BLT with Lemon Aoli

The lemon aoli takes this home lunch to the next level. It is tart and perfect with the salmon. It perked up my leftover salmon and brought brightness with the salty bacon, peppery arugula, and juicy tomato. I wanted to make a fun lunch to revive some leftover salmon that I overcooked a bit. It was actually better in this salmon BLT than it was the night before!
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT

Salmon BLT with Lemon Aoli

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons mayo
juice from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch salt & pepper
2 strips of bacon
3-4 oz salmon, cooked and cooled

Directions:

Pan fry the bacon and remove from the grease.
Turn off the pan from the bacon and gently warm the salmon in the bacon drippings.
Mix together the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Toast the bread and slice the tomato.
Assemble the sandwich with lemon aoli on each slice of toast, then salmon forked apart into chunks, then arugula, then bacon, and the remaining bread.
The Three Bite Rule - Lemon Aoli BLT
Enjoy!

This was seriously better than the salmon was the night before. Condiments can make such a difference. An extra special BLT is a great dinner too. Warming the salmon a bit in bacon drippings is definitely a good choice.

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

After cooking a pork shoulder in the slow cooker I love having a bunch more servings of pork to “pull” out and become a speedy dinner. This time, I made a Thai-inspired rice bowl instead of my usual BBQ or Mexican twists on the leftovers. Earlier the same week we had pulled pork on sandwiches with BBQ sauce. This bowl is an ideal use for any leftover pork or beef, shredded or ground meat.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule

I made the rice in my pressure cooker using white rice for a change, and coconut milk as the liquid. It turned out great- a gentle coconut flavor that isn’t too sweet! I mixed up the sauce in the blender a full day before this dinner which meant we had the speediest dinner ever! I came home to already prepared pork, rice I made that morning, and a sauce from the day before. Assembly time! Sauces often taste even better when made in advance and given a chance to sit before serving!

Thai Coconut Rice Bowls with Pork

Ingredients: (for 4)

1 cup white rice
2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened)
~1 cup shredded pork (or steak or ground meat)
1/4 inch fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 clove/teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cucumber
1 cup shredded carrots
more fresh cilantro to garnish

Directions:

Cook the rice with the coconut milk. (My pressure cooker ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups liquid so I used that ratio but usually rice is 1 rice:2 liquid).
While the rice cooks, blend together the peanut sauce with: ginger, garlic, sriracha, honey, lime, soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, cilantro, and stream in the olive oil. (Can be made ahead of time)
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Warm the pork over medium heat in a medium skillet. When starting to warm, drizzle in ~3 tablespoons of the peanut sauce and cook for another 2 minutes.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Slice the cucumbers into thin sticks.
Serve the rice on the bottom topped with pork, carrots, cucumber, a drizzle of peanut sauce and more cilantro.
Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
Enjoy!

The little one liked the elements of this, but really loved the coconut rice. He hadn’t been into rice lately so that was nice to get back to it, also since coconut rice was something new to us.

Thai Peanut Coconut Rice Bowl - The Three Bite Rule
The sauce was a bit spicy for Mr. J so I’d say I loved this most (I added in more sriracha at first so go with my quantities above!). The raw veggies make it fun with almost sweet rice and warm pork with a few crispy bits. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and loved it all over again! Raw veggies are the pre-schooler’s preference but tricky for the babe who only has 2 little chicklet teeth poking through. I’ll have to balance that a bit more as she “eats dinner” with us.

Substitute any grain cooked as the coconut base and whatever veggies you like. Need more grain bowl inspiration? I’ve got you covered. ;-)

Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle

Fastest pizza/flatbread ever! I thought about a panini but then wanted it to be a pizza. Wheat naan make the fastest pizza crust ever and I love the individual servings. The really good quality cheddar cheese makes this, and of course the caramelized onions don’t hurt either.

The Three Bite Rule - Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle

Ham & Cheddar Pizza with a Mustard Drizzle

Ingredients: (for 4)

4 naan
1 small white onion, cut into slices
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
~2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
2 slices spiral cut ham, diced
4 tablespoons honey mustard dressing

Directions:

Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400 degrees.
In a small pan, cook the onion in butter or olive oil over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until gently caramelized.
Mix together the “sauce” of cream cheese and dijon.
The Three Bite Rule - Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle
Spread it onto the naan.
Sprinkle cheese on top, then add the ham and onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese melts and the naan starts to crisp. The naan stays mostly soft but the edges crisp a little.
The Three Bite Rule - Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle
Let cool for about 2 minutes out of the oven, then drizzle with honey mustard dressing.
The Three Bite Rule - Ham & Cheddar Pizza with Mustard Drizzle
I loved this! Outside the box pizza toppings are some of my favorites and this was the ideal leftover for some holiday ham slices that made their way into our freezer. Our pre-schooler is obsessed with honey mustard so it was my nod to him too. He ate about 1/3 of one, which I thought was a pretty solid quantity since he often likes his foods separate and meat isn’t always his go-to! It was a reminder too that 2 slices of ham went a very far way when chopped up to become 4 individualized pizzas!

