We first came across this concept when we were fulltiming and stayed in Eugene, Oregon, for eight months in 2006. There was a restaurant there called YUM! that was in a shopping center that also housed a Barnes and Noble bookstore – so you can imagine how much time we spent in that area! ;->
We aren’t much on restaurants, but decided one day to see why people were waiting in line out the door to receive a bowl of the food being served there. After that visit, we STILL wondered why people were waiting in line out the door to receive a bowl of the food being served there. The concept was easy enough – you were handed a bowl almost entirely full of white or brown rice, and then toppings could be added. So the effect was that you had a meal-sized portion, but most of it was rice. Needless to say, that was our only trip to that establishment.
But lately I had been hearing people mention that they had “a bowl” for lunch, so I enquired. Yup – sounds just like what we experienced in Oregon. I have no clue how it all shakes out now, though. It may very well be quite nice.
In fairness, I just looked on the net using YUM! as the search string, and it looks like an entirely different operation today. The food looked really good in the video, and the concept I described above is nowhere in sight. So, rant over.
But the point of this blog entry is to describe my own “bowl” of a really delicious lunch we had a few days ago. This is leftover angel hair with veggies, cheese, and eggs. I call it Carbonara, although that is probably not entirely accurate. It is a most delicious way to do away with little pots of goodies that you have in the refrigerator, whilst providing a most satisfying dining experience.
This particular day, I didn’t really have a lot of leftover veggies, so just sauteed up two slices of bacon, some mushrooms, onions, some cut up fresh tomato bits, and red peppers. Kale and/or broccoli are particularly good in this, both for the health values and the pretty green color. In the end, I added some marinated sun-dried tomato Julienne strips, and they added a remarkable zing that was more than I had expected. I was out of fresh spinach, but a handful of leaves at the very end are just glorious!
Push everything to the side and slowly scramble however many eggs you have chosen to add. I usually use just two for the both of us because duck eggs are extra, extra, extra large! At serving time, I added a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. Too late, I realized that olives would have been good on it, too.
Leftover pasta is always handy to make something quick and delicious for lunch. If you have brought home a doggy bag of meat or veggies from a restaurant meal, this is an excellent way to parlay it into another meal with little effort. If you have a bit of fresh lemon, a couple of squeezes will bring this dish to brilliance, and you will never even remember that it was so easy.
Of course you can make an omelet separately and use the above veggie mixture as a filling if you don’t have any pasta. Just melt some extra sharp Cheddar over the top of the omelet part and dot the cheese with something pretty like the green part of scallions, black olives, chiles, roasted red pepper strips, and/or a strip of the sour cream from the tube. A side of home fries would no doubt be welcomed as well.
Note to self: You have angel hair, a dozen red peppers, cooked kale and broccoli, fresh spinach, olives, etc. in the refrigerator at this very moment – just no mushrooms! ;->