Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I know I've been watching too much Bob the Builder with my two year old grandson when I find myself wondering how to reduce the number of leftovers in my fridge and recycle them into new meal ideas.

As a newly married pastor's wife, our income was limited. I learned to make great nutritious meals on a shoestring budget. But that was 30 years ago.

As the children came along one at a time, I gradually learned to increase amounts to feed our growing family. I developed a great collection of recipes to cook from scratch to stretch our budget and became a fairly good cook.

But eventually, they all grew up and left home. I readjusted the amounts in my recipes to feed two of us again. I also went to work full time and began to use more prepared foods rather than spending my spare time in the kitchen.

Suddenly, the fledgelings began coming back to roost with their families and we're up to 11 hungry mouths to feed. I have to relearn how to cook! Consequently we have a lot more leftovers, with very little room in the fridge.

Time to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Can we cook it? Yes we can!

A container of leftover garlic mashed potatoes became the stuffing for twice baked potatoes, broiled with a little added cheese (They were a big hit.)

Leftover rice became rice pudding with some added raisins and 2 boxes of vanilla instant pudding mix.

The other night we made way too many spaghetti noodles, but the leftovers made a great spaghetti salad mixed with some chopped tomato, onion, celery, peppers,Italian dressing and some herbs to season it - well at least I liked it.

Well, you know what they say - when life throws lemons at you, you make lemonade - but not until you've grated the skins for the zest...

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