Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Leftover Smorgasboard

This one's for you SAM! Over at A New Frame of Reference SAM just posted about using stuff up, not wasting food and getting creative with leftovers. During one fridge clean out not to long ago I was appalled at how much I threw out. So I've been in using up left over mode, again.

(sorry for the ugly photos) Today for lunch I made eggs and fried mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were from dinner several days ago. There wasn't a lot left and I didn't really want old mashed potatoes as a side to our eggs but making little patties out of the mash and frying it up (probably added un-necessary calories but) gave them a subtle crunch/ crust and really revived the old dish. Sidenote: I make our mashed potatoes very thick, we like substance to our mashed potatoes. And I almost always boil carrots or sweet potato along with the regular spuds. This particular mash had carrots in it.
This was a very yummy hot lunch.
This evening I attempted to use up a rather brown banana (which I would virtually always make mini banana bread muffins with but our oven is on the fritz). I saw this banana, peanut butter, chocolate treat on pinterest and tried it out once before. VERY scrumptious! Okay, it's better with a not so overly ripe banana but this was still a nice treat this evening and that brown banana has now been eaten.

Melted chocolate chips on top of a mini peanut-butter-banana-sandwich

Another leftover favorite which I had just a day or two ago involves taco meat and mac noodles. I stumbled upon a homemade hamburger helper of sorts when I threw some taco meat into my cheesy noodles awhile back. I actually have a strong aversion to hamburger helper. I think my mom stocked our house with every variety of it and we ate a lot of it as kids. But homemade hamburger helper... that I can do!

To preface I make a very simple, very quick, very basic mac'n'cheese that both little Abe and I love. I just boil one cup of macaroni noodles, drain, and then put a little butter in the hot noodles, about 1/2 a tablespoon, or less. Once the hot noodles are coated in butter I throw in handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (a handful is somewhere between half and one cup of cheese). Mix together, cheese should completely melt and then eat. It's way too easy and way too cheesy and oh so good! Well I did this the other day but added about 1/2 cup of frozen corn to the boiling noodles once there was about three minutes left. If you do this, crank the heat up to high so you can bring the water back up to a boil quickly. Then I drained the noodles and corn together, put in the little bit of butter, stirred in the cheese and then added my left over taco meat. You can then add anything you like, sour cream, a little bit of sliced tomatoes, anything tacoy that floats your boat. This was far yummier than I'd imagined it would be. I might end up using old-ish taco meat this way on a regular basis now. 

I hate throwing away food. Finding yummy ways to re-purpose leftovers is the best way for me to keep the food in our tummies and out of the trash. Win, win, win this week!


  1. Replies
    1. Those fried mashed potatoes have got to be a close cousin!

  2. Marcelle Thibodeau-HennigarSeptember 22, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    I love using leftovers. All your food looks and sounds super tasty! (I'm also 8 months pregnant and eating everything in sight :). Congrats on keeping food out of the trash.

    My mom used to make mac n' cheese with hamburg all the time when I was a kid and it's now a comfort food for me. I also add frozen peas to make it a bit healthier.

    1. Thank-you. No one in my house like leftovers but when I can figure out how to make them into a new dish they seem to be much more enjoyable.

      Oh mac n'cheese is an enormous comfort food for me. I don't think I'll ever get too much of it but I never thought to add hamburger before. Now that I've dumped some leftover taco meat in... wow that's good. You have a smart mom!