Sunday, August 18, 2013


Have I mentioned that I like to cook?  Yes, I'm sure I have... once or twice.  One of the best, and maybe worst, things about cooking is leftovers.  With a son just barely out of his teenage years, we don't always have leftovers.  But when we do, the question is... what to do with them?  When I took my lunch to work, I would package them up and enjoy them the next day. But lately, I find myself throwing them out more and more often.

It is my personal challenge to find creative ways to use up those leftover bits of meat and vegetables.  Sometimes it's simple.  Today's sausage patties and biscuits will become grab-n-go breakfast sandwiches for tomorrow. I've already put them together, so I can just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and they'll be ready. Adding a slice of cheese makes them even more tasty.

Tonight, my challenge was leftover pork loin in a garlic-onion-pepper glaze and the need for something quick and easy. There wasn't enough pork for three servings, but there was just enough to make stir-fry. I shredded the pork, mixed it with frozen stir-fry veggies and 1/2 cup of stir-fry sauce, and let it simmer, while I baked egg rolls (frozen).  If I'd had more time, I probably would have cooked some rice.  The family enjoyed it, and I'm pretty sure that someone will eat those leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  

I could have easily opted for an Italian style meal, by adding crushed tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic, and serving it over pasta.  Or we could have gone Mexican with black beans, onions, and jalapenos in tortillas.  The options are only limited by your imagination, and your pantry.

I actually enjoy creating new meals using leftovers, and my family doesn't seem to mind my little "experiments".  The only problem is trying to recreate them when they say, "Can you make that again?"