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Archive for the ‘leftovers’ Category

I was hungry and tired. Checked the fridge – leftover pasta. I toyed with creating a healthy pasta sauce, but really didn’t have the strength. As it was easier than actually getting up, I googled some recipes, checked out Barilla’s site (they have AWESOME gluten free pasta). And found a recipe using green onion pesto with cashews. I had a great amount of chives, and cashews, and a bit of basil. But I didn’t want to cook anything, so I looked some more and found a no-cook spinach and parsley pesto. Problem solved!

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Yummy and very filling!

Leftover herb pesto

Ingredients:

Leftover herbs or green leaves (I had chives and basil, can also use parsley etc.)
Garlic – I used one as chives are also garlic-y, adjust as needed.
handful of cashews
2-3 tsp Parmesan cheese (optional)
1-3 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Put herbs, garlic,Parmesan and cashews in food processor. Process until chopped. Add olive oil slowly until you get a paste (you might need less/more olive oil than written). If you’re hungry and impatient, stop processing – it still tastes great :). Mix with leftover pasta, warm in microwave, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and eat!

This keeps well refrigerated in a jar, at least a few days. I didn’t try it more than that 🙂

Bon apetit!

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I had some leftover meat, rice, half a packet of mushrooms, and half an onion. I even had an open box of soy milk. All that was missing was the flashing neon sign: “Make Beef Stroganoff!”

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Leftovers!

Ingredients: (for 1 person)

About 1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 onion (or few slices leek), chopped
~100-150 gr champignon mushrooms (about 1/2 a packet), sliced
~100-150 gr leftover meat (I had turkey and beef cubes), sliced
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp cornflour (or Conditor gluten-free flour)
Fresh nutmeg
Salt
One portion leftover rice in a microwaveable bowl

Instructions:

Saute the onion or leek in the oil until getting transparent. Add the mushrooms and salt, saute until you can smell them. Add the meat, mix. Put the rice in the microwave for 1 minute (or less depending on your microwave). Add the soy milk, a couple dashes of freshly ground nutmeg, and the cornflour. Mix a bit until thickened. Pour over rice and eat! (If you really want to, you can photograph it first 😉 )

Bon apetit!

 

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Since Insightful and Investigator were diagnosed celiac, I got rid of all my spices and bought new ones. I had a bunch of leftovers and I thought a curry would be great, and I forgot that I didn’t buy curry when everything was already bubbling nicely 😩 What to do?

Improvise! (though really, if you have curry just use curry 🙂 )

I found that Hawaij for soup, which is a Yemenite spice, has cumin, turmeric, cardamom and cloves. I added more turmeric and ginger, and it turned out surprisingly good. So I present to you (*drum roll*): Curry-less curry!

Ingredients (2 large servings)

about 1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced (or minced if you like)
1-2 slices fresh ginger (I peel, slice it and keep it in the freezer in a bag)
5-6 large champignon mushrooms, quartered or sliced
canned peas (or any leftover you might have, chickpeas, lentils, other beans, and nothing at all also work)
leftover meat (optional) cut up if you wish
about 1/2 cup of coconut cream (or however much you have leftover)
2 tsp Hawaij for soup
1 tsp turmeric
about 1/2 dried chili pepper, if desired
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the oil. Add the garlic and ginger, fry until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, the meat, the coconut cream, the peas,and the spices. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

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Bubble bubble

Let simmer until bubbling (or until rice is ready 🙂 ). Serve over rice or couscous.

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Yummy!

Bon Apetit!

 

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I love cherry tomato salad. It’s tasty and refreshing and best of all ridiculously easy:

Cherry tomato salad

Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
Good quality olive oil
Salt
Dried or fresh oregano and/or basil

Mix,  add more spices if you want and eat! It’s even better if you let it sit for half an hour first, but I rarely have the patience.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t continue getting better, and to my taste is quite soggy the next day. So leftover tomato salad is an issue.
However, paired with the inevitable question “what’s for dinner?” An answer appears:

Pizza on Matzah (or pita)
This is a staple dinner that a kid can make on his own, and is standard when the kids have their friends, as it’s easy and appealing to most children. I’ll start with the Passover version and add notes for the regular one.

