Monday, December 26, 2011

Cooking with Leftovers

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

“I HATE leftovers”…how many times have you heard that at your house?  I could easily fit into that category until I went on a mission these past few months to clear out my pantry and freezer; and realized I don’t hate leftovers, I hate lacking the creativity!  So let me let you in on a few secrets to make your holiday meal help stretch your family dining, increase interest and most of all rid your house of the motto: “I hate leftovers!”

Begin by planning menus for a week using ingredients in the refrigerator.  Next, I would look at the menu and see what I could do with it for a second meal or sandwich.  I am not a great sandwich eater (6 bites and the meal is over), so stir fry, salads (that I combine at the meal), casseroles and of course soups and stews!

Look at the items on hand.  Many times the additional items you need are in your pantry waiting to be used!

Make the recipes.  Package the leftovers in separate small containers- so not all foods taste alike!

Make a spice bag. Using a bit of the spices used in the dish to refresh the dish when reheating.

Mix and Match foods leftover from a couple of days look and see what can be created. 

Below are some suggestions for the first part of the week, you try the second part…no going out to eat!

Saturday- steak, roasted rosemary potatoes, veggie sauté of peppers, onions, mushrooms (I use a frozen medley product)

Sunday- A big pot of chili for the game, cheese, sour cream, all the fixings!

Monday- Steak and pepper subs with melted cheese, Italian dressing and new veggie.

Tuesday- make Hero Nachos with the remaining peppers, onions, and chili.  Add cheese, salsa and sour cream.

Wednesday- With leftovers, I try to clean up every three days.  So on Hump day begin again and use chicken, pork or shrimp.

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