I used to make quite large batches of meals so that I had leftovers and didn’t have to cook every night. The only problem was that I often went back for seconds and while I didn’t have a whole second meal, I ate more than I should of – which might explain my previous weight gain.
Monitoring my calories helped with cutting back on my seconds. But now that I am maintaining my weight and not watching my calories so closely, I have not been cooking large batches to keep away the temptation of seconds.
But life has been a bit crazy recently and both Lara and Tash reminded me that leftovers are not only good for not having half used tins of things but are also great time savers. So I have been keeping my eye out for recipes that I thought would make good leftovers.
This skillet ham and cheese gnocchi works perfectly for this purpose and has the added bonus of being super quick to make in the first place and only uses one pot as you cook the gnocchi in the skillet as long as you use a pan that can also go under the grill (for broiling).
It isn’t a super gourmet meal, but it is a good work day meal that is comforting pasta and beautifully cheesy with ham to add the saltiness. Plus it contains vegetables including one of my favourite vegetables – peas so no sides required. I know some people may be put off by the use of frozen peas. But you shouldn’t be. There is quite a bit of evidence out there that frozen vegetables have the same levels of vitamins and minerals as the fresh stuff, if not more, especially if you buy from a supermarket where the produce may have been sitting around for a while.
It is also one of those dishes where it tasted better the second day. But then doesn’t most food taste better the second time around?
I made enough for two meals using the following ingredients:
- ½ tbs of butter (the original recipe says unsalted but I only had salted in the house)
- ½ a brown onion, finely chopped
- ½ a cup of broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 110g of cubed ham – I bought ham that was already chopped – not the best quality I know but the supermarket often only has sliced ham as an alternative and that wouldn’t work that well in this dish.
- ½ cup of chicken stock – again no low salt for me (yes I am a salt fiend)
- 220g of potato gnocchi
- ¾ cup of frozen green peas
- 1 tbs of low fat milk and 1 tbs of cooking cream (instead of half and half)
- ¼ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tbs of parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
I followed the recipe as given with no changes. The main thing is to watch when you are grilling (broiling) the dish to make sure it doesn’t burn. I cooked the onion and broccoli for about 3 minutes in the first step and the ham took about 3 minutes to lightly brown. I cooked everything on a medium heat – the lower of my two medium settings. It is the setting on my stove where the onions go translucent rather than frying and going brown.
Using pre-cubed ham, the prep time for this recipe is 5-10 minutes – depending on whether you buy grated cheese or grate yourself. I grate myself as it tends to be cheaper and I can buy the amount of cheese I need. The bags of grated cheese tend to be more than I need. And cheese in the house, especially a good cheddar can mean expanding hips. Cooking time is 20 minutes, so you can have this on the table in about 30 minutes.
There are about 453 calories in each serve. Which I think is good for a pasta dish that is a complete meal.