Matzah, broken in two or four
Pizza sauce of choice:
   1. Ketchup
   2. Leftover tomato salad, minced in the food processor. Add some tomato paste if too thin.
   3. Mix tomato paste, a dash of water, oregano, basil, and optionally ketchup.
Yellow cheese or mozzarella cheese, sliced
Topping of choice

Spread sauce over matzah.

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On the right tomato salad, the rest is the tomato paste mix

Top with cheese.

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Add topping of choice. Kids love to experiment with this,  but this time we went with the classics:

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If only one or two, microwave for 30 seconds on high. For a family, grill in the oven for 3-5 minutes at 200 °C.

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Serve with vegetables cut into sticks: cucumbers, carrots and red peppers are favorites at my house.

Bon apetit!

Notes for pita version: using a knife, separate the pita sides. Spread sauce and cheese as toppings on each round pita half and cook as above.

Obviously this would work with regular sliced bread as well, but for some reason kids like that less.

This is a great use for leftover tomato pasta sauce as well.

Happy Passover!

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Lately we’ve had guests for at least one meal every weekend. So I’ve been making more chicken than usual. When we don’t have guests I rarely do it as my husband doesn’t like chicken. He likes chicken breast or schnitzel, but not chicken as is. Odd, isn’t it?

Anyway, as I’ve been doing more chicken lately leftovers are more of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I like chicken. I just don’t like it the same way every day. On the other hand, making something new when I’ve got perfectly good chicken in the fridge is a bit pointless as well. So this time I made sauce with the chicken, and ate it over pasta. It turned out delectable.

I didn’t photograph it as my baby grew pretty insistent that she wanted to eat as well, so I didn’t have time to savour it properly, and even less time to photograph. But it’s still worth remembering.

The base for the sauce was the chicken gravy and tomatoes. As I’ve already mentioned, a delectable tomato sauce can be made pretty easily in the microwave. Adding the chicken gravy to it made it richer and smoother. I removed fat from the gravy before using it, so it wasn’t too fat, either 🙂 To top it off, I added chopped leftover chicken and chopped leftover grilled fennel, and some dried basil.  The result was a rich sauce with a surprising depth of flavor because of the chicken and fennel.

Definitely something to remember.

Ingredients:

One quarter chicken, cooked
Chicken gravy
About 15 large cherry tomatoes, halved if large
About 1 1/2 chopped grilled fennels
Dried basil to taste
One portion pasta (or rice, couscous, burgul, whatever)

Put the tomatoes in a microwave safe dish. Cook on high for 3 minutes. If tomatoes remain whole, crush them until they pop (carefully! it sprays!) and cook on high for another minute. Add chicken gravy and chicken, fennel and basil. Cook on high for another two minutes. If using pasta, add to sauce and cook for another minute on high or until pasta is warm. Otherwise serve over rice or couscous (or whatever).

Bon Apetit!

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Obviously, if I’m reading Nora Roberts books at the rate of one a day, and taking care of all my kids in the summer vacation (G-d bless my husband, who takes part or all of them and arranges all kinds of projects. Otherwise I would already be nuts by now), I don’t have much time for cooking. But before all the kids were here, I had a hankering to do something special with leftover chicken. I wanted something with dough, as well. So I chose chicken pockets.

I admit, I debated with myself a bit on this one. On the one hand, I really felt like making something interesting and special with dough and chicken. On the other hand, time is limited, and the recipe stated that it took an hour. And the first time you make a recipe it always takes longer than you expect. In the end I went for it. 🙂

I based on this recipe (Hebrew). The dough turned out delectable, and so easy to make. I completely changed the filling to fit my leftover chicken, and did the simplest filling I could think of to save time and effort. Also, I made only half the amount.

Leftover Chicken Pockets

Dough:

75 gr spelt flour (or all purpose)
75 gr all purpose flour
100 ml boiling water
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 tbsp cornflour

Filling:

chicken from a quarter chicken, cooked and cubed
two handfuls olives, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg
Dried oregano to taste

Dipping sauce (optional):

2 tbsp rice vinegar
Dried chilli
Soy sauce to taste

 

To make the dough:

Sift the flour into the bowl of a food processor fitted with bread hooks, add the boiling water and mix on low. Add the oil and mix again. Add the cornflour and knead for 5 minutes. (See? Easy!) Put more cornflour on your workspace and make a fat sausage from the dough. Cut dough into 10 equal parts. Roll each part into a circle.

