Repurpose It Part I
In this era of Covid-19, it is making my stomach ache to see thousands of gallons of milk poured drown drains and piles of squash and tomatoes rotting in the fields. I can't imagine how those farmers feel. And meanwhile, thousands of people are standing in lines to get boxes of food.
The huge lack of food supply coordination is tragic, and makes me furious and sad. When I realize I can't control these horrible situations, I turn to my own home and habits. What can I do in MY KITCHEN? Can I reduce waste? Can I create an efficient supply chain running through my refrigerator? Can I repurpose my leftovers?
The answer, thankfully is YES. Below find some tips and habits I have slowly incorporated into my weekly routines in the kitchen. Don’t waste those leftovers, just serve them in a new way. You can even change the flavor profile! Simple cooked meat or veg seasoned with just salt and pepper can become Mexican, Asian, or even curried. Changing the form of the leftovers and adding a fresh ingredient or two completely transforms them into a new, yummy package. Try these:
Soup it Up
Saute fresh chopped onion in a dutch oven or large sauce pan for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add quarter teaspoon of your favorite dried herb. Add a splash of red or white wine and cook, stirring, until wine is absorbed into onion. Add medium or large dice leftover meat and/or veg and 6 cups water or broth. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with fresh herbs, cheese, or croutons to top.
Make a Sammy
Slice a baguette or bread on hand and toast in oven on a baking sheet at 300 until desired crispiness. While cooling, whisk some mayo with your favorite sauce (steak sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, ketchup, bbq, etc). Spread on both insides of baguette. Fill with leftover meat/and or veg and top with something crunchy like sliced cucumbers, pickles, or fresh chopped lettuce.
Tortilla Cup it
Preheat oven to 425°. Press warm tortillas into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray, pleating sides as needed. Spritz tortillas with additional cooking spray. Bake until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Toss leftover meat and/or veg with salsa. Layer each cup with beans, mixture and cheese. Bake until heated through, 9-11 minutes. Serve with toppings.