Don't be afraid to use leftovers.
On Wednesday, I took some meat that we had leftover.
First of all, I heated it up and then took paper towels and laid them on the top of the meat and sauce to absorb the excess oil.
I put the trash can right beside the stove so I could throw away the towels without dripping on the floor.
Next, I opened 2 cans of kidney beans and two cans of pinto beans and added them to the meat.
I then added some leftover corn that was in the fridge.
I then added some more water and a small can of diced tomatoes with chilies.
It didn't need any seasonings as the meat had plenty.
It ended up making a large batch so I took some to a couple of families.
Today, on Thursday, I had leftover chicken and rice from earlier in the week.
I deboned the chicken (it was legs and thighs), added water to make it into a soup.
I then stirred the rice to break it apart and added chicken bullion to give it more flavor and make the broth yellow.
I then added a can of corn, a can of diced potatoes, and a can of sliced carrots.
I added pepper and a Goya All Natural Flavor Packet.
I then took some cilantro that was almost ready to throw away and cut off all the good parts and cut it up and added it to the soup.
Matthew called and asked if he and Emallie could eat with us (and then asked if the food was fresh or leftovers).
I said it was chicken and rice soup I had made today.
I waited until they had eaten (and told me several times how good it was) that it was made from the leftover chicken and rice.
Now I must confess, sometimes my inventions do not work...but the chickens are always happy...
This past week I did two different meals, where I took leftovers and changed them into a new meal. As I do this frequently, I thought I would share with you what I do.
The first meal was made from leftover turkey. Actually, I had canned the leftover turkey from Christmas, but one of the jars didn’t seal and was sitting in the fridge.
When I opened the fridge to “stare” at the contents for a while and try to come up with dinner, I saw the jar and thought, “Oh, I need to use that.”
I took the jar and poured the contents in a pot, then added one can of corn, one can of chilies with diced tomatoes, one can of mixed vegetables, and some water. I also added salt, pepper, some dehydrated onion (1 Tablespoon) and some granulated garlic.
When this mixture came to a boil, I added one bag of alphabet pasta (the really little pasta). Voilà!…chicken noodle soap. Everyone went crazy over it.
We ate it with chips in it, sliced avocado pieces in it, salsa added to it, and some ate it with just crackers.
A couple of days later, I had just the bottom of the pan filled with black beans so I took a pound of hamburger and cooked it with a little water, some dehydrated onion, salt, and pepper. I then added the hamburger to the beans (I only buy the 93/7 hamburger…if you buy hamburger with more fat…you will have to drain the fat first), then I added 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 can of corn, 1 can of green chilies with diced tomatoes, and one can of mixed vegetables.
I then added a little more granulated garlic, salt, and pepper and more packages of Sazon Goya natural seasonings.
This made Chili that we ate for two days. We ate it on rice, with chips, with avocado slices, etc.
Yesterday, I made Pupusas for lunch, but cooked up a batch of pinto beans. As I went to put them in the fridge in the evening, I found some leftover ham from the holidays that I didn’t know was still there. I took the ham and cut it into small pieces and added it to the beans.
The old timers, on Friday’s would make leftover stew which consisted of the week’s leftovers. I have put mashed potatoes in soups and stews (they thicken it and add flavor). I have added all types of leftover vegetables or meats to soups or stews.
Another thing I do to save time and effort is to double or triple recipes. For example, when I came home Saturday afternoon after being in an all-day meeting. We made Goulash…but we made enough to have one large pan for dinner and freeze another batch. That way, someday when I work late or something, they can pull that from the freezer and have a meal.
I need to tell you what I made for dinner yesterday. Many years ago, people would make “Saturday Soup” which consisted of all the leftovers from the week put together to make soup. Well it was Tuesday, but I made “Saturday soup yesterday and it came out great.
I put the leftover bean soup in a large pot (this soup had ham in it), then added the leftover chicken legs, rice, and mashed potatoes from the fridge. Then I added the leftover hamburger gravy I had
Well, then to give it more oomph, I added two cans of corn, 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies, one package of Sazon Goya Annatto flavoring and some salt, pepper, and garlic.
The Rebeca wanted it to be, “A, B, C,” soup. So I added one package of ABC pasta.
Oh my goodness, it came out soooo good. I have done this in the past and had to give the invention to the chickens, however, this time, it came out delicious.
You would think the three meats (chicken, ham, and hamburger) would not go together, but they did and yum. Of course, beans, rice, and corn go together. The tomatoes and chilies made it more Spanish and the mashed potatoes thickened it and made it smooth and yummy.
The day after Thanksgiving, we used the left-over turkey and madeBolios. A sandwich made with a small French-loaf like bread. We pile on lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickled beets, onion, radishes, sliced cooked potatoes, cilantro…anything.
Then another day, I cooked some egg noodles, drained them. Added the left-over turkey to the leftover gravy, heated it up, then added the two together…turkey and noodles…and it was incredibly good.
Then the following day, I baked some huge baking potatoes in the oven then added sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper, then cut up left-over ham, and then shredded cheddar cheese. Super yummy. I even packed one into a Tupperware container for Fito for his lunch.
I then took the two ham bones (that still have meat stuck to them, but it doesn’t want to come off), and put them last night in my large canner and added 6 pounds of small black beans, lots of water, garlic, onion, pepper, and 2 packets of Sazon Goya Cilantro and Tomato. I am still cooking the beans today. I will add a small can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and salt later when they are soft.
David invited some youth for Friday which is why I made so much. Also, when the beans are done, I will bring them to a boil, then crack eggs and drop about 7 or 8 eggs into them and let them cook. Eggs and beans are an incredible combination. The Spanish then crunch of chips or tear up tortillas and add them to the soup. We also add cut pieces of avocado, shredded cheese, or other toppings…yum, yum, yum.
One day, I took the leftover turkey, put it on to boil (added the broth, too) then cut up about 5 potatoes, boiled them with the turkey until they were soft, then added a package of angel hair (extremely thin curled up noodles).
Basically, a homemade chicken noodle soup with potatoes. My goodness, it was so good. Sometimes the simplest foods are the best.
One afternoon, a cousin, who is a chef, made Chicken Alfredo. After everyone had eaten, I realized there were plenty of noodles and Alfredo sauce left over.
I then remembered that I had left-over Chicken fajitas. We heated up the Fajitas, added them to the Alfredo sauce, which we then added to the noodles and stirred it all together. There was enough to send dinner to two different families. Always a nice thing.
The interesting thing, is we decided we actually liked the taste of the Chicken Fajita chicken better than the original Chicken Alfredo. Very fascinating to a cook.