A Quickie: Garlic Shrimp & Eggs on Toasted Bagels

Filled Bagel (01) by Meeta Albrecht

Quick meals, meals in a jiffy, express meals! When out shopping or in the kitchen preparing certain dishes, these are the phrases I keep in my mind. If someone were to look into my kitchen they would probably get a shock when they see the large amounts of food I prepare during most meals. Although we are a little family of three I often cook for double if not triple that number!

Most of my actual cooking is done on the weekend. Then I have time and will prepare bigger and elaborate meals. Throughout the rest of the week however, we normally live off the leftovers. Prepared in different ways, there is always a remanent of something from the weekend. So, if we had rice, pasta or potatoes, I’ll cook double the amounts, freezing the rest. If we had chicken, I’ll buy six chicken breasts instead of just three, grill or broil the three extras – cut up and freeze. Herbs are bought in huge amounts then chopped and frozen in ice-cube trays so that all I need to do is pop a cube into any sauce, soup or dip.

This way during the week, potatoes will be taken out and re-heated in the microwave, a dip made of quark and yogurt with a couple of cubes of herbs is mixed together for a delicious light – and very German – quick meal of “kartoffeln und quark”. The chicken is used in a variety of ways, for example in salads, in rice pilaws or in soups. Pasta too is great as a leftover there are so many varieties of quick and easy sauces, even sometimes from a jar.

What’s more there are so many great convenience food items available in the stores these days that one can prepare meals in under 30 minutes.

Here are a few of my kitchen tips to help reduce your cooking/preparing time to the min.:
  • Onions, garlic and ginger are very often used is Asian/Indian meals. To reduce my preparing time I normally make pastes of each of these ingredients. They are then filled in ice-cube trays. Once frozen I place them in freezer bags and label them.
  • These are my basic sauces and are made in fairly large amounts. One can make any variation of the sauces. Filled in jars and topped off with olive oil they normally last for a 1-3 months. Pesto can be used with any pasta, Arrabiata tastes great when used to stuff chicken and the aglio is often used as a basis for many dishes.
  • Buy in bulk. Veggies like bell peppers, leeks, carrots, beans etc. from the Farmer’s Market can be bought in larger amounts and then frozen. I normally cut up many of my veggies prior to freezing them. Especially for Asian dinners – I 'll cut up the veggies in strips and mix a combo of 3-5 veggie strips in a freezer bags, label them and freeze them. Now nothing comes in the way of a quick fried rice or vegetable noodle dish
  • Indian cooking requires a bit of pre-preparation. A trick I learnt from my mum was to prepare the wet or dry masalas in larger portions. Divide in the portions required and then freeze them. Once frozen put them in freezer bags. Don’t forget to label them. These are so perfect and a quick Indian dinner on a weeknight can be prepared so easily!
  • If you use a lot of herbs in your kitchen and cooking, here’s a great thing I picked up at the Sheraton Kitchen while training: Use scissors to chop up your mint leaves, basil, coriander and even chillies.
  • If you enjoy breads like naan, roti, Lebanese bread or pita. Make a large amount then stack them up, placing a sheet of waxed paper in between each layer, put in a freezer bag and freeze. When required take them out of the freezer and nuke them on low for a few seconds and you could enjoy a quick meal like this one

My meal here was a quick, super express, made-in-10-mins-flat type of meal. Now presuming you have already made these lovely bagels and they were sitting in your freezer waiting to be used in a meal like this one, you’ll have a great dinner made within minutes. A light salad like this pea and lettuce salad is just perfect with it. The shrimps were marinated and frozen in a light garlic sauce, which gave the whole dish a lovely flavour.


Filled Bagel (02) by Meeta Albrecht

4 bagels - homemade or store-bought
4 - 6 fresh eggs - beaten
200 - 250g shrimps - fresh or frozen.
1-2 cubes of mixed herbs - from the freezer of course
1 teaspoon aglio olio
10 - 12 cherry tomatoes - quartered
Cream cheese
Salt and pepper


Filled Bagel (03) by MeetaA

In a pan gently sauté the aglio until fragrant. Add the shrimps and cook for just a minute. Pour in the beaten eggs into the pan, add the herb cubes salt, pepper and the tomatoes. Cook until the eggs are set and to the desired consistency, then break it up with a spatula.

