Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lumping Leftovers Together

Frugal living means looking at every meal as a potential ingredient for another meal. I hadn't realized how efficient I had become at this until I went away for a week and came back to discover a fridge full of leftovers. The obvious solution to leftovers is to use them as lunches. However, if you've had something for dinner and then for lunch the next day, do you want to be able to recognize it in that night's dinner? Probably not.

Here's an example of how it works at our house. One night last week I made chili. The next night I made a gluten stew. The following night I combined the leftovers of both and added acorn squash and some spices to create an entirely new entree that we served with quinoa. There were no leftovers of this. That's one of the goals.

The important thing to remember is, make sure you're combining flavors that will blend well. When I'm not sure about this, I've been known to take a little bit of each on a spoon and taste it.

If you begin to think of leftovers as the base of your next recipe, you'll discover two things. First, you'll get your leftovers under control. Second, you're cooking time is likely to decrease a bit. If you're keeping track, you might even discover your food bill going down, especially if you routinely through out leftovers.


Ruthie said...

You're braver than me. Most of the time with Russell and I, leftovers get eaten 1. as lunch the next day, just about always, or 2. as dinner later in the week or in later weeks in the exact same form(as is the case for black bean soup, or anything that makes a large batch) or 3. as midnight snacks throughout the week, as is the case for pizza, etc. Most of the time those get eaten as midnight snacks on the first day they were made. :)

I keep wanting to experiment with leftovers but there are never any around! :)

PS I made Seitan of Greatness you've blogged about and Russell actually ate it, and liked it! Woo hoo! Another form of vegan protein!

Katie said...

Someday, when the leftovers are sitting in the fridge mocking you, you'll be ready to whip them into something wonderful. Until then, enjoy the fact that you don't have to worry about them!

I really love that seitan recipe. I'm glad Russell liked it too.

She-Ra said...

Some weeks I'm good at this and some weeks I'm not... my hubby hates leftovers so I always have to make them into something new or else he whines! And then goes out to Taco Bell for an after dinner snack.