Managing leftovers is a challenge we all face! Throwing food away is just like throwing money away. With a little time, organization and using a little ingenuity, leftovers can be dealt with efficiently.
Be sure to refrigerate leftovers promptly and use them within one or two days or freeze. If you have any doubt about whether a food is still safe to eat, throw it out!
Keep your leftovers in a section of your fridge that you designate only for leftovers. Then it's easy to see what you have.
Leftover meat like roast beef, turkey or chicken can easily be used in sandwiches for tomorrow's lunch. Or it can be chopped, frozen and used in a casserole later in the week.
Leftover ham makes great ham salad or you can use it to make ham and bean soup.
Leftover onions, green peppers can be chopped and sealed in zipper-top bags and kept in the freezer. It's economical and time-saving, too. Next time you need chopped onions, just pull a bag out of the freezer!
Leftover bread can be used to make bread pudding. If your family doesn't eat the heels of a loaf of bread, keep a bag in the freezer and add the heels until you have enough.
Favorite Bread Pudding
- 3 cups soft bread crumbs
- 2 cups milk, scalded with 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
Place bread crumbs in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Stir remaining ingredients together and pour over bread crumbs, mixing well.
Place baking dish in pan of hot water (water should be about 1" deep) and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 40 - 45 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife 1 inch from edge - it should come out clean.
Bread can also be used to make croutons. Just cut the bread into cubes. Toss with melted butter, seasoned salt, parmesan cheese, and whatever other seasonings you like. Bake in a 300 degree oven till the cubes are golden brown.
Use these croutons to top salads or casseroles or even as a snack.
If you have leftover mashed potatoes, besides the obvious potato cakes, try this: Fry an egg and serve over a warm mound of mashed potatoes. Makes a different kind of supper.
Make a meal from leftovers seem special by adding homemade rolls or biscuits. Or serve along with a family favorite side dish or salad.
“They take great pride in making their dinner cost much; I take my pride in making my dinner cost so little. ”
-Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
About The Author
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the “1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" bi-weekly newsletter and founder of the website of the same name. Visit http://www.cynroberts.com to find creative tips, articles, and a free e-cooking book. Subscribe to the newsletter and receive the free e-course “Taming the Monster Grocery Bill". firstname.lastname@example.org