Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stretching my dollars

Ah, leftovers. They can really be a hit or a miss. I've been experimenting a lot lately, as money is tight and I am trying as hard as I can to stretch my dollars as far as they can go. I have been doing a pretty good job at not letting anything go to waste. I find that with a few important steps in your cooking routine will immensely improve the way you utilize things that might otherwise go to waste.

Bread is an important staple in most households. It is great for quick PB&Js, leftover turkey sandwiches, morning toast.
The other night I was putting together a salad when I realized I wish I had croutons. What I did have was this huge loaf of bread that needed to be used. I sliced up some square pieces about a quarter size, drizzled a bit of olive oil over them, tossed in some Italian seasoning and baked them in the oven until they were nice and crisp.
I ended up using them in my salad, and the ones that I didn't end up using went into the food processor to make homemade bread crumbs, perfect for my stuffed mushrooms or chicken parm.

I opened a can of spinach one night to stuff into some chicken breast. I ended up with a whole lotta left over spinach, mixed with a bit of garlic and cheddar cheese.
Storage is important when it comes to leftovers. I love saving leftover jars or deli meat containers for storing sauces and canned goods. I also splurged a while back and about whole set of plastic storage containers.
I had no idea what to do with this spinach mixture. I decided to toss it in with a few burger patties and toss it on the grill. It made for some tasty burgers.

I also spread some of the spinach onto an english muffin one morning with a fried egg and some ham. I thought it added great flavor to a regular breakfast sandwhich.

Leftovers are a good time to experiment. You might end up finding a new favorite. Don't be afraid to mix and match flavors. Try tweaking your recipes. Getting several meals out of something that cost less than a dollar is a great way to save pennies, especially when you prepare meals for 1-2 people.

And now I leave you with a recent practice video. I'm rocking a homemade tutu that I made last year.

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