This could be a fun brunch one too since topping it with a fried egg also sounds delicious!

What I Ate: Loaded Nacho Waffle Fries

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

You neeeed this super easy and fun dinner in your rotation for December. It is delicious, a great use of leftovers, and couldn’t be easier. What else could you look for from a weeknight dinner!? We have something Mexican about once a week so I popped a small portion of pulled pork into the freezer for occasions such as this. Add gather some queso sauce, tomato, avocado, green onion, salsa, and cheese onto waffle fries and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Taco night gets recreated for a whole different feel. I’m working to ensure foods aren’t always the same for my little one…I don’t want him thinking tacos are always one way, or cheese is always in string form, etc. Having tacos/burritos/quesadillas/etc help ensure he sees ingredients he’s familiar with in another format so it is still approachable. I took a similar tactic for a recent salami & cheese calzone being his fav sandwich flavors. I have adventurous eaters in our family, but doesn’t everyone just want a crowd-pleasing, slam-dunk of a dinner in the rotation, right?
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries

Pssst. These would totally fill a group for a weekend lunch, after sledding, as a quick meal before some festive holiday gathering, or watching a game (<- jeez, I sound like I host football parties non-stop. I just like how those games bring out the snacks!).

Loaded Nacho Waffle Fries

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)

3/4 bag frozen waffle fries
~1 cup pulled pork (or pulled chicken or taco meat)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup salsa con queso
1 avocado, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup salsa

Directions:

Bake the fries according to the package.
While they bake to a crisp, pan fry the shredded pork to brown a bit and warm the queso.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the waffle fries and return to the oven to melt.
Drizzle some queso onto the fries and top with pork.
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries
Serve and offer the toppings of tomatoes, avocado, green onions, and salsa as a top-your-own station, or top the whole platter and let everyone dig in.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Loaded Waffle Fries
These are plate and fork nachos, which are the very best kind! They are truly loaded and so filling- as in, ours were on salad plates instead of dinner plates! Loaded waffle fries are definitely enough to be a meal. Our toddler thought it was a super fun dinner! I’d argue that the baked fries aren’t really a far reach health-wise from the rest of it being a taco or regular nachos. These are more filling so plan portions accordingly!

This uses up the remainder of queso and a small amount of pork & cheese so it reminded me not to underestimate what can become a meal! Vegetarian-ize them swapping pork with black beans and saute some bell peppers or add whatever toppings would go in your tacos!

What I Ate: Chili over Cheddar Cornbread Waffles

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Awhile back I was wanting to make something crazy in the waffle iron. There’s a restaurant I heard about in Syracuse, New York, called Funk ‘n Waffles, that puts all sorts of cra-zy things onto waffle irons. I loved the crispification it sounded like would come from cooking on a waffle iron. I literally had “cook something weird as a waffle” on my ideas of foods to blog. I used a cornbread mix with cheddar as the base topped with chili.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles

I tried a bacon hashbrown thing that failed miserably. It stuck and never crisped so I ended up tossing it into a frying pan to salvage it. I didn’t end up blogging it because I felt defeated, and tired, and pregnantly-hungry, and I blame my waffle iron. My waffle iron is really some plates that insert into my panini press/griddle. I loooove that they aren’t all separate appliances (since I make waffles mayyybe once a year) but it means that the nooks are pretty shallow…1/3 the depth of a Belgian waffle iron. That’s probably the ticket to more surface area for cooking crazy things. This time I stuck closer to waffle batter and made cheddar cornbread waffles for some nooks the leftover chili could rest it. Such a winner.

Ingredients:

cornbread batter prepared
some extra milk/water to loosen the batter (~1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 cups chili

Directions:

Prepare cornbread according to the mix or according to the cornmeal, then add the cheese & green onions if using them.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Add in a little extra milk or water to loosen it enough that it drips off the whisk like pancake/waffle batter.
Ladle onto the waffle iron and cook until crisp. (mine takes about 4-6 minutes)
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Serve waffles topped with chili and some extra cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Enjoy!

I liked this platform. The chili was leftover and would have seemed like a bit less if we just ate it straight up. I probably had a size-able serving for 1 of chili but with the waffles, this fed two of us for dinner. Bam! Leftover magic! It was great to just have to prep the waffles while defrosting & warming the chili.

If you’re a big waffle person you could definitely prep the waffles and freeze them when batching up leftover chili. Then they’d just go in the toaster or oven when it was time to serve!

