Sunday, May 11

Leftover Food *CAN* Live La Vida Loca

Steamed Kale and Tamarried Tofu on a Bed of Quinoa - three nights in a row. YUM!

The only time I hear people rave about leftovers is the day after their Christmas and turkey dinners. A mere twice a year; the rest of the time I hear 'no, I don't do leftovers' or 'I don't know what to do with them' or 'my kids won't touch leftovers'.

I'm not going to lie to you. When I hear 'my kids won't touch leftovers' I want to cry. In Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Guatemala day in and day out children begged me for money to feed themselves and their families. These kids would kill, some do, for leftovers.

Turn on the tv today, flip through the newspaper, check out the covers of the newsstands, in Myanmar at this very second people are starving to death. Not saying we expose our three year olds to this...I just believe eating leftovers is one of the healthiest, greenest/ecoest, wealthiest choices our families can make.

If you would like to re-train your/your family's brain and palate to love and honour leftovers here are some ingredients and methods that can give your leftover food scrumptious-lick-the-platter clean legs:


I either re-heat pasta on the stove top or in the oven. If I don't have any more tomato sauce or pesta sauce to moisten the pasta I coat the pasta with a few generous drizzles of olive oil, a few sprinkles of sea salt, a couple splashes of water and grate some strong salty Romano on top.

Once the pasta's warm/hot enough, I add a bit more grated cheese. Mmmm...


If you've got leftover rice, beans, salad etc. then all you need are tortilla shells and you can throw a Mexican themed dinner. At our house we don't buy salsa or sour cream, instead we spread hummus on the shells and then layer on the bowls of goodness.

If there's no hummus we make a quick/zesty marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, couple cloves of garlic and dried chili pepper flakes.

If your tribe prefers their food warm, you can pop your tortilla stuffed creations into the oven, and bake them for 10 minutes or so at 300.


When you've got a pile of leftovers and there's a bunch of wilting produce in your fridge, you can rejoice that there's so much abundance, and then you can get to work on creating a spectacular soup.

All you need is some oil, minimum one onion or one slice of bacon or a couple of cloves of garlic, the rest is up to you.

In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium, add onion, or bacon, or garlic or all, once the stuff's crackling and it smells like heaven, begin to add your leftovers item by item to your pot, hard veggies first ie carrots and broccoli, soft veggies last zucchini and tomatoes. Then you can add beans, or meats, or rice, or pasta. Give it a good mix and let it cook for 2 minutes or so. Then add water, or broth, my crew loves broth so I add lots of water, then I season.

If you want to disguise the veggies etc before they go into the soup, you can chop/slice/grate it with your food processor.

Transforming leftovers into a frittata type dish takes about, 6 minutes. I simply fry up 1 onion, add garlic if there's some on hand, dump the leftovers into the pan (steamed veggies, veggies + pasta), cook everything on medium until it's heated, then add 3-6 beaten eggs, pinches of sea salt, stir with a fork until it's all cooked. Add couple layers of cheese or shredded cheese and ta da!


Say you made a humongous batch of veggie stir fry and rice, then the next night your palate's just not in the mood for rice. That's ok. Leave the rice in the fridge, and make a fresh pot of another grain. Cooked grains will keep in the fridge for several days, so you can go back to them a couple of days later.

Still having food fun are: Amy, Jamie, Mystele, Shawn, Stephanie, and BlissBelly. The more the merrier, delurk and you could win some fab prizes.

To Recap:
First Place prize

Plus, one random draw for a year long subscription to this delicious magazine. Those of you that have been playing along since day 1 will get your name in the draw twice; those of you who start playing today must post daily to be included in the June 1st draw.

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blissbelly said...

lovely leftover inspiration!after breakfast in bed and lunch out, i realized that mother's day had sort of dwindled, so i made a quick soup of barley, kale, potatoes, dried porcinis from last years turned out really well.

isaiah--eater extraordinaire--ate two bowls, then said, "that soup is pretty gross and a little bit good."

village mama said...

blissbelly, what a tasty soup you whipped up! Hilarious feedback from Isaiah :-)

amy t sharp said...

yr so awesome

Natalie said...

Leftovers are no problema in our home... somehow we are even convinced that next day meals are even better!