The Signal

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Wednesday September 27th

Three easy dishes to make with the food in your fridge before spring break

There are simple ways that help you get things out of the fridge and enjoy a nice meal or snack. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/“Fridge” by Sara/April 15, 2006).
There are simple ways that help you get things out of the fridge and enjoy a nice meal or snack. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/“Fridge” by Sara/April 15, 2006).

By Zach Rice

As spring break draws near everyone is excited to go home, see their families or go on unforgettable vacations with their friends, but what about the food left in their fridges? Most people will resign to simply throwing all of it out before they go away or forgetting about the food entirely, but there are easy ways that help you get things out of the fridge and enjoy a nice meal or snack.

#1: Omelet in a bag

Though at first glance an omelet in a bag sounds like a crazy idea, it is basically the caveman version of the sous vide precision cooking method where food is vacuum sealed in a bag, placed in a water bath and cooked to a precise temperature. For this first recipe, it's just a matter of getting rid of eggs, milk and any other greens or protein you have left in your fridge. Aside from rotating the omelet every couple of minutes in boiling water, you don’t have to do much else.

James Bratt, a junior mechanical engineering major tried this dish, opting to include bacon and green onions in his omelet. 

“I'd say it's very easy to do,” he said about making the omlet. “It takes a little bit of preparation, but it's very easy to do.” 

The whole preparation and cooking process takes about 15 minutes depending on what you want in the omelet and is perfect for if you are rushing to class and need a healthy protein-filled breakfast.

#2: Beer Cheese Sauce

A cult classic at pubs and bars in America, the beer cheese dipping sauce is a robustly flavored comfort food and can be made from scratch very easily — assuming you are legally allowed to purchase the beer needed for it. 

Though this recipe is slightly more complex than the previous one, you will just need the cheese, milk and beer left over in your fridge with the exception of parmesan cheese due to its strong flavor and poor melting characteristics and american cheese since it also doesn’t melt well. The beer that is being used should preferably be a lager due to its warm flavors that aren’t too heavy like a dark beer and has a fuller flavor profile than a true light beer.  You will also need flour, butter, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper at minimum. 

After setting a pan to medium heat, melt down three tablespoons of butter and then slowly add in equal parts flour to create a thickening agent called a roux. After this it is just a matter of adding in the beer slowly. Then, add the milk. Once the wet ingredients have combined into the mixture, add in the barbeque sauce and seasonings. Then all you have to do is gradually add in about half of a pound of cheese. 

Rob Moran, a junior criminology major, tried this recipe and said, “This was great because, the cheese I have had in my fridge for the entire semester, [I] just haven't had a use for it really, so I'm glad that's being put to use with this.” 

This recipe only takes about 15 minutes total and is a total crowd pleaser especially when you have a lot of dairy leftovers. Moran added that it was “easily a nine and a half, maybe a 10 out of 10.”

#3: Three-Ingredient Egg Fried Rice

Egg fried rice is one of the simplest dishes you can make, and it just requires rice, soy sauce, an egg and whatever protein you have. You can also top it off with chopped green onions for some extra texture. If you are adding anything for extra protein make sure it is diced up, then pan seared so it crisps up. Then add your leftover rice, get it hot and then break an egg on it and mix it in evenly with the rice and protein. Once the egg is evenly added and cooked, coat your rice with soy sauce and mix it in. 

Sophomore marketing major Brianna Peralta tried this recipe and said, “It was really filling and a really good way to get rid of what you have left.” 

This is another dish where the fridge and creativity are your limits when it comes to additions and variations. This was a really quick dish to make as well; the entire process took about 10-15 minutes and left Peralta saying, “10 out of 10!”

While these dishes don’t need to be made with leftovers, they have very common ingredients that are usually left in the fridge and are extremely quick and simple alternatives to ordering take out or going out. Recipes for each of these dishes are below.

Omelet in a bag over water (Photo courtesy of Zach Rice)

Omelet in a Bag


4 Eggs

Dash of Milk

Shredded Cheese (any kind)

2 Strips of Bacon Crumbled

Half of a Green Onion Chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Plastic Sandwich Bag


Step 1. Fill a pot halfway with water and set it on high heat to boil

Step 2. Either get your bacon crumbles or make your bacon crumbles by cooking two strips of diced bacon in a pan until crispy.

Step 3. Crack four eggs into a bowl and whisk until combined. Then add a dash of milk and repeat.

Step 4. Add your seasonings and cheese to the mixture and pour into a plastic sandwich bag. 

Step 5. Place the bag in boiling water, flipping every few minutes for 5-10 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Step 6.  Plate your dish, add your condiments and enjoy!


A simple beer cheese made from leftovers (Photo courtesy of Zach Rice)

Beer Cheese Dip


3 Tbsp of Butter

3 Tbsp of Flour

½ Cup of Lager Beer (or whatever you have)

1 Cup of Milk (any kind, whole is preferred)

1 ½ Tbsp of Barbecue Sauce

½ tsp of Salt

½ tsp of black pepper

½ tsp of chili powder*

½ tsp of of paprika*

½ tsp of garlic powder*

Approximately 1-1 ½ cups of shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend preferred)

*optional but recommended for best outcome.


Step 1. Make a roux by melting down 3 Tbsp of butter in a pot over medium heat. Then slowly whisk in 3 Tbsp of flour.

Step 2. Add in half of a cup of beer while continuing to whisk to ensure no clumping. Then do the same process with the cup of milk.

Step 3. Add in the barbeque sauce and seasonings. Mix until combined.

Step 4. Gradually add in the shredded cheese.

Step 5. Serve it with whatever you would like and enjoy!

3 ingredient egg fried rice from leftovers (Photo courtesy of Zach Rice)

3 Ingredient Egg Fried Rice


1 Cup of Rice

1 Hot Dog Diced (or any other protein)*

1 Egg

About 1-1 ½ Tbsp of Soy Sauce

1 Green Onion Chopped*

*optional but recommended for best outcome.


Step 1: Pan sear your diced protein over medium heat until a crust forms on both sides.

Step 2: Add your rice to the pan to heat it up.

Step 3: Form a clearing in the middle of the pan and crack an egg into the middle. 

Step 4: Mix the egg into the rice constantly until the rice is evenly coated.

Step 5: Pour the soy sauce on top of the rice in the pan and mix in evenly.

Step 6: Take the rice out of the pan, serve with chopped green onions on top and enjoy!


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