Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Return of the Leftover Makeover :)

OK let's try this again! I want to reiterate my terrible recipe posting- most of the time I don't measure so everything is TOTALLY approximate. I have already explained how different types of soup are perfect leftover uses. In fact, I keep a freezer bag of odds and ends in the freezer- a spoonful of corn or peas leftover for dinner- that last serving of rice or pasta that doesn't get eaten or the unused portion of a can of diced tomatoes are perfect for composing a "freezer" soup when you get enough ingredients.

Another great use of leftovers is pasta. One of my leftover creations is a personal favorite of my husbands. If you are familar with pasta con broccoli, this is my leftover take on it.

First, the meals I made to collect leftovers for the pasta were as follows:
Baked, breaded chicken strips (served with home fries and salad)
Cheese soup- I make mine with a chicken broth base, cheddar cheese, butter, lots of broccoli, some onion and a carrot puree added in for richness and color. There are many recipes for cheese soup so you can use your favorite.

Cube the leftover chicken strips and add to whole wheat penne that has been cooked al dente. To the mixture, add enough leftover cheese soup to coat, leaving the mixture slightly runny. Add diced tomato in your preferred quantity and a generous scoop of parmesan cheese and stir. Pour into a baking dish and top with shredded mozarella. Bake on 325 degrees until the pasta is warmed through and the cheese is bubbly on top. Enjoy with a green salad.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

WOW i am really behind already on the leftover makeovers. I will start again next Wednesday and have lots of ideas!! For the time being let me say that if you just trust your random cooking instincts you might just surprise yourself. For example, last night, my husband had to coach a late basketball game so it was just my kids and I. I didn't feel like cooking or ordering on so I combined leftover lentil soup that I had frozen with some Amish noodles and it was almost like a bolognese but with an extra protein punch.... yay me.

I did not write the lentil soup recipe down, but it in itself was a way to use just a little ground beef that I had. Lentils are great! Ingredients I used were, of course, lentils and ground beef, as well as beef broth, carrots, celery, onions, tomato sauce, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper topped with fresh parmesan. Try some lentils!