Land of Leftovers

A while back when I found myself with an abundance of zucchini, I decided to put together a vegetable mixture with a Mediterranean flair. When I first put it together, I thought it would make a great filling for a hefty sandwich. Then I thought about it a little more and decided to make a big batch to use in some quiche and as the vegetable component of a savory pilaf that had been working itself out in my mind. Next thing you know, I've got the makings of a leftover parade!

I love being able to make a little more of something and stretch it over several meals -- especially when they are as varied as this month's selection! In this case, a mixture of vegetables, feta cheese, vinegar and olive oil combine to make a filling that's tasty, healthy and versatile. In the same way, last night's fondue can be the base of tonight's creamy pasta sauce and tomorrow night's addition to steamed broccoli. It just takes some quality leftovers and a different perspective. After all, I'm sure that fondue was terrific, but who wants the same thing night after night?

Since this vegetable mixture is perishable, I'd suggest making all three of these dishes within three days. The great thing about them is that they are all easy to make -- and they freeze well if you want to save them for later too. So, without further interruption, I give you this month's inspired-inspired menu:

As always, I look forward to hearing from you about your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

Mediterranean Subs

This hefty sandwich is a great time-saver during the week. You simply mix together the filling and stuff it into a hollowed out loaf of bread. Then, it's up to the oven! For the Filling:
  • 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 2/3 c. sliced black olives
  • 2/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
For the Sandwich:
  • 1 large loaf French bread

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Reserve 2/3 of the filling for the other recipes in this article.

Using a sharp knife, remove the top of the French bread loaf. Using your fingers, hollow out almost all of the bread from within the loaf. Set the hollowed-out loaf on a large piece of heavy aluminum foil. Spoon the filling into the loaf and press the top of the loaf over the filling. Wrap the foil around the loaf and bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is heated through. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing into individual servings

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Mediterranean Quiche

This recipe takes advantage of the leftover filling from the recipe above. Make this quiche ahead of time and reheat when you're ready. It also freezes well.
  • 1 9" prepared pie crust
  • 1/2 of the leftover filling from the recipe above
  • 1 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line the pie crust with waxed paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the waxed paper and beans and bake an addition 10 minutes. Remove the crust and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, combine the leftover filling, yogurt and eggs. When the crust is prepared, carefully pour the mixture into the crust. Bake the quiche for 40 minutes or until golden and set. Serve warm or cold.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 1 hour

Mediterranean Sausage Pilaf

This pilaf is made quick and easy with the use of a pressure cooker. It can be made without, but requires an additional hour of cooking before the turkey sausage and vegetables are added.
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. wild rice
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 lb. turkey sausage, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/2 of the leftover filling from the first recipe
  • 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped

Bring the water to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add the wild rice and onion. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to low pressure. Stabilize and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid by running the cooker under running water.

Add the brown rice and chicken broth. Replace the lid and bring to low pressure again. Stabilize and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.

Meanwhile, brown the turkey sausage lightly in a small skillet. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Add the turkey sausage, filling and tomato to the rice pilaf. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is heated through. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 6-8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes