillings over half of the omelet and gently fold over the opposite side to cover fillings. Cook until cheese melts. For fillings, scrounge around for what remains: mushrooms, peppers, spinach, any cheese or meats. Have fun and experiment.
Back to work. Fry ’em up. Break eggs into hot pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip when egg whites are solid and cook for half-a-minute longer for eggs over easy. Plenty of fat, cholesterol and carbs to get you on the mend and through the work day.
What year is it? Stay scrambled. Heat a pot or pan. Break eggs in a bowl, smack around with a fork. Pour into hot pan. Stir until they become scrambled eggs. Don’t eat the shells.
Happy New Year! Peanut sauce makes any dish spectacular. To a half-cup peanut butter add 3 teaspoons each soy sauce and water. Add any combination of chili-garlic paste, sesame oil, sugar and lime juice to taste. Drizzle the peanut sauce over stir-fried veggies and white rice. Thin the sauce with water or oil and dress a spinach salad with cucumbers, carrots and cabbage.
Back to work. Mock peanut butter and banana ice cream, anyone? Freeze four ripe, sliced bananas, one to two hours. Blend frozen bananas in a blender until creamy and smooth. Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter, puree to combine. Serve immediately—why wait?
What year is it? Spoon, or not, it don’t matter.
Happy New Year! Green Mystery Pesto will turn any box of pasta into a nice meal. Four ingredients—something green, nuts, cheese and oil. In a blender, combine your green (basil, cilantro, spinach, cooked broccoli, Brussels sprouts, anything green), chopped nuts (walnuts, pine nuts or even almonds or sunflower seeds in a pinch), and grated dry, hard cheese (romano, parmesan). Puree until combined; gradually add oil (preferably olive) until desired consistency. Toss with pasta and any leftovers you didn’t use in your omelet.
Back to work. The New Year’s resolutions can wait. Buff up a salad by skipping the lettuce and substituting with cold, cooked pasta. Top pasta with traditional salad ingredients and an oil-based dressing—olive oil and balsamic, oil and lemon juice, add dry herbs. Try a garden pasta salad with any combination of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and broccoli. Go Greek with feta, dill, red onions and olives. Use orzo or chop the pasta and combine with dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and crumbled blue cheese.
What Year Is It? Boil until soft enough for a toothless baby. Feeling brave? Toss in butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Happy New Year! Just because the bubbly has gone flat doesn’t mean the party’s over. Combine 1 cup leftover champagne, a half-cup water, one-third cup sugar, two strips orange peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, two cloves and a cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick, approximately 13 minutes. Let cool, drizzle over fruit, and enjoy how absolutely perfect your life will be in 2015.
Back to work. Who’s to say it isn’t a good idea to fill your water bottle with a mimosa before work and take a sip every time someone overzealously wishes you a “Happy New Year!” or Billy from accounting turns the Time Square ball drop into a sexual innuendo, again? (Seriously, how has he avoided getting fired?) Here’s to another year of the same ol’ same ol’. Happy … freakin’ … New Year …
What year is it? Hair of the dog. Hair. Of. The. Dog. Good luck in 2015.