Land of Leftovers

With all of the celebrations taking place this month and next, you might find yourself with overnight guests once or twice. Having loved ones spend the night can be both wonderful and overwhelming. But, you can make their stay more pleasant for you and them if you take some time to prepare and keep the mood relaxed.

One of the best ways to do that is to think about easy ways to get breakfast on the table after what was -- in most cases -- a very late night. You probably don't feel like making a nice breakfast, let alone getting out of bed! But, if you use your head, you might even be able to catch a few more zzz's before you attend to your guests' stomachs.

One thing that the holidays do produce is leftovers. Everything from honey ham to roasted chicken to marinated veggies to sliced cheese finds its way into your refrigerator. Take advantage of those tasty morsels! You know what they say -- Waste not, want not.

One of the best ways to do that on lazy mornings is to whip up a simple omelet. Omelets only really require two "real" ingredients: eggs and a little milk. What you put in, on or over them is all up to you. Why not surprise your guests with omelets filled with diced roasted chicken, sweet cherry tomatoes and a few slices of fontina cheese? Or fill them with chunks of honey ham, marinated mushrooms and shredded cheddar. It's all up to you and your guests will appreciate the wonderful aroma and warm food. Add a little orange juice, coffee and buttered toast and you've got breakfast in the bank!

A note to help save you extra time -- plan to dice leftovers into appropriate dimensions for an omelet before you pack them away. That way, all you'll need to do is mix your eggs and milk, pour it into a hot skillet and fill as desired!

I'm including a general recipe for a simple omelet and a huge list of filling options. However, this list is not all inclusive. Be creative! All it really takes is an inspired look in your refrigerator.

Simple Omelet

Multiply this recipe as needed to fit your needs.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 c. desired fillings, see below

In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

Spray a small skillet with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and pour egg mixture into the pan, making sure that you cover the surface evenly.

Allow the mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes or until it becomes opaque. Add desired fillings to one half of the egg mixture.

Using a spatula lightly coated with cooking spray, carefully lift the "unfilled" section of the omelet and gently place it over the filled half. Cook for 1-2 minutes more or until the filling is heated through and the egg is cooked. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Leftover Filling Ideas

  • diced honey ham
  • cubed roasted chicken or turkey
  • shredded roast beef
  • crumbled bacon
  • marinated veggies -- such as peppers, broccoli, or artichoke hearts
  • sliced or shredded cheese -- use either inside or as a topping
  • cherry tomatoes
  • sliced olives
  • marinated mushrooms
  • salad fixings -- such as sliced peppers, onions, or spinach
  • salad dressings -- as a sauce
  • sauces -- use either inside or as a topping
  • crumbled cheeses -- such as blue or feta cheese
  • spreads -- such as hummus
  • nuts -- such as walnuts or pecans
  • fruit -- such as apples, peaches, or oranges