Wednesday Food: Utilizing Leftovers

Some may hate them, but if you wanna get the most bang for your buck and cut down on waste - then you gotta make the best of your leftovers.  Eric and I always aim to have a completely clear fridge by the end of the week, in time for the next trip to the grocery store.  We do this to make sure that we are using everything we have and not letting things go bad just hanging out in the fridge. 

I know there are people out there who absolutely can't stand the thought of leftovers.  I understand the feeling; but when you think about how much money and energy you waste in the fridge, it only makes logical sense.  So here's a few "Do's and Don'ts" to make your leftovers just as good as they started.

1) Don't keep leftovers for more than a week.
2) Do cook them thoroughly to kill any bacteria.  If its a soup/stew/sauce, then be sure to bring to a simmer for about 10-20 minutes.
3) Don't let the current flavor profile of the leftovers dictate what you can make it into.
4) Do rehydrate the leftovers.  The refrigerator tends to dry foods so adding some water or stock can bring it back to life.  
5) Just because it was dinner doesn't mean it can't be breakfast!  A great way to dress up scrambled eggs is to add some leftover tomato sauce or chilli with some're good to go! 

Take last week's recipe, Tomatican.  It started out like this......

Then we made a pasta sauce by adding some jarred tomato sauce.  And what was left from the pasta sauce turned into this....

A spicy, Jambalaya type of dish with Andouille Sausage.  An extra two dishes out of a simple stew!  Who knew it could be so versatile?!?

So when you don't like leftovers, suck it up & put some effort into making it something you'll love all over again!

Remember, when the kitchen gets too hot, get back in there and keep cooking!


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