Guest Post: Yates Yummies Recipe Challenge

Challenge: How many meals can you make from 10 ingredients?

The 10 Ingredient Challenge

Editor’s note: Here in Melbourne, I’m struggling to find new and creative ways to make easy meals on a budget with the same few ingredients I always buy. I love to eat (and eat healthy). The problem is, I don’t really like to cook and I’m very lazy about it. I also only have a grocery budget of around $50/week. I asked my mom, Julie, food writer and blogger at Yates Yummies and Oranges and Almonds to help me out. I gave her a challenge: make as many meals as you can only using 10 ingredients: sweet potatoes, raw carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olive oil, canned chickpeas, bagged frozen stir fry vegetables, eggs, and salt.

Here you’ll find seven delicious, healthy, easy and cheap recipes. And, they’re all vegetarian. What more could a traveler who doesn’t love to cook but loves to eat want?

  • Egg Stuffed Green Pepper
  • Chickpea Fritters with Yolk Sauce
  • Veggie Sub
  • Sweet Potato Tortilla with Tomato Relish
  • Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Egg
  • Tomato Bread Salad
  • Vegetable Bread Pudding

I love her innovative ways of molding traditional dishes with a splash of flavor. I’m impressed by her ideas to make staples from unusual ingredients. What inspiring new ways to view cooking! But, I couldn’t have expected anything less from this passionate cook. How lucky am I to have such a great mom? I can’t wait to spice up my daily routine with her recipes. Thanks, Julie!

When Allison invited me to do a guest post on Naptime with Yasmine, I was thrilled! I love to cook and I as her mom, was really excited that Allison was showing an interest in it.

Then I got the whole assignment; I needed to come up with recipes that included a very narrow list of ingredients and (gasp!) the only seasoning to be used was salt. It turns out that these are the items that fit into Allison’s tight grocery budget each week.

Hearing that, I rose to the challenge and tried to turn the components- sweet potatoes, raw carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, olive oil, canned chickpeas, bagged frozen stir fry vegetables, eggs, and salt- into the most delicious combinations I could think of. As I told Allison, thank God for olive oil, onions, and salt because they really do add a lot of flavor!

But aside from that, the remarkable thing was that I could actually taste the ingredients in the dishes; spices weren’t carrying the day. Another interesting facet was that for the couple of days I was putting these recipes together and eating up the results, I felt full of energy and all around just good. Perhaps my feeling of well-being was just connected with the joy of contributing to Allison’s life, and I hope that anyone reading this post will take a chance on trying them out. At the very least, the Tomato Bread Salad and the Vegetable Bread Pudding are a good use for a tired, stale baguette.

I tried to make the instructions as simple as possible, but please ask questions in the comments if further clarification is needed.

A word about the use of salt in these recipes; according to American Test Kitchen podcasts I have listened to, adding it while cooking actually controls salt intake by reducing the temptation to overdo it with a shaker.  Also, while it’s not necessary to make the sauces that are suggested, they do give the recipes a little zing and you can mix and match them with the different dishes. As Allison’s day care provider once said, “Enjoy!”

Egg Stuffed Green Pepper

Egg Stuffed Green Pepper


One Serving:

½ green pepper, stem still attached, seeded and membranes removed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons olive oil

1 or 2 eggs

2 tablespoons minced onion, divided

1 medium tomato, diced

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 teaspoon of olive oil to coat the inside and outside of a green bell pepper that has been cut directly in half – stem and all, but seeds and membranes removed.  Place the pepper on an oven safe (or microwave appropriate pan) open side up and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of minced onion inside of it. Crack the egg(s) into the pepper. Bake 10 minutes for one egg or 15 minutes for two. The egg will look “set” but still have a little jiggle when done. (If microwaving, cook the pepper on its own for two minutes, then crack the egg(s) into it,  pierce yolk, then cook for 1  more minute.)

While the pepper is cooking, make the sauce by sautéing the diced tomato, 1 tablespoon onion, and salt in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium low heat until onion is tender.

