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.