Saturday, February 16, 2013

Leftovers- where do they come from and how do we use them?

I love leftovers. How can you not enjoy having a great meal for a second time the next day? A tasty bowl of soup, a plate of jambalaya or cold, fried chicken are all great treats to eat for lunch to break out of the sandwich routine. Sometimes there are some leftovers that are just a little hard to enjoy on their own or you are really not in the mood for, so what do you do with it? Having a small army to feed, I usually wind up with a little something that wasn't consumed and winds up sitting in the fridge. Sometimes I will come across a bowl of "something" and have no idea when I made it and why it has hair on it. That one gets tossed.

Then there are other items, such as pasta, baked potatoes, other veggies, baked chicken, steak or pork chops. These can all easily be assimilated into other dishes. Meats can be chopped or sliced and added to soup, made into shepherd's pie, pot pie, fajitas, or chicken salad. Pasta can be made into pasta salad or baked pasta, spaghetti into sesame noodles. Leftover veggies can be added to soups, toppings for baked potatoes, added to pasta salads, served cold over tossed salad or used for stew. Baked potatoes can be cut in half, guts scooped out and stuffed with cheese, bacon and broccoli for potato skins.

These are only a small sample of what you can do with those leftovers besides just reheating them. It is certainly not all inclusive and limited only by your imagination. The point to remember is that as long as the food has not gone bad, why throw it away? If you can rework it into a dish, you should. No matter how much saving you had when you bought the ingredients, the cost goes up if you have to throw portions away. Find recipes that call for veggie portions to be added, diced meat as the main part, cold pasta or whatever it is you have that can be disguised from the original. Don't be afraid of the leftover. If you saved it, it has to be good or your too cheap to see it thrown away, unless forced to because you think it may save your life.

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