Chickpea Fritters with Yolk Sauce

Chickpea Fritters

Makes Three Fritters:

2 eggs

1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

¼ cup diced green pepper (seeds and membranes removed before chopping)

¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons diced onion

1/8 plus a pinch teaspoon salt

2 hard-boiled egg yolks

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of water

Since two hard-boiled egg yolks are required for the sauce, prepare them first. (The cooked egg whites will be used in another recipe). Gently place the two eggs in a pan and fill with cool water. Place pan on stove over high heat. Set the timer for 20 minutes. (The water will gradually come to a boil, and at the end of 20 minutes, the eggs will be hard-boiled.) Take the pan off the stove, pour off the water, and run cool water over the eggs in the pan.  Peel and use or refrigerate and eat within two days.

In a medium large boil, crack the two eggs open and add 1 teaspoon water. Whisk with a fork 60 strokes. Add the rinsed and drained chickpeas, green pepper, onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Use the fork to smash the chickpeas against the side of the bowl. Smoosh each one, knowing that they will still maintain their appearance as chickpeas. Mix everything together, giving it all another squish in an attempt to make the ingredients combine. (There will still be liquid that separates out.) Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When a chickpea dropped in the pan sizzles, it is ready. Fill a ½ measuring cup with the mixture, pack it in a bit, and then gently turn it upside down into the pan. Do this two more times. Turn the mixture down to medium low and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, use a metal spatula to very gently turn the fritters over. Cook for 10 more minutes, then gently take them out of pan and place on a serving platter.

While the fritters are cooking, place the two hard-boiled egg yolks in a bowl along with the 2 teaspoons of diced onion and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Smash the yolks with the back of a fork and mix them into the other ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons of water and combine well. Serve with the fritters.

Veggie Sub

Veggie Sub

One to Two Servings:

½ baguette

1 sweet potato

1 bag stir fry vegetables

1 onion

½ tomato

2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

Scant 1/8 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling

Peel the sweet potato, cut off the ends, and slice it into ¼ inch thickness so the result looks like a circle. If it is possible to use an oven, preheat it to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the sweet potato rounds on one side of the baking sheet. Pour the stir fry vegetables onto the other side. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the sweet potato and vegetables. With your hands, toss the sweet potatoes and then the vegetables so that the olive oil coats them and they won’t stick to the baking pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and veggies are just beginning to brown and can be easily pierced with a fork. (If only a microwave is available, follow instructions above except you cook the sweet potatoes separately for 3 minutes, then the vegetables for 5. Both should be tender enough for a fork to pierce them easily)

While the sweet potatoes and vegetables are cooking, prepare the onions. Peel and thinly slice onion. Place in a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Either with your hands or wooden spoon separate out the onion slices. Gently sauté the onions for about 10 minutes or until they are tender and starting to turn golden brown. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, dice the tomato and smash it with the back of a fork. Add the olive oil and salt.

To assemble, cut the half of the baguette lengthwise and then into sandwich size pieces.  Toast the bread if desired. Spread the tomato mixture on the bottom slice of the sandwich. Cover with a layer of sweet potatoes, followed by the stir fry vegetables, and finally the onions. Place the top piece of bread on sandwich.

Sweet Potato Tortilla with Tomato Relish

Sweet Potato Tortilla

1 sweet potato

1 onion

2 eggs

¼ salt

2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon (plus ¼ cup if unable to use oven) olive oil

1 tomato, diced

¼ cup minced green pepper

¼ cup minced onion

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

Peel sweet potato, cut off the ends, and cut into ¼ inch slices. Either bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes (toss them with 1 tablespoon olive first) or cook them on stove in ¼ cup olive oil over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Carefully turn them over and cook for 10 more minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Very gently remove them from the pan taking care not to break them into pieces. Reserve the olive oil.

Peel onion and cut into thin slices. Put into skillet with two tablespoons olive oil and separate into rings with hands or spoon. Sauté over medium low heat until tender and beginning to turn golden brown.

Crack two eggs into bowl and whisk 60 times. Add the potatoes, onions, and ¼ teaspoon salt and gently combine.

