Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fun With Leftovers

A food blogger for the local paper writes that some of her friends can’t stand eating leftovers. They toss food that’s more than a day old. That reminds me of my promise to share my very own tips on stretching your grocery budget. Tip no. 1: Don’t toss leftovers.

I really don’t understand why people wouldn’t eat leftovers. Is it the American obsession with hyper-freshness? Is it because eating the same thing twice in a row is boring? I can’t cure excessive zeal for food safety, but I can offer some ideas on making leftovers a little more interesting.

Here’s one: use leftovers to make salads. Recently, I found myself with a fridge full of grilled chicken, grilled tomatoes, and sautéed green beans, all left over from a cookout. I knew everything would taste inferior if I just nuked it in the microwave. Instead, I cubed the cold chicken and tomatoes, heated up the green beans for barely a minute and cut them into 1-inch pieces, and chopped up some scallions, parsley, and a hardboiled egg. All this went into a salad bowl with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for the dressing. A completely new dish made out of last night’s food.

From a previous post, more ideas on using up leftovers:

Milk: Make homemade cottage cheese (aka farmer's cheese, curd cheese or tvorog).

Cottage cheese: Bake muffins.

Cooked, cold chicken: Make chicken-stuffed crepes or chicken and spinach hachepouri.

Raw chicken, random vegetables: Make stock.

Tomatoes past their prime: Roast 'em.

Roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or tomato paste: Make chana masala soup.

Cooked vegetables: Make salad.


adele said...

People who don't eat leftovers.

People who don't eat leftovers.

Nope. It's still not computing, unless these people are such appalling cooks that whatever they prepared was pretty inedible to begin with.

I guess they must have a rough time of it at Thanksgiving.

Carrie said...

it seems crazy to me too! WHY WOULDN"T you eat leftovers! Yet, I have co-workers, who just throw away anything they haven't eaten each night after dinner. it is SO wasteful to me! I cannot believe people would waste things like that!!

Mrs. M. said...

Adele--Agreed: people who don't eat leftover can't be very good cooks!

Carrie--Seeing people waste good food is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand these people. Leftovers often make the BEST meal! What is better than a roast beef/chicken/Turkey sandwich?! Or breakfast hash? Or mixed grains tossed into a salad?


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