What I Ate: Taco Pizza

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Add one to the successful pizza-dough alternatives! Making pizza on a tortilla is super easy and is like instant pizza. This is suuuuch a fast pizza and was a great use for a few small leftovers. I had a very small amount of ground chicken in the freezer and a few tortillas hanging around. It had tacos written all over it, but then I figured open faced tacos are taco pizza! This could adapt pretty easily to quesadilla pizza as a stacked tortilla: cheese: tortilla: cheese: toppings. I went lighter (and easier).

The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza

It was a hit and definitely didn’t seem like the burrito ingredients that had been dinner before.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound ground chicken/pork/turkey/beef
1 tbs taco seasoning (or a mix of dried garlic, chili powder, cumin & black pepper)
1 cup refried beans
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 8″ tortillas
1 tomato
1-2 sprigs of green onion
salsa

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Heat a flat pan to medium heat.
Brown the ground meat, drain, and add taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
While the meat is cooking, bake the tortillas on a baking sheet for 2 minutes on each side just to get a tiny bit crunchy so the toppings don’t make it soggy.
Then spread on the refried beans and a sprinkle of taco seasoning.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Add the cheese, ground meat, chopped tomatoes.
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
Bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the tortilla gets crunchy.
Sprinkle with green onions and salsa. Slice, and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Taco Pizza
The beans on here absolutely take it from basic quesadilla to the next level. This taco pizza is a super quick dinner and uses such a small amount of ground meat. This is leftover central at it’s finest. The remaining refried beans can easily freeze until the next burrito/taco pizza time. The crispy tortilla is great and it fulfilled my “need” for Mexican.

You could top this with any cheese you had around (Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, a mixture) , any veggies you have around (like corn, green peppers, green chili, etc), and top with any taco fillers you choose (like sour cream, black beans, avocado, guacamole, etc). The possibilities are endless and are an easy build-your-own.

This is dinner in 30 minutes, without running around like Rachael Ray.

I have made taco pizza as a regular pizza which was awesome, but this was a bit easier.
taco_crust_slice_590_390

Other dough-less pizzas I’ve made:
Bacon & Pear Flatbreads on Pita Bread
French Bread Pizza
Bubble Up BBQ Pizza
Bruschetta Pizza on Naan

What I Ate: Pork Lettuce Wraps

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

One of my fav crockpot dishes is a Chinese Pork, It has water chestnuts, and peppers, and bean sprouts,  and green onions.

Chinese Pork from the Crockpot - The Three Bite Rule

This most recent time I made it was a few months ago and I froze the leftovers so we wouldn’t get sick of it. While I was meal planning recently I thought of it and wondered how to use it differently. Lettuce wraps came to mind. They’re pretty easy to make with any filling, but this was cooked and sauced up already. Perfect!

The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps

I let it defrost all day in the fridge and then heated it through to get ready for dinner. I nixed the peppers, spooning them out leaving it as pork, sauce, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts. It looks like I had more tomato sauce this time, than the first time.
The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps

I whipped up some sesame noodles to go with it.
The Three Bite Rule - Sesame Noodles
And micro’ed some edemame. This was a super quick dinner (10 min of prep) and it used some some random remnants….like the pork from the freezer and a partial box of wheat spaghetti.

The Three Bite Rule - Pork Lettuce Wraps
It wasn’t exactly an award winning dinner, but it was pretty balanced, suuuuuper cheap, and was a bit different than the usual quickie dinner options. It feels less like: leftovers, womp womp when I serve it a long time from the first debut, annnd when I serve it in a different way.  This is why I save everything. Fast dinners like this meant only added Boston bibb lettuce to the shopping list, everything else was on-hand. Plus it reminded me how great edemame in the pods are.

These would have been better with something else, like vinegar-y cabbage or raw bean sprouts on top but they totally fulfilled the what’s for dinner conundrum. Lettuce wraps are a great use for my random extra ground meat. I drop leftover ground chicken and ground pork into the freezer to be used for tacos or something. It’s not the greatest for burgers once it has been frozen but lettuce wraps could be a good use. Hmmm. Maybe I’m onto something there!

How do you recreate leftovers?

Kale Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese becomes healthy if there’s a leafy green ingredient. Right? I love mac & cheese. It is one of my favorite wintry comfort foods. We Are Not Martha posted a great adult-flavored mac & cheese a few weeks ago. I figured mac and cheese was a great use for some of my leftover cheese fondue.

