How to use leftovers

Many homes suffer in their own way with the guilt of not eating up all of  their leftovers in a prudent manner. By following some quick tips using leftovers; families will learn to appreciate the ever increasing cost of food.

If, for example, there is some roast meat left over from the night before, take some small party potatoes cut them in 4, put them in a plastic bag, add either dried or fresh herbs, then pour in a good drizzle of olive oil and shake. Pour these potatoes over a baking pan covered by baking paper. Then pour more olive oil over potatoes and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Cut the meat into strips and add to baking pan along with any veggie available, even frozen  snow peas, carrots or broccoli, with a drizzle of creamy balsamic vinegar and more olive oil and bake for another 20 minutes.

A family could also have leftover chicken. With this one should think fried rice. So make two cups of rice and while it’s cooking cut up any veggies available into cubes. Cut the carrots into cubes, cut some broccoli, bok choy, onions, celery, red bell peppers and add a can of bean sprouts. Start by frying the onion and peppers, and add the rest of the veggies. Once the veggies are done, then add the meat with a sprinkle of soy sauce.  The cooked rice is added at the end while blending all the ingredients together in the pan, and add more soy sauce.

Fish stock

If there is some fish left over families should consider one of three options, either serving as a stir-fry like the chicken stir-fry, as a hearty fish soup with veggies or making a fish stock from the bones.

When making the first fish soup, put fish pieces in one pot and the bones into another. Cut up the vegetables that are available and place them in the pot with the fish along with a cup of water per guest, let’s say 5 cups of water and herbs. The soup should simmer for 2-3 hours.

For the fish stock, use the ends of the veggies, herbs and skins from carrots and potatoes, herbs and of course the fish bones along with 6 cups of water.  This allows the stock to thicken. Cook up stock for 2-3 hours, and then strain all the bone, veggies and herbs out. What is great about this is that fish stock can be frozen for about 4 months. But it’s best if the stock is frozen in small portion sized containers so one only uses what is needed.

Leftovers will be gladly appreciated by the local homeless shelters in the area, just check out this app, Feeding Forward. This particularly asks the participants to take pictures of the food and add a brief description of it and let them know when the food needs to be picked up. Use old plastic ice cream containers and label them accordingly or what ever is available for the leftover food transport.

Leftovers can be thrown into the compost bin, and later on used not only as fertilizer for the vegetables and fruit growing in the garden, but also for the flowers to come.

Apparently leftovers can be used in many ways to help feed families, the homeless and the garden. Leftovers should not be seen as a burden just left in the fridge with no actual purpose. On the contrary, leftovers are helping many, even the binge eater late at night when the house has gone to bed.

Posted in Cooking