Friday, November 30, 2012

Use it first.

If you find yourself throwing away food on a regular basis, here are some tips I've learned along the way that help me to utilize my food before I'm forced to pitch it.

Fresh produce:
1. Plan to make the meals with the quickest to spoil produce first.  Lettuce often won't last too long, but squash can sit for a long time.
2. Make it a practice to peek at your produce every couple days to make sure it's still fresh.  If your mushrooms are starting to look not so fresh but you weren't planning to use them 'til Friday, just flip flop your meals and make Friday's meal today (or tomorrow) and today's meal on Friday.

1. If you have a meal's worth of leftovers, wait a night or two, then have that meal all over again.
2. If you don't like eating the same thing twice, remake your leftovers into something new--or at least part of them into something new.  Think: a dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans can be transformed into shepherd's pie.  Leftover brisket can become chili.  Leftover roast chicken can be used as the meat in any chicken dish calling for cubed or shredded chicken.
3. If your leftovers can't be transformed (like a casserole), freeze them, and voila! you have a meal already prepared that can be pulled out, thawed and warmed for a busy night's dinner.
4. If you've only got a little bit of leftovers, try adding them to something new. A little bit of leftover meat can be added to a pot of soup, just as little bits of leftover vegetables can be added too. Or, make a frittata or quiche using up the remnants. 
5. If you find your fridge is full of a little bit of this and a little bit of that, declare it "leftovers night" or "make your own dinner" night (sounds nicer).  Set everything out, and have your family pick and choose what they want for dinner.
6. Eat your leftovers for lunch the next day.

1 comment:

  1. Good advice! I will sometimes make a stir fry or hash and add leftover veggies or meat when there isn't enough for a whole meal.