I have never been very good at using up leftovers. I used to just stick them in some tupperware in the fridge and maybe try to eat them for lunch in the next day or two, but then they get forgotten, or I get tired of eating the same thing for several days in a row, and they start turning my fridge into a amateur science experiment.
I am not proud of it, but we throw away and waste way more food than we should.
Over the last month or so, I have really tried to figure out how to actually use up and eat our leftovers.
Here are a few of the ideas I have come up with:
-Freezing leftovers in individual portions. When we have a lot of leftovers, I’ll split them up into individual portion sizes and freeze them in those little snack size plastic containers. When my family decided to come to visit at the last minute last week, for lunch I pulled out a bunch of these little containers and everyone got to choose what they wanted to have for lunch – Crock pot Enchiladas, Chicken Taco Soup, Chili, Chicken Spaghetti – it was so nice to have enough food to feed everyone well without actually having to come up with something to make. Also, I can send a container with Jer, along with some fruit or veggies, and have a good, easy and quick sack lunch for him to take to work. This has been the best way for us to use our leftovers and not get sick of eating the same thing for a week!
-Freezing smaller portions of food to use later. When I have some smaller amounts of food leftover from what I have used to cook, like half a red pepper, or a cup or two of tomato juice, or the leftover pumpkin when I didn’t use the whole can, I just package it up and freeze it to thaw and use later. The only problem with this is remembering what I have in the freezer to make sure that I use what I have and don’t just go out and buy more. It also requires a little bit of planning ahead because I have to defrost whatever I need before I can use it.
-Repurposing leftovers into new meals. I’ve been trying to come up with ways to use leftovers in new meals. I haven’t been very successful with this yet, but I did recently find a recipe for Fried Rice that we all love and it is such a great way to use up all kinds of different leftovers. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the recipe.
This is something that I’m still trying to work at and figure out how it works best for our family. I am thankful for the food that God has provided for us, and I really want to learn to be less wasteful in this area. Wasting food wastes both money and the precious resource of food. I would love to get to the point where I basically didn’t have to throw any food away, but I’m still not completely sure how to get there. Any suggestions or ideas that you guys have to help me keep the science experiements out of my refrigerator would be greatly appreciated!!
Photo by Chiot’s Run