Look for this week's plan below.
Today let's talk about leftovers. I struggle with leftovers. The kids don't much care for a recycled meal and more often than not things get shoved to the back of the fridge and I'm cleaning it out long after it has ceased to be food.
A few things have helped me be better about this lately. For some reason leftoever meatloaf is not as offensive when it is presented at lunch the next day. Or even a day after that. I find that skipping a day helps alleviate leftover angst.
I have also tried making better use of the freezer for using leftovers. Right now I have a large bag of chicken bones and leftovers to make stock (I don't make much stock in the summer, too hot) a large bag of cooked veggies to be added to a stock pot, stew, smoothies, pot pies, meatloaf or in sauces where no one can see them. I also keep a bag of homemade bread crumbs in there next to a bag of the leftover bits of bread. When the bread bag is filled I use the food processor to make the crumbs and into the crumb bag they go. You can freeze most cooked meats if you slice them in to pieces you can use and freeze them on a cookie sheet first. When they are frozen through put them in a freezer bag, if they are flash forzed first they won't weld together. You can use a single chicken cutlet to pack a lunch sandwich or tear into a salad. When I roast a chicken I never do just one, and the extras get used in enchiladas, tacos, soups, stews, with dumplings, in salads, casseroles and sandwiches. I can make two chickens last a very long time. Same with ground beef.
I freeze cooked rice for soups or pudding and mashed potatoes can be frozen and revived with a little milk in a saucepan. Mashed potatoes also make great breakfast fare when combine with some egg and a sprinkle of cheese, pressed into patties and fried in butter.
I have also stopped using the word leftovers. I asked, "what's for dinner?" it's much nicer to hear chicken and dumplings than "that chicken I cooked two weeks ago with a bit of dough from the freezer and a bag of veggies."
How do you handle leftovers?
Monday (today, we are still away)
Breakfast: Cereal, toast, fruit
Lunch: Out to the The Flying Fish (my cousin owns it, we love it)
Dinner: Dad is grilling chicken for the kids and Dave and I will be at the Crystal Beer Parlor ( I know, we suffer a lot here in the south :))
Tuesday (travel day)
Breakfast: Cereal in little boxes (kids love this)
Lunch: Sandwiches in the car
Dinner: Stop on the road
Breakfast: Eggs and toast (making up for the junky cereal)
Lunch: Chicken soup
Dinner: Quiche and salad (Dave is out)
Breakfast: Yogurt, fruit, cinnamon toast
Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans.
Lunch: Meatloaf sandwiches
Dinner: Pizza and salad
Dinner: Chicken and dumplings
Breakfast: Eggs and bacon
Lunch: On your own
Dinner: Roast beef, potatoes au gratin, broccoli, corn bread.
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Briana Paternoster says
Hello Maryellen. Gerard Nadal sent me your way. I was wondering if you would be interested in speaking at a Catholic homeschooling conference in NJ sometime in June.
P Darley says
I have been learning how to re-engineer leftovers. The day before trash day is Fridge Fiesta for dinner. Anything inedible gets tossed, and the rest of it has one last opportunity for redemption.
A pork loin cooked in the slow cooker w/ a jar of salsa verde gets served with potatoes and green beans one day. Then the leftover gets shredded and stuffed into tortillas with cheese and baked into enchiladas a day or two later. And if there is still some left, well, it goes into the little dipper crockpot with some bbq sauce for pulled pork sandwiches and fries for a side.
Mary Ellen Barrett says
P Darley that all sounds delish!