Monday, 30 April 2012

Using leftovers

DO you sometimes have leftovers in your fridge?

That may just sit there on the shelf while you wonder what to do with them?

I often have leftovers.

I am pretty good at using them up.

They either turn into my lunches over a few days or I re-invent them into something else.

I had a conversation with Stacey & Suz about menu planning & trying to use what is in the fridge yesterday.  Stacey is a meal planner while Suz & I totally fail are not but I think we all agree that wasting food is not a good thing.

I have never been a menu planner- basically as I like to buy seasonally & also what is on special.  I tend to buy and then make up the meals from whatever produce I have.

But I am very aware that it takes a certain level of food knowledge to be able to do that.  It isn't that easy for everyone to just make something up from what they have in the cupboard & fridge.

Although I am hoping that with my upcoming 'Pantry stock' posts that you will be on your way!

Stacey wrote a great post about being more mindful with food here- run and read it!

So let's all try & be more mindful of creating less waste, using what is in our fridge & just generally being more mindful in our attitude to food.

Leftovers sounds so drab but lots of food actually tastes SO much better the day after as the flavours have developed & settled.

This week see how you go making use of what is on your fridge!

Let's try and reduce the waste together.

I made a Roast dinner on Friday night and had lots of leftover vegies.  The littlies didn't last for the 'big' dinner and had gone to bed.  
And to be honest I always tend to do HEAPS of veg as i LOVE roast veg!  sometimes more than the meat.
I didn't want to waste the vegies and so I made a Frittata with the leftovers and fancied it up a little with some chunks of spiced Ricotta dotted through it.
The result was sensational.  The big boys LOVED it.
They have both taken it to school for lunch today. 
It also makes the BESTEST picnic food ever!

  • 250g spiced Ricotta mix (I use same principles as from my Ricotta chicken recipe - I change the mix a little every time depending on what I feel like)
  • leftover Roast veg - I had Pumpkin, Carrot, potato, Spanish onion, whole garlic cloves, cauliflower in this lot but pop in whatever you have.
  • 4 organic eggs
  • a handful of extra fresh herbs- roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cream.
  • S & P
Preheat oven to 170C.
Oil a large oven dish and scatter the Roast veg across the pan.

Scatter the fresh herbs over.
Dot the dish with tablespoon clumps of the Ricotta.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs and cream.
Pour over the top of vegies.

Pop in oven for about 20 minutes or until the top is looking brown.

Take out of oven and let cool.

Can be served warm or cool.
Cut into slices and serve with crusty bread & butter or with a salad.

I'm not sure what reminded me of this song this week but it BLOWS my mind. 
Jill Scott wrote it as response to media wanting her to change her body shape to make her more ....well more what?
way to respond lady!!!! 


  1. YO! I luuuuurve this song!

    And leftovers rock especially when flavours have time to develop and I think of it as... two meals for (close to) the effort of one.

    I especially like it when the bits and bobs from the fridge make an extra special delicious meal sans-recipe. I just think, GO ME!

    Was thinking that fritatta looked delicious from the IG pix.


    ps: now going to have leftovers for lunch

  2. That song is fab! I don't like throwing food away and wasting good food so freeze leftover portions if I can't use them the next day. Loving what you made with your leftovers, that looks delish!

  3. I'm annoyed that I plan, AND buy in season, and adapt my (admittedly very loose) plan to what I've bought and I STILL have waste. No more, I say! Frittatas are soooo good at using up stuff. Deliciousness plus xx

  4. We are totally use up leftovers kind of people - we got three different meals out of an accidental excess of mashed potato last week!
    We are also menu planners. We had to change our ways years ago when our household went from 3 to 2and we couldn't adjust and had too much wastage.
    Menu planning was our solution and is our savior now that we both work long hours. Makes shopping so much quicker and easier, and we never waste a thing as we only buy exactly what we need.
    We do eat seasonally too, in fact doing both (menu planning and eating seasonal) has been the best way to learn local seasonality. I know exactly when most fruit & veg come and go at our local farmer's markets, so I can still plan ahead and eat seasonal too!

  5. You know this weekend I had to throw out a chicken fillet that had been in the fridge way too long as I just didn't get around to freezing it. As a carnivore who would prefer to be a vego, I thought that the poor chicken had really died in vain, which made me think of wasting food in a whole different way. I compost, use leftovers but occasionally over buy which I have now vowed to avoid.

  6. Have been reading your blog but never commented, I'm sorry! I love it though! As it happens we have an abundance of leftover vegies from last night's roast in my fridge right now, so this is very timely. Thank you for your great recipes, have a lovely day.

  7. Song rocks. Love her message.

    Cooking enough so that there are leftovers are absolutely necessity in our home for next day lunches...can lead to mutiny otherwise, esp curries, delish the next day.

  8. OMG that looks so YUM!!!
    And love that song - what a find!

  9. Yummo, I have been loving frittata these past couple of weeks. See I have a child that hates eggs, but loves frittata, go figure.
    I like using leftovers, you posting on this is great.

  10. I love using leftovers. I feel like I'm not wasting food and it always tastes better the next day anyway. Looks great. G.x

  11. In my previous career I worked as a chef for 13 years. Now, cooking has become my hobby again and I use my learnt skills to be able to feed my family on under $80 a week (me, hungry tradesman husband, toddler and baby). I'm still spending more than what I need to because I had to lose my vegie patch to our house extension and I am waiting for it to establish in its new spot in the yard. My friends and family are completely amazed as to how I do this and I am always equally amazed at the HUGE cost of their weekly grocery shop. I think about this a lot because it's important....some women I know unwillingly put their kids in child care to earn that extra couple of hundred dollars to pay for that grocery bill. I also know that the quality of their meals and food is not worthy of that cost. Since shopping the way that I do now (which is just by buying the essentials and then spending the rest of my budget on what is good and cheap and therefore in season), the quality of my food at home is far beyond what it used to be.
    I really think that due to a lack of confidence a lot of people learn to cook through recipe books that they follow word for word without giving themselves the opportunity to really learn to cook through improvising, experimenting and tasting. But, like you say, it takes a certain amount of food knowledge to be able to put away the recipe book and just wing it. When I started my apprenticeship the first year was spent learning the principles of cookery. You would learn for example how to braise; not just a bunch of braising recipes but the way in which it all works giving you the skills to braise anything. It gives you the ability to write your own recipes.
    So, what I am saying in a really long winded way, is that leftovers are vital to all of this. Nothing should go in the bin, and if you have the confidence to improvise then you don't have to throw food out.
    When people ask me to teach them how to cook something, say a vegetable lasagne, I don't teach them a recipe but how to make a vegie lasagne using any vegetables that they like, have in the fridge or garden or are leftovers from a previous meal. I show them how to make a napoli and bechamel and how to put it all together. They then can go home and use what they have to make something that is truly their creation. I find that this kind of cookery sparks the passion and confidence in them to start experimenting....all of this translates, I think, to lower food bills, eating more in season and less throwing out of food.
    I'm really sorry this is such a long comment, but I have been thinking of doing a post about this on my blog and it's just generally something that I mull over a lot. My dream is to write a cookbook of "base" recipes where I teach the principle of the dish so that people can choose their own ingredients and learn to improvise and explore what I think is the joy of cooking.
    I enjoy your posts a lot. As a mother you give me confidence and inspiration and as a cook you give me motivation to keep food as a central part of mine and my family's lives.
    Theresa x


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