If you’re looking for easy meal solutions that use up what you have on hand and can be adapted for vegetarian, gluten-free and even vegan diets, look no further than Chef Nadiya Hussain’s “egg rolls”!
UK Chef Nadiya Hussain’s easy, breezy cooking show, Time to Eat, was recently released on Netflix Canada, much to the joy of Canadians in COVID-19 lockdown looking for new and simple recipes to enjoy while staying in.
Not all of the recipes are accessible to North Americans, as some ingredients are unique to the UK (or at least not readily available here), but a bit of googling often resulted in easy substitutions.
The recipe that really stood out to us though was her “egg rolls” that she makes in the very first episode. They are so incredibly easy to make, and although she uses specific ingredients in hers, we found through our own delicious experiments that you can really throw just about anything into these to create your own flavours and use what you have on hand. And of course, we all know that using what you have on hand is an awesome way to reduce household food waste!
For Nadiya’s recipe, you can check out this link. Her version features black olives, mushrooms and sundried tomato paste, which sounds mouth-wateringly delicious, but without those ingredients on hand, we came up with some pretty good variations of our own.
You can get the full technique at the link above, but essentially, you heat up a non-stick frying pan and glob some olive oil in there (or not - still great without oil, but it does give a nice crunch).
Next, you beat an egg with a pinch of salt and pour it into the pan. Put whatever toppings you want on the egg in the pan.
Then, take a tortilla and either use it plain or spread your choice of condiment on it. Place the tortilla condiment-side down (if using) on the egg. When the egg seems cooked around the edges, flip it over and let the tortilla crisp up and the egg fully cook.
Remove from the pan and let it cool just enough so you can touch it, then roll it!
These are SO easy to make and taste amazing hot or kept cool to take on a picnic lunch. They’re also pretty forgiving, so if your egg goops around the tortilla or is kind of off centre (as was the case with many of ours), they still taste great.
Vegetarian - Just don’t add meat!
Vegan - Use your vegan egg substitute of choice, or even a completely different ingredient that will help bind everything together, such as pureed lentils or white beans.
Gluten-free - Just use gluten-free tortillas! These can be a bit dry, but the way these rolls are cooked gives even gluten-free tortillas a nice toasty texture.
We actually used our own leftovers to make a few versions of these. We’ve had them for lunch and dinner, on their own or with a side salad, and are pretty confident that these would make a great brunch food as well.
Here are our favourite variations so far:
Leftover pizza toppings - Marinara sauce on the tortilla, pepperoni, fresh basil and shredded mozzarella on the egg.
Leftover stir fry - We had made a stir fry using roasted tofu chunks, broccoli and bean sprouts in an orange ginger sauce the previous night. For the egg rolls, we just chopped the chunks a little smaller, tossed them on the egg and topped it with a plain tortilla. This was good but would have been even better with some kind of dipping sauce. Next time!
Leftover pasta toppings - Diced roasted red peppers and crumbled feta on the egg, with pesto sauce, spread on the tortillas. Yum!
Leftover pulled pork and pickled red cabbage - This was AMAZING, but we ate it hot and felt it might have had too much moisture to hold up in a picnic basket, but you never know.
Just cheese - These were great with just egg and cheese, and served with a light salad, which used up some leftover mixed greens we had.
Leftover chicken souvlaki - Even our takeout got thrown into these! We ended up with some leftover souvlaki sticks, Greek salad and tzatziki, so we chopped up the chicken and salad (tomatoes, red onions and feta) and put those in the egg. We then used the leftover tzatziki as a dipping sauce for the rolls. So good!
Leftover roasted cod and veggies - Chopped cod and red peppers (roasted the previous night) added to the egg, and black olive tapenade spread on the tortilla. More tapenade next time! Yum!
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