Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Creative Ways to Use Leftovers

It’s a shame to let food go to waste, especially in today’s financially insecure times. Here are some quick and easy ways to maximize leftover food that are resourceful and tasty.

Crush leftover chips (i.e. potato, tortilla, corn) and use as a casserole topping. Can also be used as a coating for chicken or pork that has been dipped in egg, then baked at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Flash freeze leftover grapes or berries on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container that is kept in the freezer and used later in smoothies, recipes, or as a quick snack.

To make croutons, cut stale bread into cubes; brush with olive oil; sprinkle garlic or onion powder on top; and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. You can also use other toppings such as parmesan cheese, oregano, dill, and/or parsley.

Keep a large freezer bag in the freezer to store small bits of leftover vegetables such as beans, carrots, and corn. When the bag is full dump everything into a large soup pot; add beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, and your favorite seasonings for a yummy soup. Note: can also add cooked ground beef, sausage, or turkey.

This really isn’t an issue for me because I never have leftover wine. Good to the last drop! But, in case you do it can be frozen in ice cube trays; then remove and seal the cubes in freezer bags for a quick and tasty addition to recipes such as spaghetti sauce. The same thing can be done with leftover chicken broth.

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