Love Affair with Leftovers

February 14, 2012


As we celebrate Valentine’s this week, love is in the air! And food is my first love. You see, I was born at 11:58am — 2 minutes before lunch and I haven’t missed a meal since! That’s what my mom likes to say, anyway. So, how does a girl who ate anything and everything (except peas and pickled beets – insert GAG here!) grow up to have 3 children that are picky eaters? I keep praying that one day I’ll prepare the magical meal that we will ALL love to eat.

Until that perfect dinner of my dreams arrives, we have to deal with leftovers! My challenge this week, as I tackled cooking from my deep freeze, was that the fridge began filling up. We don’t throw food away – unless it’s no longer recognizable as food. I think it’s this special gene I inherited from my mom. But I don’t like growing science experiments in my fridge, either. So, how do I reinvent my leftovers to prevent waste (which costs money) and also appeal to the Mai Clan?

First of all, I think there needs to be a national movement to change the word ‘leftover’ to ‘makeover’. Maybe it’s just the girly side of me, but when I hear ‘makeover’ I think of getting fixed up and the end result is a newer, fresher YOU! Exciting, isn’t it? Well, I think the same can be said for a dinner makeover. Think of it like twice baked potatoes: it’s a two step process to produce a very tasty end result, or in this case, two tasty results. This week I had my first date with my ‘makeover’.

I created a twist to my standard crock pot pork roast, by adding teriyaki sauce instead of BBQ sauce. I served my Teriyaki Pork on a bun with sliced pineapple and steamed veggies on the side. Then, later in the week, I sauteed fresh veggies in the wok, warmed the Teriyaki Pork, and served over rice for an Asian feast. My first dinner ‘makeover’ was a success and I’m looking forward to cooking up something special with my leftovers again this week!

Is there such a thing as “loving leftovers”? Maybe not, but one thing is for sure: if I want to really be successful in my goal to save on my food budget, I better learn to accept and appreciate leftovers. Like any love affair, I see a bright future for those leftovers and me…as long as we can spice it up with a makeover once in awhile!

One Response to “Love Affair with Leftovers”

  1. Meg D. Says:

    I love this post. First of all- there are usually pickled beets in my fridge. :-) Second…the idea of just changing the sauce is a great one. It can change the entire meal. The difference between ranch, salsa, bbq or just salt and pepper on something is a huge difference for the kids. It’s a good reminder to all to not give up one a certain food- but change the presentation. xoxo


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