Being a busy working dad on a budget, it’s really important that I make the most out of every ingredient and prevent waste as much as possible. There’s such a temptation, though, to get rid of bits and bobs of food you don’t think you’ll use up, and really this is tantamount to throwing good money down the drain.
So I’ve put together this article to offer ideas on how to use your leftovers in creative and delicious ways, and save yourself a pretty penny in the process!
When you come home, stomach growling and ravenous, the first place you go is the refrigerator. Is there food? That’s all that you can think, so you start pulling out leftovers left right and center. What is that thing? How long has it been there? Why is it moving? Will the kids eat it? Or will it be another night of eggs and toast? Or cereal perhaps, that goes so nicely with toast too.
Leftovers should be great food sources. You can get very creative with it and create more food from original food. Simple rules apply when it comes to leftovers.
1. Don’t let them sit out too long.
2. Wrap them tightly so they won’t dry out.
3. Use within days to get their full flavor and nutritious value.
Casseroles rock! Just keep saying that as you throw in the leftover taco meat for the bottom layer. Now sprinkle a little cheese on the first layer. Open a can of black beans or whatever kind you like and layer it on, use the juice too for flavor. Then a little more cheese goes on. Now a vegetable layer, corn, onions, carrots, ripe olives, mushrooms, all scattered about, fresh or leftover, it doesn’t matter. Then some Mexican seasonings, cumin, garlic, paprika, a little salt and pepper. Sour cream is the last layer. Sprinkle some cilantro or dried parsley on top. Bake for one hour in a 350* degree oven. Serve with a light salad and tortilla chips.
Once you get used to the casserole idea, it is so easy. Meat-eaters will want meat, but tofu can be used too. Vegetables are what you need then, tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, what have you, and a can of soup to pull it all together. Here is where you can be creative – just pick a soup – cream of mushroom, onion soup, cheese soup, or even a little broth. With each variety of soup, you get a slightly different casserole.
Once you have mastered the art of leftovers becoming casseroles, you will be comfortable with throwing all the leftovers together with milk, sour cream, or red wine. Check the internet for recipe ideas if you are not sure. Let it bake until the aroma arouses the neighbors and they say, “Man, I didn’t know you could cook like that. I want that recipe!” Ha! The chef is in.
Probably the easiest thing to do with leftovers is make sandwiches out of them. Chicken, turkey, roast beef, you name it. Say you have a ham for Sunday dinner. The next day you have sandwiches, toasted, melted, hot ham and cheese on brown bread, on a bun, on whatever kind of leftover bread you have. Delicious and tasty.
The third day, you make your famous casserole. Mince the ham, chop some onions and leftover potatoes. Mix it all together with Golden Cream Of Mushroom Soup. Bake it until the kids say, “I’m hungry, when’s it going to be ready?”
Now you are down to the last leftover bits of ham, and maybe a bone too. It is time to make soup. If you remember, soak some beans overnight, pinto, butter, kidney, or black. Cook those beans for a couple of hours, add seasonings, add meat, add vegetable bits. After a while, the aroma of hot soup will fill the air. You can then add noodles, rice, or potatoes, stirred gently into the pot. Soup is great food!
This article is provided by http://greenmummy.co.uk