Simple Fare

19 Sep 2007

Not much chance of any food being wasted in this house with two teenage boys on the loose and three other healthy appetites as well. Left overs are becoming more rare unless I manage to make something very yucky. But leftovers, nice ones that is, are wonderful for lunch the next day. The colder months are the best for Leftover Lunches. Thick vegetable and barley soups, lasagne, pies of all descriptions and of course those wonderful hearty stews. Even leftover puddings add interest to the next day's lunch, or even breakfast. I often purposely make more than can reasonably eaten for one meal so that there is some delicious morsel for the next day. Soups especially are meant to live on for days, my minestrone is always bottomless.

Left over vegetables are not such a happy story. The most palatable way to serve them to my family seems to be in the form of patties or croquettes but you have to choose your vegetables wisely. Re-done cabbage, broccoli or brussel sprouts are pretty hard to sell to even the most ravenous child , I wouldn't bother. Mashed potato mixed with egg and cheese and sauteed in butter or peanut oil is yummy but it has to be potato that was originally served mashed and not cold potato mashed the next day , it never tastes right.

Tonight we had Shepherd's/Cottage Pie for tea. Originally this was a way of using up the Sunday roast. Minced roast lamb, leftover gravy and leftover potato became Shepherd's pie and minced roast beef , leftover gravy and potato became Cottage pie. I use minced beef, make the gravy by cooking the flour with the browned mince and onion plus some worcestershire sauce and a some water. Then I top it with mashed potato, tonights was some leftover from Monday night's dinner and some newly boiled and mashed with butter. I served it with steamed carrot, broccoli and the dreaded brussel sprouts. I cooked just enough vegetables so that there would be no leftovers.

For pudding we had chocolate self saucing pudding using some leftover egg whites from the weekend instead of a whole egg. The egg whites needed to be used. Only basic ingredients were needed; flour, butter, egg, cocoa, milk, sugar. It was served with whipped cream, leftover from the peppermint crisp tart made on Sunday. Again the cream needed to be used.

Tomorrow is shopping day, Wednesday is the day I go through the fridge to make sure that anything that needs to be used is used rather than being forgotten and eventually having to be thrown out. It also means I have a better idea of what perishables I need to stock up on.

Dinner tonight wasn't gourmet fare but it was good plain cooking, flavoursome and satisfying without the need for expensive ingredients and there were no leftovers.

5 Responses to “Simple Fare”

  1. I'm fond of leftovers here too. If there are not enough for lunches I'll eat them for breakfast.

    I try to make extra potatoes, but with growing little ones it is getting harder to make sure enough leftovers remain for three lunches next day. I love to slice the cold potatoes and saute them in a little oil. Once they've gotten a good start towards browning I add a chopped onion and green pepper. Then salt and pepper to taste.

  2. We are like your family. Leftover feed us for lunch. Veggis are hard to dealw ith. Your idea of patties or croquettes is a good oen. Clarice

  3. We always eat leftovers around here. I can't imagine how I'd manage my time if I had to cook every day!

  4. I put most leftovers into single serve sized containers and freeze them. This way my husband gets a hot lunch at work most days; he heats up the food at work.

    Like you, we also try to use up as much as possible the night before shopping day.

  5. Hi Marie, those potatoes sound yummy.

    Hi Clarice, lunch can be pretty bleak without leftovers.

    Hi Anna, yes it's definitely a time saver.

    Hi Kate, that's a great idea. I don't use my freezer enough.


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