The Big Lunch Hangover
When you're still kinda full at 7pm but don't want to skip dinner, what do you do?
How many of us haven’t had deep thoughts about, or written about, or extolled the merits of, breakfast for dinner? Similarly: How much have we all considered and dissected the possibilities of not-sad-weekday lunches?
I personally have thought about these two meal “opportunities,” let’s call them, a lot. I love a frittata or eggs-in-a-hole for dinner, and I’d like to enter pancakes into that mix, too (I keep forgetting, is the thing). As for weekday lunches — I’m getting better at those, thanks to my newfound enthusiasm for salad creation.
Something else I’ve thought about a lot is this: You go out for a big lunch. Let’s say you even have a drink, maybe two. It happens! You eat pasta, or a cheeseburger, or maybe even pizza. You’re full for a really long time. (And probably have a hard time working for the rest of the day, due to lethargy. At least, that’s usually the case for me.)
There are a lot of people out there who skip dinner or claim to just have a bowl of cereal for dinner on a day like this. Not me. But I also am not really capable of eating two giant meals in a day anymore. For which I’m grateful, because realistically I can’t handle it — my body will let me know this fact.
I’ve built up a list of things that I can eat on these nights. I’m sharing a few with you today. Anything that makes its way onto this list has to fit into two categories. Number one: It has to be relatively light. Like, not carbonara, which is one of my “regular” go-tos. And two: The dish has to lend itself well to leftovers. Because if I’m going to cook dinner on a day that I’ve eaten three steaks for lunch, chances are there will be leftovers, and I’m going to want them to be leftovers that get eaten.
Here’s what I have. And I hope you’ll share your counterparts in the comments below.
Pea and Arugula Frittata: Because I love frittatas so much, at any time of day. It’s hard to think of an ingredient that wouldn’t work in a frittata. (Chocolate chips?) And mastering a frittata is something that even I can do.
Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl: Because it turns out that soy sauce and scallions mixed with canned tuna taste really good.
Tofu “Larb”: Because the flavors of larb cannot be beat, and because you could easily put this on a salad the next day.
Salmon with Hot Sauce Vinaigrette and Pickled Veg: A Bon Appétit recipe that I am in love with. I should be tripling the recipe when I make it, honestly.
Pea and Arugula Frittata
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Many of you know how much we love frittatas, and this one offers a super green variety. It’s almost like a salad frittata — the ratio of vegetable to egg is pretty perfect. Frozen peas are just fine. Parmesan is perfect, but you can beat 4 ounces of soft goat cheese into the eggs instead if you’d prefer.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 pound arugula
Salt and pepper
4 ounces parmesan cheese (1 cup grated)
2 cups peas (frozen or fresh shelled)
Chopped mint or chives
1. Put the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Trim, peel, and chop the onion. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until it’s softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the arugula to the softened onion, a handful at a time, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir and cook until the arugula is just wilted and the liquid is evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the parmesan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and beat the mixture with a fork or whisk. Turn the broiler to high; put the rack 4 inches from the heat.
4. When the arugula is ready, add the peas, herbs, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and turn the heat to low. Pour the eggs into the skillet, tilting it or using a spoon to distribute them evenly. Cook until the eggs are barely set, 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook just until the eggs turn golden, a minute or 2. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve, hot, warm, or at room temperature.
— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Fast
Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl
A Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl using canned tuna – combined with soy, sesame, and wasabi – may be a strange concept, but trust me, it works.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes
1 ½ cups short-grain white rice
1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Two 6-ounce cans tuna (preferably packed in oil), drained
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 scallions, whites and greens separated and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon wasabi powder (or mustard powder), or to taste
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1. Put the rice in a small saucepan with 3 cups water, the rice vinegar, sugar, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily and enthusiastically without boiling over. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes, then stir, cover, and cook, checking every few minutes, until craters appear on the surface of the rice and no water is visible when you tip the pan, another 5 to 10 minutes. Stir again, cover, and remove from the heat; let the rice sit.
2. While the rice is cooking, mix the tuna, mayonnaise, soy sauce, lemon juice, scallion whites, celery, and wasabi powder in a bowl and sprinkle with pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt if you like.
3. To serve, stir the rice with a flat wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, using a fast, scooping-and-folding motion and pressing down gently until the rice is sticky and cooled a little, just a minute or 2; taste and add salt if necessary. Divide the warm rice among 4 bowls, top with the tuna mixture and sliced avocado, and garnish with the sesame seeds and scallion greens.
— Recipe from Dinner for Everyone
Makes: 4 to 8 servings
Time: 30 minutes