Monday, November 4, 2013

GOOD TASTE: cooking with leftovers {cook once, eat twice}

Food Images via homework | carolynshomework.comI really do love cooking. I especially love the satisfaction of making something yummy and presenting it as a pretty dish. Except in real life…  The images above are all dishes that I prepared for this blog. In real life, I rarely have time to to make it extra pretty. The schedules of work, school, activities, responsibilities and obligations collide every day and leave little time for meal prep.

Don’t get me wrong – I cook almost every night but it’s taken me years to be able to multi task my meal prep and not waste food by using leftovers. Now I usually cook three times a week and reinvent the dish for three additional dinners.

Here’s an example:

Sunday: Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Grilled Vegetables
Monday: Rigatoni with Marinara Sauce, Bread, Salad
Tuesday: Sesame Ginger Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Peas
Wednesday: {leftover steak} Steak Tacos, Refried Beans, Tortilla Chips
Thursday: {leftover marinara sauce} Spaghetti & Shrimp with Pink Sauce
Friday: {leftover chicken} Chicken Caesar Salad & Soup

Need some of the recipes? Here’s how I do it:

Leftover Steak Tacos via homework | carolynshomework.comLeftover Steak Tacos. Cook extra steak when you make meal #1. For meal #2, cut up the steak into small bite size cubes. In a small frying pan, add about a teaspoon of oil and grill up some onions. Add your cubed cooked steak and some hot sauce or salsa. I make it easy and use salsa from a jar. Since the steak is already cooked, you’ll only need to heat if for a few minutes.Heat up your tortillas and serve. Add cheese, more salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole if desired.

Additional leftover steak ideas: Burritos, Melted Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Asian Stir Fry with fresh or frozen vegetables.

Spaghetti & Shrimp with Pink Sauce  via homework | carolynshomework.comSpaghetti & Shrimp with Pink Sauce: I always have a small amount of marinara sauce left over when I make a pot of sauce. After making and serving meal #1 with the sauce, reserve about a cup of sauce for meal #2. I freeze mine in a small container. When I want to make this second meal I pull out the frozen sauce. Here’s how to make Spaghetti & Shrimp (or chicken) with Pink Sauce.

In a large skillet, cook about a 1/4 of a diced onion and 1 clove of minced garlic in hot oil (about a tablespoon). Add your shrimp or chicken and cook until done. The shrimp will be done when they are firm and pink, the chicken is done when it is no longer pink. Drain the fat or juices. Add a can of chicken broth, 1 10-ounce jar of alfredo sauce and your leftover marinara sauce. Serve over cooked pasta.

Additional Marinara Sauce ideas: Pizza or Meatball Sandwiches

Chicken Recipes via homework | carolynshomework.comLeftover Chicken Caesar Salad: Cook a few extra pieces of chicken when you make meal #1. Save the chicken and freeze or refrigerate. For meal #2, dice up the chicken and make a Caesar Salad. Serve with soup and bread.

Additional leftover chicken ideas: Chicken Quesadillas, Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Asian Noodles with Chicken

I’d love to hear your leftover or time saving ideas. Leave me a comment so I can add some leftover ideas to my menu.

Thanks for visiting.

Signature Box 3

1 comment :

  1. I love finding creative ways to cook with leftovers. I actually have a cookbook that is focused on just that...and it's one of my favorites. One interesting idea it has is to create nachos using leftover meat-based spaghetti sauce. It sounds weird, but it works surprisingly well. Just add salsa, cheese and tortilla chips!


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments. If you do not hear back from me via email your profile is most likely defaulted to no reply-comment or anonymous and I am unable to respond.