This recipe was created because I had enough whole ingredients plus leftovers in my fridge that were in danger of going bad. Food waste is a real problem, and I am trying to contribute less to that problem. On average, "Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day." That's insane, and it feels absolutely immoral to me given that people are going hungry in the U.S., especially children. One in six children in the U.S. is hungry, which means at a time in their lives when they need food, especially nutritious food, for proper development, they are not getting it.
Here is a formula for creating what I call the "From Meh to Marvelous Bowl of Leftovers." Scroll down for the Salmon Mishmash recipe.
- Sauté an onion over medium heat until it starts to brown. Stir often.
- Add some minced garlic, as much or as little as you would like. If you have some ginger lying around, toss in some grated ginger. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently.
- Add any uncooked diced vegetables that need extra time in the pan, including potatoes, carrots, or zucchini. Stir occasionally. You want the veggies to get a nice toasted color, but you don't want the garlic to burn so you stir often enough to achieve these two objectives.
- Toss in any already cooked protein, like cubed or shredded chicken or some salmon. If you are going to add some spinach, toss that in now too. What about leftover rice or beans? If you're adding those, now is the time to do it. Cook until the protein is heated through and the spinach has just started to wilt.
- Taste it. Does it need salt and pepper? A dash of salt and a pinch of pepper can make a huge difference. If it's tasting flat, one teaspoon of lemon juice will help brighten it.
- Put it in a lovely bowl. Pour yourself a beverage. Enjoy!
Molly's Salmon Mishmash
Serves approximately 3-4
1/2 to a whole onion, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
a shallot, finely chopped optional - only use if you have one randomly laying around
3-6 green onions, cleaned, thinly sliced white and green parts, optional - only use if you have it on hand
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced - if you really love garlic, use more. If not, use less.
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or minced, optional - only use if you have it on hand.
2 cups or so of fresh zucchini, diced
1-2 cups of fresh peas, optional - only use if you have them on hand. Frozen is fine, and they will need to cook a bit longer.
10-16 ounces leftover cooked salmon, flaked
2 cups leftover rice or cauliflower rice
a handful or two of spinach, optional
In a 12-inch pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook the onion until it is starting to brown, stirring often. This will likely take 7 to 10 minutes. If you are using shallot, add it at the same time you add the onion. If you are using green onions, add those when the onion has turned translucent but before it has started to brown.
Once the onion is brown around the edges, add the garlic, and, if you are using it, the ginger. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently so the garlic does not burn. Add the zucchini. Cook, stirring every so often, until the zucchini has started to develop a golden color and is tender.
Add the salmon, the rice, and the peas (if you are using them). Cook until the salmon is heated through and the peas are tender, about three to four minutes. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts. Serve immediately in shallow bowls.
There are some fun condiments you can add. If the dish tastes flat, a squeeze of lemon juice will boost the flavor. Another option is gluten free tamari or soy sauce. Tahini plus a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts is a delicious addition. One last option is a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Nutritional awesomeness: Zucchini is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Fresh peas are nutritional powerhouses. Not only do they contain protein, they are loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Folate. Folate is needed to make DNA and assists with cell division in the body.