Toast the bagels and spread with cream cheese on each side. Lay out on a plate and spread the shrimp and egg on one side of the bagel. Close withe the other.

Enjoy warm with a light salad.


Filled Bagel (04) by MeetaA

This is a fantastic and very versatile dish. You can just about substitute any ingredient with the shrimp and use and herbs to flavor it differently each time. Very cool is that this you can serve for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.

For sweet Shaheen, I would like to send this to her Express Cooking event.

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  1. Well, yes this would be a fantastic and very versatile dish! Great tips Meeta, you are one very organized girl!

  2. Great suggestions for time-saving tips. I always freeze herbs in ice cube trays, too, but I love the idea of garlic and ginger pastes!

  3. Great tips, thank you. I only wish my freezer was bigger :)
    How do you make the herb cubes? Do you add water to the herbs?

  4. Now that I have started baking so much, I think I'll first try and make the bagels from your daring baker's challenge recipe. And then I'll try stuffing them.

    Nice tips on how to get things done faster when you don't have the time.

    Like I've maintained, the express cooking round up is going to be one great round up.


  5. Looks great Meeta....as usual...


  6. Thanks a ton, meeta! I knew u would come up with a lovely post.. YOur tips are so useful. A bit of organiation does make life easier.. I am going to buy a bunch of ice trays now.:)Is that bread from ur fav baker? looks good.

  7. Great tips - how planning ahead can make sure we are not eating out of cans!

    I loved the addition of garlicky shrimp and the flavourful sauce - lifts the 'egg and bread' combination right out of the ordinary into the amazingly spectacular!


  8. Hey Meeta, Awesome tips! Thats a lovely post! I also recently started buying in bulks, cleaning, cutting and then freezing in smaller bags. Thats such a time saver especially during busy weekdays!

  9. hi meeta, nice tips...especially the one about freezing herbs... and the bagels are looking great too..

  10. That bagel kept me drooling over, i love shrimps and adding it to bagel is a great tip and easy to prepare, thanks for the post

  11. Thats a quickie Meeta! Do you freeze your basic sauces or store them in a cool, dry place?

  12. Nice job - A girl after my own heart! Coming from a big family I'm used to cooking for a crowd but there's only me and my DH at the mo, so I too am a freezer fiend.
    You've been tagged!

  13. Hi ladies! Thanks for all your comments.
    Tanna, I do try my best. But I often feel very disorganized too.

    Lydia, it's the best way to go if you use these ingredients often in your cooking saves a lot of time (and tears(!

    Muskat, it's my one condition - a large freezer. I do not use any water. Simply fill the herbs in the ice cube trays and once they are frozen I transfer them into a freezer bag.

    Raaga, I'm looking forward to the roundup too. Hope you enjoy those bagels. They are quite easy and taste great!

    Srivalli, thank you dear!

    Shaheer, it was to tempting - I could not miss it! These bagels are baked by yours truly - as part of the Daring Baker challenge. I've linked to the recipe in the post!

    Anita, I love garlic. It gives almost everything a great flavor!

    Poonam, thanks. It takes a while to prepare but after that - it's easy!

    Rachna, thank you!

    Padma, hope you enjoy it!

    Jyo, no these I simply fill with olive oil and out the in the fridge. I normally make them in small jars (twist off) and close them tightly. They last up to 3 months.

    Prajusha, thank you!

  14. Meeta these are great tips. I always find cooking extra is a great help when you are trying to eat healthily - extra roasted vegetables are really useful to have around too

  15. Keep the bagel and cream cheese. :) Just give me the eggs and shrimp :)

  16. Thanks for the response, Meeta. I didn't think the herbs would stay in cube-shape. I'll give it a try.

  17. This looks like a fantastic brunch idea! Great time saving tips too!

  18. Sophie, I love freezing roasted vegies. I recently did that with bell peppers and it was so easy to quickly re-bake them in the oven again.

    Cynthia, what? None of my DB style bagel BoooHOO!

    Muskat, you need to finely chop the herbs then the can be easily packed into the cube shapes of the tray.

    Amy, thanks!

  19. I made these tonight and they were a good and different dinner for us. The only complaint was that they were messy to eat. Next time I'll probably do it as a wrap.


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