To make the filling:

Mix all the ingredients.

Putting it together:

Put one tbsp of filling in the center of each circle. With an egg brush, put water on the edge of half a circle. Fold the circle in half, using the water as “glue”.

Before frying

 

Fry each pocket for ~5 minutes on both sides or until brown. It is also possible to steam them for 7-8 minutes instead. Eat with dipping sauce of your choice (I ate without, it was good!).

5 pockets before eating

Bon Apetit!

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As usual, by the end of the week we’re left with a bit of this and a bit of that in the fridge. One of the things we had were grilled chicken breasts that had dried out a bit in the fridge. They were still soft enough to cut with a knife, but not pleasant to eat as is. So I decided to cook them in a sauce, and serve over pasta.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 small onion
1 tsp minced garlic
5-6 champignon mushrooms, sliced
About 1/2 cup cooked green beans
3 small cooked chicken breasts, sliced thinly so they absorb liquid efficiently
One cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
About 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp spelt flour or other flour, for thickening

(I told my husband that he was lucky I made apricot jam the day before, other we would have had apricots in the sauce as well 😉 )

Heat olive oil. Fry onion until translucent, add garlic and continue frying til fragrant. Add mushrooms, cook until browned. Add chicken, green beans, ginger, stock and soy sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes on a low fire, so chicken absorbs some liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid, add water or white wine. Add flour and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until thickened. If not thick enough, add more flour. Serve over pasta.

My mom dropped by to pick something up and said the scent was overpowering, even outside the building, and said (hint, hint, wink, wink) that she wasn’t in a hurry and that my father was out of town for dinner. So we invited her for dinner as  well 🙂 By the time I thought to photograph the excellent sauce, only this was left:

Umm… Mushroom Chicken Sauce?

😆 😆 😆

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When reheating leftover pasta for one, the first impulse is to add some ketchup, sprinkle with parmesan and eat. This is very quick and hassle free. On the other hand, it isn’t that filling, so I usually need two servings, and the overall result is less than the height of nutrition [1].  I again turned to my cookbooks for inspiration, and found a recipe titled “pasta with butter and cheese sauce”. Basically pasta tossed in butter and garlic and sprinkled with cheese. I thought, “Why not make it? Frozen chopped spinach can so easily be added to this. It can even be done in the microwave!”

So:

Ingredients

about 20 gr butter (I found it too buttery, will probably use less next time. This is still less than the original recipe, though)
1/2 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
75-100 gr frozen chopped spinach
salt
freshly ground nutmeg
one portion leftover pasta
grated parmesan  cheese

For clarity and brevity, I will refer to a “Step” as 30 seconds in the microwave on high.

Put butter in microwave safe dish (I use a pyrex. You can already do this in the serving dish, but all my microwave safe bowls were in the dishwasher when I made this so I used an extra pyrex). Put in microwave on “high” in 30 second steps until mostly melted. Add garlic and spinach, and cook in microwave in 30 second steps, stirring every step, until spinach is defrosted and buttery and garlic is fragrant, about 4-5 steps. add salt and nutmeg and cook one more step.

Spinach Sauce

Add pasta and toss, and put in microwave for last step. Add grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Easy, rich, and tasty. And the spinach at least nods towards nutritional content and is much more filling. And the whole thing takes about 5 minutes. What more do you need?

Bon Apetit!

 

 

1. As opposed to some, I don’t consider ketchup a vegetable 😉 BACK TO POST

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I wanted something quick and relatively healthy for dinner. I had leftover chicken breast and some vegetables that needed using up. So I decide on a salad with chicken cubes. However, I like salads of this type with thousand island dressing. I didn’t have any, and no patience to begin making real thousand island dressing . So I tried to find something similar enough to thousand island without, you know, bothering too much. I googled “quick thousand island recipe” and predictably, the first try was a recipe that indeed was quick, but needed a bunch of stuff I didn’t have or even know what they were (query: does any one know what sweet pickle relish is? All the thousand island recipes I saw had it). And the more serious problem was, that at the end it specified “refrigerate for a few hours until sugar is dissolved”.

