Let’s Talk Leftovers!

When the girls were little, I thought that I was a ‘bad’ mommy if I served leftovers. I mean, I was a stay-at-home mom and thought part of my job was putting a hot meal on the table each night. Barry thought that was silly, but he let it go after telling me so. He was always happy with dinner and there was no critique in those days because he knew that I was doing my best on a very limited budget, and raising two active little girls. And if they were sick, as sadly they often were when they were little, it was a chore to put any meal on the table.

Carrying that silly idea for too long, I have not only let go of my guilt over serving leftovers, I plan them! Just look back at the topics of this blog and you’ll know what we have been eating. I made chili and invited Mark for dinner. There was enough left over for two more meals for Barry. I made chicken noodle soup. This was lunch and two dinners. Frittatas and quinoa were dinner for me while Barry ate three cheese mac.

So when I came home yesterday with kale (which I enjoyed as crispy kale chips yesterday), broccoli, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, an English cucumber, apples, and oranges, and then hubby said, “Let’s go for a ride!”, I was not concerned. We ate dinner out. Wait! But you just bought all of that fresh food, you say!? No worries. Dinner tonight will include several of yesterday’s purchases, while incorporating restaurant leftovers.

When we go out to eat, we no longer order big meals. We either order one meal we both enjoy and share it, or we order and share appetizers or small plates. There are a few meals, however, that Barry loves when we go out to eat but are too high in carbs for me to dare. So last night we went to a lovely little family place in Carbondale, PA called Alexander’s http://local.yahoo.com/info-12131771-alexanders-family-restaurant-jermyn. Barry had a pasta dish with chicken and broccoli covered in a creamy garlic sauce. It comes out looking like a serving dish for a family of four! He ate half of it and brought half home.

Tonight for dinner I will do this. Barry’s dish will be warmed and to it I will add fresh steamed broccoli. To that I will add a fresh salad. My meal will be that salad, chicken (I bought that yesterday too.) and steamed broccoli. Nothing is wasted. The dish he loves is freshened up. Since we are both eating similar meals, I don’t feel like a short order cook, and Barry can enjoy the leftovers from the meal he loved.

I said that I plan meals and this is what I mean. The chicken I bought yesterday will be dinner tonight for me, but also dinner for both of us in some fashion tomorrow. I will cook more than I need so I have leftovers to be incorporated into the next meal. (See Flavors of Fall ~ Momma’s Chicken Noodle Soup for easy and delicious chicken preparation https://neatnosh.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/flavors-of-fall-mommas-chicken-noodle-soup/.) When I made quinoa, the recipe provided me with 2 cups of quinoa. A portion is ¼ cup. So I had ample to have quinoa for breakfast with an egg, lunch with cheese, and dinner with a frittata for a few days.

Plan and make fresh, healthy meals. Enjoy the leftovers. Freshen them up with something new. Go check your fridge! Don’t waste good food!

Buy fresh! Eat fresh!



One thought on “Let’s Talk Leftovers!

  1. I love leftovers!! We eat them for lunches, as well as turning them into something new. Luckily, my little girl and hubby are somewhat adventurous because I am always experimenting (not everything comes out great lol)
    I usually have a variation of the dinner I prepared, generally in the salad form, because my waistline can’t afford to eat the pastas that they can…

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