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Tips and suggestions on recycling leftover foods

Updated on July 19, 2009

How to make easy, cheap recipes using leftovers

Cooking for the family of 3 people the least everyday is not an easy task for most housewives who is not really into food-making or cooking. Everyday they hurdle the thought of planning or thinking, buying and preparing just to put food on the table so they can feed their family. The result? Most of them end up buying takeouts or to go or more so from fast food chains. This, in the long run becomes just too expensive and unhealthy overall for everyone. For someone like me who's already "into" cooking and loves food preparation, hates to be in the kitchen for too long since I don't want to consume most of the night in there cooking for my family unless I am preparing for a big occassion. If you do takeouts or eats out 4-5 times in a week, for three people that's an average of $80-$100 dollars weekly and about $320-$400 monthly, and runs from $4160-$5200 yearly. This calculation is still very conservative, considering If you were to spend $5 per person. These days when you go buy takeouts or get it from a fast food chain, a $5 budget per person is not really even enough unless you keep buying those dollar-value meal which has no nutrition value at all. When you know how to spend and what to buy when you go to the grocery store, you are already ahead of the game. If you have a game plan on what food to prepare ahead of time, it will always be easier and cheaper to feed your family. All you have to do is persistence, discipline and determination.



(Some recipes here are available to view in my page. Check them out in one of my hubs)

1. Make cheesy garlic noodles out of spaghetti leftovers. Try cooking extra noodles so you can put just crushed garlic, salt, butter and lots of parmesan cheese. Or you can add it make chicken noodle soup. Kids will love it! Yum!

2. Make a roast beef sandwich from your baked prime rib. All you need is mayonnaise, ground pepper and bread. If you have chips and pickled dill, even better. Voilah!

3. Beef Stew = beef stew soup. Just shred the meat into smaller pieces and put chopped celeries, carrots, cabbage, water and seasoning. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your old french bread that's hard as a rock. DIP it and DONE!

4. Old hard rock french breads or whatever bread you have that you haven't eaten in days. Cut in small pieces. In a bowl, Mix olive oil, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, ground black pepper. Mix with bread. Put in baking tray and bake/toast for 20-30 minutes. Use as croutons for your salad and/or soups.

5. Cook from the same family of menus weekly. When I plan to make spaghetti for the week, I make sure I double the quantity of the ground meat when I sautee it. This way, I can use the other half for making either beef omelette, eggplant omelette, picadillo (spanish dish w tomato sauce n cubed potatoes), or whatever dish that needs ground meat. This saves me time from cooking and washing.

6. You can turn your sad, dry chicken teriyaki leftover into a zesty Chicken carbonara sandwich! Just pour a little bit of olive oil in your hoagie bread, pour alfredo sauce or ranch dressing would work and sprinkle either parmesan or mozarella cheese on top and toast or broil in your toaster. That's $5 already if you order from Subway or TOGO's right?

7. Leftover steam rice = Fried rice! Almost any thing in your fridge can be used to make fried rice. If you have kielbasa, sausage, cooked ham, turkey, frozen corn, peas, carrots, bacon, eggs, celery, raisins, pine nuts, cashews, or any leftover meat ( chix/pork adobo, fried chix, etc) that you can sautee and shred, basically, whatever you can think of is doable. Don't be scared! If you think you can eat it, it should be okay! Eating this type of fried rice most of the time doesn't need another dish to eat it with. You can also make paella, jambalaya, thai style pineapple fried rice out of them.

8. Beefsteak = Tapa (Beef Jerky in Philippines) We make this and eat it with garlic rice and fried egg combination that we call Tapsilog. It is one of the best breakfast combination that's been in our tradition for so many years now. Sooo sooo good!




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