Creating with What One Has

It always amazes me how wasteful our society as a whole is, especially with food.  I do my best to create meals with what I have, before buying more food.  Even when leftovers become boring, I freeze them for another time, or make something new out of them.  I sometimes thaw out one type of meat in order to make multiple meals at the same time.  The more meals I make out of a certain food, the less waste and more variety there will be.

I plan out meals every few days, since we have a small family.  I only end up having to cook every other day most weeks.  For breakfast, I do a baking day where I make a bunch of muffins or scones and freeze them for later use.  I love fresh baked goods with my morning coffee!  Why go to Dunkin’ Donuts when I have better-for-me-muffins in my own freezer?  Then, each morning I just pop a couple of goodies from the freezer into the microwave, and breakfast is served.  I do the same thing with cookies, waffles, pancakes, and anything that can easily be frozen in individual portions.

The refrigerator is packed with plenty of fruits and veggies for snacking, as well as any meals that will be eaten that week.  If a fruit or vegetable cannot be consumed before it will go bad, I freeze it or puree it for sneaky ingredients (like for recipes from The Sneaky Chef).  My grandma had made a sweet potato soup that nobody at her house wanted, and I had already made a soup myself that week, so it became sweet potato pies!  I refrigerated one, and froze a second for later on.  I always look forward to enjoying something delicious in weeks to come, knowing that I don’t have to cook it again.

Leftovers also make great snacks.  I don’t buy chips and other unhealthy snacks much, so leftovers become snacks.  I feel a lot better knowing my husband is up late at night munching on my chicken lo mein with lots of veggies, than eating a whole bag of Doritos.  It gives me peace of mine to know that there is always something delicious and healthy in the fridge to eat, and that the food won’t go to waste.

Copyright 2011 Tanya Weitzel

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