The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese
Some of my favorite mac & cheeses:
Fontina Mac & Cheese with potato chip topping
Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese because these are the best. flavors. anywhere.
Mexican Mac & Cheese with taco seasoning and taco inspiration
Mac & Cheese Taste-off to try 11 different mac & cheeses while stuffing your guests

Ingredients:

1 cup cheese sauce (or leftover cheese fondue)
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheese (I used swiss)
1 egg yolk
1/2 pound pasta (I used mini rigatoni)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup of crackers, crumbled
2 tbs grated parmesan
salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
Boil salted water for the pasta.
In a medium saucepan, warm cheese sauce over medium-low heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook until al dente, being careful not to overcook.
Add in the broth and heavy cream, mixing well.
Tear the kale off the center stocks by pulling from the base towards the other end. Then chop the leafy parts, discarding the stocks.
Drain the pasta and mix into the cheese sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese
Sprinkle in the kale and mix well.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese
Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
Mix in the egg yolk and shredded cheese to the pasta mixture and transfer to the baking dish.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese
Bake for 10 minutes.
While mac and cheese is baking, mix together melted butter, cracker crumbs, and parmesan.
Sprinkle topping onto the mac and cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese
Enjoy!

I loooved this. It was a great use of some leftover fondue. It’s been such a cold year and this was exactly what I needed. The kale was earthy against the cheesiness. The egg yolk is a secret ingredient that adds a velvet texture like carbonara.
The Three Bite Rule - Kale Mac & Cheese

What I Ate: Fig and Prosciutto Panini

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

This panini was more so a pressed sandwich. I realized I had some fig jam leftover from a fig and prosciutto pizza. I love fig jam on toast or in oatmeal but I wanted to use it another way. I hate specialty ingredients that have a one-time use. It has such a unique flavor and I don’t find it so strong that you can’t eat it all the time. I love it with prosciutto for the sweet/salty combo. This time I thought a panini would be a perfect use for it.

The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

This fig & prosciutto panini is kind of a nod to a monte cristo like the raspberry preserves or a Thanksgiving gobbler with cranberry sauce. Paninis are the perfect week-night meal or cooking-for-one or as a use for leftovers.

Ingredients:

2 ciabatta rolls, or 4 slices of crusty bread
4-6 slices of prosciutto
4-6 slices of fontina cheese
3 tablespoons fig spread
handful of arugula (optional)

Directions:

Assemble the sandwich with a drizzle of olive oil onto the bread, then fig spread on one side. Lay arugula and cheese onto the other side.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Preheat a grill pan or panini press or oven to medium-high heat.
Add arugula on top of the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Close up the sandwich. Optional: brush with olive oil or butter.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
Cook for about 5 minutes, melting the cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

Ohh wow. So good. There are no words.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini
This is so good and I think I could eat it weekly. The prosciutto is super salty but delicate and was great with a mild cheese (that melts well, like fontina). The arugula was leftover this week but I wanted the peppery-ness on here. The fig jam is sweet and sticky with such a great dominance on this sandwich. I seriously think this needs crusty and tough bread…nothing wimpy and soft will do for this.

I want this again. right. now.
The Three Bite Rule - Fig & Prosciutto Panini

suggested adaptations: 
fig & prosciutto panini – arugula + spinach/pickled red onions/roasted red peppers = a twist on the veggies
fig & prosciutto panini – half the bread + assembled on crustini toasts = an appetizer format
fig & prosciutto panini – fig jam + roasted figs/dried figs, sliced = similar flavors with different textures
fig & prosciutto panini + pan fried prosciutto – panini cooking = crispy prosciutto sandwich with fig

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

So, you know how the 70s are back in full force via fondue? Well, I had a fondue party errr. maybe it was a party where we ate fondue. Then I made some up again since the party was a “girls gathering” and Mr. J didn’t get any. So 2nd time around, I had leftovers. It seemed like something I should keep and use wisely since it is ohh so delicious (and the price of fancy cheese isn’t going down anytime soon). I split the leftovers into 2 containers and froze it.

Then it got to come alive again. I was thinking how it could be used again, and duhh. I had leftover steamed broccoli and leftover cheese fondue in the freezer. Pizza!

Ingredients:

pizza dough
1 1/2 cups broccoli (steamed, roasted, or raw, as you like it)
1 cup cheese fondue (or cheese sauce, or alfredo sauce) warmed slightly.
3 chicken tenders
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Cook the chicken and broccoli, if needed.
Spread the pizza dough onto at hot pan or pizza stone before poking a few holes into it.
Bake 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule
Spread or spoon the fondue onto the crust.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Then sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
Next add broccoli florets and pieces of chicken.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
This was so good. I used breaded chicken tenders because they’re so quick and easy. They could cook while the pizza stone was preheating. The fondue acting as my “alfredo” sauce, and broccoli both were rescued & frozen after fondue.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
The touch of mustard from the fondue is really great here. The flavors are subtle, but decadently cheese, plus the juicy chicken, and the broccoli freshness…ahhh! It’s all you need.

Fondue is fun and the price of the cheeses definitely made me want to use the leftovers. This could have easily become pasta, or calzone (like I made eons ago), or into lasagna, or become cheesy garlic bread. The possibilities are endless for cheese sauce. I have one more leftover use ahead. Stay tuned! Have leftovers “left” you inspired to make something else lately?