This is NOT quick.

In the end I found  this recipe.  The result was spectacular! (It came out a bit too much dressing, but really, I don’t mind 🙂 )

Salad: (serves 1)

1 grilled chicken breast, cubed
1 mini-cucumber, cubed
4 cherry tomatoes
half a grilled squash, cubed
1 large fresh mushroom, cubed
Anything else you have in mind 😉

Mix everything together.

Pseudo Thousand Island dressing:

1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
squirt ketchup
splash balsamic vinegar
1 drop tabasco (or to taste)

Mix everything together. Taste and add tabasco/vinegar/ketchup if necessary. Pour over salad and serve.

Chicken salad with pseudo thousand island

Yum!

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I’m joining the blog event Love food – Don’t Waste here.  I already sent some of my blog posts (such as crumbles and jam for fruit, etc.), but I wanted to add some concentrated tips for not wasting food. I hate throwing away food.

Bread:

Four things to do with leftover bread:

1. Freeze. Defrost using a microwave or at room temperature. To defrost in the microwave, wrap with thin cloth towel and microwave 10-20 seconds (depending on how much bread). Some trial and error is needed, but the bread usually comes out as if it was just baked :).
2. French toast: That standby of old bread everywhere. Beat 1-2 eggs (depending on how much bread). Add a splash of milk or water. Dip bread slices in egg, both sides. Fry in a frying pan both sides until brown. Serve with jam, peanut butter, sprinkle sugar on top, chocolate syrup, maple syrup…

Quick Real Chocolate Syrup:

Ingredients:

4 squares good chocolate of your choice
few drops vegetable oil

Put chocolate in microwave safe glass, and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted (chocolate doesn’t loose its shape in the microwave, so you need to actually mix with a spoon to see if it melted) . Add a few drops vegetable oil and mix. Serve.

Note: Never add water to melted chocolate, it causes it to seize (become gritty).

3. Breadcrumbs: Put bread in a straw bowl or plastic box with holes (such as what mushrooms are bought in) and let dry a few days. Once dry, process in food processor until you get crumbs. Excellent home-made breadcrumbs.

4. SemulKneidl: Literally: breadballs. This is a recipe of my MIL which we usually use just before Passover to get rid of all our bread. Basically you mix bread (typically at least a loaf) with one cup of milk, and mix until becomes a dough-like. If you need more liquids, add more water. Form into balls and boil for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream or mushroom sauce.

Dairy Products:

Milk: Use up in chocolate milk or cornflakes, or make blintzes. Also, milk makes a great heavy cream substitute to use in sauces:

Heavy cream substitute:

One cup heavy cream = 1 cup less 2 tbsp milk+2 tbsp milk mixed with 2 tsp flour. You need to mix the flour with a small amount of milk first to prevent it from lumping. Then add the milk and the flour-milk mixture to your pan (or pot, or whatever). Heat until thickened to your liking. You can also add some butter for taste.

Yogurt: I just love putting in muffins. Another great option is freezing it to make frozen yogurt. Be warned, however – home-made frozen yogurt, unless made with an ice cream machine, tends to come out like ice rather than ice-cream.

Cottage cheese – I like to use it in a casserole. Basically mix your leftover pasta, some tomato puree or sauce, cottage cheese, olives if you like them, anything else you have on hand, sprinkle grated cheese on top, and bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 15 minutes (to get brown). I do this also when I don’t have any leftovers to use up at all :).

Potatoes:

Slice up and fry them. Potatoes don’t freeze well, unfortunately.

Everything

A great leftover food is to slice all the leftovers you have (potatoes, meat, vegeatables, pasta, rice, etc.) and fry it all together. You can add a chopped onion. At the end, pour some beaten egg on top and wait for it to cook. This is my husband’s family spĂ©cialitĂ© 🙂

There are tons more great ideas out there – like shepherds pie with leftover chicken/meat and potatoes, or leftover meat lasagne, but they will be in another post…

Anther option which are always great is spreading the food around. For example, If I have too much watermelon, I give half to my parents and that way everyone is happy…

Love Food - Don't Waste

 

PS. I’m so sorry for your loss, Tes. My heart goes out to you. May you get strength and courage to face this terrible loss.

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