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Leftovers - Use Them or Toss Them?

Aug 17, 2007
You can save money on your grocy bill if you use up those bits of vegetables, meats and sauces for a meal later in the week. In fact, you can plan to cook a roast or a whole chicken for the purpose of using the leftovers for another lunch or dinner. It's a great time saver as well as a money saver. Here are a few guidelines for using leftovers:

1. Cut leftover meat or poultry into bite-sized pieces so that they will be uniformly heated.

2. When you have a cooked meat or poultry to add to a main dish, add it after the other ingredients are mostly cooked through.

3. Prepare a sauce to serve the meat with. Add the meat for the last few minutes of cooking time.

4. Make a hash of left over meats and potatoes. Hash was a popular leftover dish that my grandma used to make. Here's her recipe:

Chop 1 to 2 cups of leftover meat. Then, cube an equal portion of cold, cooked potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon of minced onion and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

Melt butter or margarine in a frying pan (1 tablespoon for each cup of hash mixture). Spread the meat and potatoes evenly over the bottom of the pan and moisten with a small amount of milk or leftover gravy.

Cook slowly over medium-low heat about 20 minutes or until the mixture has browned on the bottom. Shake the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.

Slide out of the frying pan and into a serving dish.

You can also bake the hash in the oven. Spray cooking spray onto the sides and bottom of a casserole dish. Add hash mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Beef, chicken or turkey all make tasty hash dishes.

5. Use leftover rice to make a delicious pudding dessert:

Mix 1 cup of cold white or brown rice with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Stir in one chilled can (10 oz) of crushed pineapple, drained. Fold in 1 cup of whipped cream. Stir just long enough to blend ingredients.

Serve in sherbet glasses for a more fancy meal.

6. Another good way to use up leftovers is to make soup. Here's a good recipe for that leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey:

Remove any fat and skin from your turkey carcass. Put the bones and leftover turkey meat into a large cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim off foam from top of water.

Add 3 chopped carrots, 3 ribs sliced celery, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 2 cloves garlic (minced), and 2 chopped onions.

Simmer soup for 2 to 4 hours.

Add 2 potatoes, quartered. Cook for 1/2 hour longer or until potatoes are cooked through.

Serve immediately or freeze for future use.

Impress your family and guests with creative uses of leftovers. They may never guess that they are leftovers!
About the Author
Jude Wright is the webmistress of 40 websites. Visit her popular cooking and recipe site at HomestyleRecipesOnline.com
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