Thursday, June 10, 2010


When you're on a budget and really pinching pennies you don't throw any food out.  Of course, then your fridge fills up with lots of little containers with not enough of one thing to do anything with.  What to do?  Here's a couple of things that I do to get another meal or two out of leftovers.  The basic idea is to take a little bit of something and make it something new while using it up. 

Leftover Casserole:  This is really easy.  Just take your basic casserole formula and throw in all your leftovers.  Rice, macaroni and cheese, veggies, all that stuff.  Cut any leftover meats up bite-sized and add those (you really need only a cup or so of chopped cooked meat).  You can slice up hot dogs, crumble burgers, strip the meat of chicken wings.  Cook enough noodles to fill up a casserole dish with all the leftovers, and stir in a can of cream-of-something soup and enough milk or water to get the consistency you like.  If it the combination doesn't seem tasty, try adding cheese (I'll layer American Cheese slices into the casserole, the kids will eat anything with cheese on it).  Bake at 350F until hot through, probably about a half an hour.
Tone's Brown Gravy Mix* Net Weight 24 oz

Bits and Gravy:  I keep a large container of Tone's Brown Gravy mix around just for this and dishes like it. Chop up leftover steak, roast, or even burger into bite sized-pieces. Meanwhile, make two cups of brown gravy and enough rice for healthy portions.  Toss the meat in the gravy as it thickens.  Add mushrooms for fancy.  Serve it over the rice, with veggies on the side.  Yum!

Lee Kum Kee - Kung Pao Stir Fry Sauce 18.5 Oz.Bento:  Pikko and her fans from AIBento will no doubt chuckle at me, but I make leftovers into bento too.  Okay, it's really just Americanized Asian food in a Glad box, but that's lunch, right?  If the basic dinner is meat, rice, and veggies, I always make extra rice.  Fill a two-cup plastic container (I really like the Glad ware) 2/3 full of rice.  Add bite-sized leftover meat and veggies and top with a couple tablespoons of your favorite Asian-type sauce.  I've done it with Kung Pao sauce, Thai peanut sauce, teriyaki, and just plain soy. I'm sorry, I ate my leftover pork tenderloin Kung Pao before I took a picture!

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