Either use the reserved olive oil or add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Heat over medium low. Turn the egg mixture into the skillet and as the tortilla sets up, run a rubber spatula along the sides to create a rounded edge. When the tortilla is almost completely firm, remove the pan from the heat. Place a plate on top of the skillet and using pot holders or a kitchen towel to prevent being burned, flip the pan over so that the tortilla is on the plate. Then slide the tortilla off the plate and onto the skillet. Place back on low heat and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate.

In a small bowl, mix the diced tomato, green pepper, onion, salt and olive oil together. Serve as a condiment for the tortilla.

Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Egg

Sweet Potato Hash

1 sweet potato, skinned and cut into cubes

¼ cup diced onion

¼ cup diced green pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1 or 2 eggs

If oven is available, place sweet potato cubes that have been drizzled and tossed with a bit of olive oil on foil covered baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. If using microwave, place in microwave safe dish, toss with a bit of olive oil, and cook for 3 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Place olive oil in skillet and heat over medium low. Add sweet potato, onion, green pepper, and salt. Sauté until the vegetables become tender and the sweet potatoes develop a brown crust on the edges. At this point the hash can be placed on a serving platter and the eggs can be poached according to the directions in the paragraph below. Or – an egg or two could be cracked right into the pan and allowed to cook right then and there.

To poach eggs, fill a small sauce pan half way up with water and bring to a boil. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and then gently slide them into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the sweet potato hash.

Tomato Bread Salad 

Tomato Bread Salad

Serves one:

1 tomato, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ baguette.

1 tablespoon diced onion

1 tablespoon diced green pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Optional: hard-boiled egg whites left over from chickpea fritter recipe

Cut the baguette into cubes. Using a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the bread cubes and brown the sides by turning the pieces over with a metal spatula. Remove from heat and set the cubes aside. Pour any of the oil remaining into a bowl. Add the tomato, onion, green pepper, salt, and egg white if using. Add the browned bread cubes and gently toss.

Vegetable Bread Pudding

Vegetable Bread Pudding

3 eggs

2 carrots, peeled, ends cut off, and sliced

Bag of stir fry vegetable

¼ baguette

2 teaspoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons water

Roast the carrots and stir fried vegetables by tossing them with a drizzle of olive oil and baking them in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. If using microwave, place carrots and stir fry vegetables in an appropriate covered dish and cook for 5 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

Coat the bottom of baking dish or the microwave safe dish with olive oil. Layer the bread cubes on the bottom, then the carrots and stir fry vegetables.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add 2 teaspoons of water. Whisk with a fork for 60 strokes. Pour the eggs over the top of the bread and vegetables.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or microwave for 10 minutes. It is done when top is browning and the eggs are set. An inserted fork should come out clean.

All photos taken by Julie Yates. Visit Yates Yummies and Oranges and Almonds for more of Julie’s photos and recipes. 


6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Yates Yummies Recipe Challenge

  1. Wow your mom is such a creative cook!

    On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 9:13 AM, Naptime With Yasmine wrote:

    > Allison posted: “Challenge: How many meals can you make from 10 > ingredients? Editor’s note: Here in Melbourne, I’m struggling to find new > and creative ways to make easy meals on a budget with the same few > ingredients I always buy. I love to eat (and eat healthy). The pr” >

    Me gusta

  2. Hey Allison 🙂
    Thanks for this post, I struggle with the exact same thing (but my budget is even lower since I usually only have to cook for myself). On my weekly list are also some zucchini/courgette, since they are very versatile and awesome in everything (usually instead of frozen veggies due to the very limited freezer space in our student kitchen 😦 ).
    I love what your mom made out of your “limited”, actually not so limited resources!
    Greetings from the student kitchen,

    Me gusta

    1. Hi Johanna! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m so glad you like the recipes. And you’re right, they are limitless 🙂 What are some of your favorite things to make out of those ingredients? I’d be so curious to know!! Have a beautiful day!

      Le gusta a 1 persona

      1. Hey Allison, with the zucchini, one of my standards is always ratatouille (ok a pretend-ratatouille because I just throw everything together with some tomato sauce). Stir fries and oven-baked veggies (also covered with cheese) are also a quick and budget-friendly favorite. And who could say no to a heartwarming soup? 🙂

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