Yes, And… More Vegetables

Cute W was out of town for a few days, and while he was, I took the opportunity to try a couple of new recipes. There’s really no logical reason why I should save “alone time” for trying new recipes, except that it is always disappointing when you try a new recipe and it turns out being not-so-good, and it is even more of a bummer when you have to watch other people also tasting it and not enjoying it. So I tried two recipes that I just thought wouldn’t be Cute W’s cup of tea, anyway, and another that was so easy that it fit in with an easy night of cooking. Two out of three were a success, and then I realized that what I’ve been doing lately with many new recipes is throwing in additional vegetables, often dictated by which vegetables have been languishing in my fridge’s produce drawer a little too long. But you know what? It’s been quite tasty and successful, dating back even before these newest additions to my repertoire. So I thought I’d share a few.

First up: Chicken Shawarma from the New York Times. This recipe is absolutely fantastic and super-easy, and everyone in our family loves it. But they love it even more with more vegetables. Instead of one red onion, we do two. I may have even done three before. I’ll also throw in chunks of carrots, zucchini, and/or halved mushrooms. Once I added potatoes, but it wasn’t really worth it because it didn’t really add all that much to the dish. It’s probably because I had a couple of potatoes that were starting to sprout, neglected, on the countertop. Everyone loves this so much that I double the recipe and that gives me extra marinade so the vegetables can marinate, too. Which reminds me of the last time I made this for the family when everyone was at home. When I put it on the meal/grocery list, they were all around, and M said, “Make sure there are plenty of vegetables.” And J piped in, “Especially the red onions. You can never have enough red onions.” And Cute W shook his head and said, “We always run out of the chicken first. We need more chicken.” And I was like, “So, I guess you all are saying that we need more of everything?” Yes, they said. Oh! And we also like to include some chopped cucumbers and tomatoes (and yogurt sauce).

Now, for breakfast: Egg Bites from Jenn Eats Good. I love that this is an easy way to have handy breakfast food, and I’ve kept these both in the fridge and freezer and they’ve reheated well. Okay, maybe a little too moist, but a little pat-down fixes that. What’s really great is that the egg and cottage cheese base is very flexible, so I can use it as a starting-off point to basically clean out the fridge. Most recently I had half a red pepper and half an onion that were each starting to look a little sad, so I chopped those up and cooked them a little bit. Then I added a bunch of chopped spinach, plus some artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. And there was one sad little slice of Swiss cheese languishing, left over from another recipe, so I ripped that up and threw that in, too. And then I was totally kicking myself, because I’d completely forgot to add the spices, but with all those yummy ingredients, the egg bites were still super-tasty.

There are all sorts of variations of this Boursin & Tomato Tortellini recipe online, but the one I saw and mostly followed was on Instagram from Easy Eats Dietitian. This is an extremely tasty, super-duper easy recipe, and I took the liberty of throwing in some sliced mushrooms and a zucchini that was almost too old for me to be willing to eat it — but I just cubed that bad boy and it totally worked. I’ve made it again, since then, and Cute W approved as well. I also doubled up the tomatoes because I love me some roasty tomatoes.

Here’s a picture from when I took it out of the oven, before stirring in the spinach and tortellini.

And finally, there are a million version of an Egg Roll in a Bowl online, and it’s something I’ve been meaning to try for a very long time. I finally got around to giving it a shot while Cute W, who is not a Chinese food enthusiast, was still away. I remembered when it showed up on Instagram again, and this time I checked out a few different recipes and ended up mixing things up and — you guessed it — adding more vegetables to create my own version. Here it is:

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 6 T soy sauce (which is probably too much for normal people, but I am not normal)
  • 1 T light brown sugar
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t red chili pepper
  • 1/2 t black pepper

Bowl Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 90% lean ground beef (or pork or chicken or turkey or faux meat crumbles)
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced and cut into 2 inch lengths or less
  • 1 container/2 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 package of coleslaw (14 oz. or more)
  • 1 can of water chestnuts, chopped


  • Heat a big pan to medium high and add a little oil or water if you want.
  • Add red onions and cook ’til they soften.
  • While the onions are cooking, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl
  • Add the meat and break up — add dry spices here instead of in the sauce if you want. Does it matter? No idea.
  • When the meat’s almost cooked through, lower the heat and add the garlic and green onions.
  • When the meat is fully cooked, drain it a bit if you’d like, then pile on the remaining vegetables.
  • Stir and cook until the vegetables are softened to your taste.
  • Whisk that sauce up and add it to the pan.
  • Stir to fully combine & you’re done.

I love this stuff. I find it extremely delicious. It is one of those recipes that is almost problematic because I want to eat as much as possible, as frequently as possible, So my solution for next time will be too throw in even more coleslaw mix.

Bon appetit, y’all!

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