Dinners That Are Quicker Than Takeout

Article first appeared in http://www.vogue.com/13429129/easy-15-minute-egg-dinner-recipes-better-than-takeout/)

I won’t deny that it’s tempting at the end of a long day to reach for your phone rather than a frying pan, but in the time it takes to place an order and wait for it to be delivered, you could be eating a healthy meal cooked from scratch.

No shortcuts, no half homemade, just 10 to 15 minutes in the kitchen. All you need is leftovers and a couple of eggs.

Why eggs? They’re a great source of protein and micronutrients, they don’t spoil nearly as fast as fish or meat, they cook in minutes, and they make any meal more exciting and substantial (I.e: Instagrammable).

French Omelet With Simple Salad

A French omelet, a handful of greens, and a glass of rosé—what could be lovelier for a light dinner?

Warm a small omelet pan or frying pan over medium-low heat (you’ll want it to be nonstick or well seasoned). Vigorously beat two eggs in a small bowl so the white and yolk are completely combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and some finely chopped parsley or chives (if you have them). Melt a generous pat of butter in the pan, and turn up the heat to medium. Add the eggs, and shake the pan until the eggs are nearly set. Tilt the pan away from you to begin to roll the omelet toward the far side of the pan (with the help of a fork). Set it down and roll the far side of the omelet back in toward you (by shaking the pan or using a fork). Slide the omelet onto a plate. Sprinkle more herbs on top.

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A handful of greens tossed with a teaspoon of olive oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar completes the meal (and maybe a piece of baguette if you can pick one up on the way home). Très chic!

Spectacular Sandwich

Tip: When you get a good loaf of bread from a bakery, slice whatever you wont use in a day or two and keep it in a zip-top bag in the freezer. Then you can take out a slice and toast it anytime.

Don’t overlook the humble sandwich! Take a look at those leftovers and condiments in your fridge and reimagine them between two slices of bread. Kung Pao chicken and salad greens? Yes! Cheese and three kinds of pickles? Sounds good! Roasted vegetables and Greek yogurt? I’ll have one. Now add a fried egg and it’s not sad leftovers, it’s a spectacular sandwich.

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Udon With Egg and Greens

Tip: If youre not sure when youll get around to cooking, buy sturdy greens (rather than baby varieties), like a bunch of spinach, bok choi, kale, or cabbage, that wont wilt in the crisper so quickly.

Frozen sanuki udon noodles cook in minutes and come out chewy, bouncy, and satisfying. Stock up on them at an Asian market, and you’ll always be ready to make a quick meal with the addition of some spinach and an egg. There’s no shame in using the seasoning packet that comes with the noodles (but you can substitute homemade dashi or broth if you happen to have it).

In a saucepan of boiling water, quickly blanch a small bunch of spinach leaves (not baby spinach); keep them attached at the bottom and dip them in the hot water just until they wilt and turn bright green. Take them out of the water using tongs or a slotted spoon, and trim off the bottom. Spoon some of the hot water into a bowl to warm it, then pour the water out.

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In the pot you used for the spinach, return the water to a boil and cook the noodles very al dente. Drain them (toss with a little sesame oil if you have it) and put them in the bowl. Place the spinach on top. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in the same pot. Add the seasoning packet that came with the udon. Poach an egg in the broth, then add the broth and egg to the bowl. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi or sesame seeds if you have them. Dinner is served!

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