My kitchen tip? Get creative in the kitchen and try “making up” a recipe to use what you have!
Tonight I pulled off a textbook “Kitchen Stewardship” meal. It repurposed lots of leftovers, included no packaged ingredients, and homemade “cream of” soup. Some pre-planning allowed me to prep a few ingredients beforehand to save time and dishes. I made croutons in the same oven and baked cookies immediately afterward to save energy. And did I pray while cooking? You bet. In gratitude (Gratituesdays!) that husband was playing with the kiddos downstairs so I could concentrate, in hope that I wouldn’t have to throw out dinner because of failure, and for the good of the whole world. I didn’t use a recipe, exactly, and so I was pleased that it turned out!
The meal re-used leftover:
- Cooked vegetables from this week, plus some carrots I sliced purposely for this dish but cooked 2 days ago with our steamed veggie for that meal. I love saving time and dishes! (Yes, broccoli STEMS too! Look for a post later this week on how to cut and prepare those doggone stems!)
- Baked potatoes (made extra on purpose last week with meatloaf)
- A bit of gravy from last night – I had more gravy than potatoes
- Turkey from a roast yesterday
- Cooked rice, made more than I need for leftovers on accident, threw it in on a whim
- Biscuit dough – ½ batch that we didn’t need for honey tarts. My son and I made these a few days ago to go with our Garden of the Good Shepherd Calendar based on Jessica’s fabulous ideas. The only “flop” part of this was that biscuit dough doesn’t really rise that well after being in the fridge for two days. The flat bread on top did actually remind me of pie crust, albeit not flaky, so it didn’t harm to overall pot pie experience.
I used this recipe as a general guide to make the “cream of chicken” soup base, using butter and real onions and garlic first, then adding flour and the liquids. I stirred in the vegetables plus frozen peas, spinach, cooked rice, leftover gravy, and turkey.
I always end up with more than I expect when I start experimenting, so I poured the creamy base into four small casserole dishes. Another dishes saver: three of them were already “used” – for the turkey, the cooked veggies, and the biscuit dough! I had enough biscuit dough to cover two of them with a thin layer, and the other two are in the freezer for another day (with fresh biscuit dough and biscuits on the side, most likely). If you want to try this experiment at home, bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
I am grateful that my family got a totally nutritious meal, with healthy fats, two whole grains, lean meat, lots of vegetables and four super foods! Plus, it tasted great, my 10-month-old actually ate it…and I created it without a recipe. Do you know that feeling? You kind of feel like a diva in the kitchen. Success!
Come on back for more — sign up for an email subscription!
Please join us for Mind the Microwave in May, an initiative to reduce microwave use without stressing out about it!
Other Interesting Posts:
- What’s in My Freezer?
- How Much Does my Dishwasher Cost?
- Dishes Workout
- The Fate of Returned Food in Grocery Stores
- Praying in the Kitchen