Where Whine Meets Wine

The Leftover Mama

on March 30, 2011

I have at least 3 other posts in the works… but I’m just not feelin’ any of ’em. At least at this particular moment. In fact, the reason I haven’t done any new posts for about a week, is I haven’t been feelin’ any topic! I’m not sure what that’s all about, but I’m going to attempt and muddle my way through to break the spell.

I stay busy…pretty much all day, pretty much every day. And I am guilty of snack meals. I make the kids lunches and yet I just grab something quick. If at all. Sometime in the afternoon, the cups of coffee without any food jitters start to set in… and then I grab something. For me the worst is when the husband is working late… I make the kids dinner and sometimes will eat with them. But I’m very much less into making a family meal, when we’re not eating as a family. Which is silly because by the time I’ve searched through the pantry or fridge trying to decide on something that sounds good… I could have actually made something that tasted really good. Last night was a victory for me, small, but a victory none the less! You see, I’m kind of queen of the leftovers! I LOVE finding random things left over from meals that don’t have enough left to be a meal itself and finding a way of combining and making it new!  Especially when it’s just the kids and I (they’re much less picky!). So this last week or two we’ve had: chicken sausages (the yummy kind from Trader Joe’s), cannelloni (ricotta filled!), pizza (Chicken, spinach, white ranch sauce), and of course various forms of noodles, just to name a few.

So night-without-daddy #1: There were only 2 chicken sausages left. Sweet Italian and Jalapeño. I put them in the food processor, mixed with some ricotta (left over from the cannelloni and ravioli) and put over noodles. (note: I always make at least one extra serving of all meals so that there’s enough for hubby’s lunch the next day). The kids ate THREE whole bowls full- each! I repeat: 3!! I barely had any, and there was none left for Daddy! But the kids were happy and full, and let’s face it, we wouldn’t trade that for all the lunches in the world!! Night #2: Also inspired by leftovers. Made rice noodles (that taste like wonderful egg noodles- seriously, so, so good!). Used leftovers from pizza! Ranch sauce had been thrown in the fridge in a dish with the spinach and chicken, so I put it all in a pot. Sauteed some more spinach, threw a small dish of leftover breakfast sausage in the food processor, and added in some of my “add to everything” almond flour… it was so yummy! Night #3: Made kids their favorite kind of sandwiches: gluten-free waffles (used just like 2 slices of bread) filled with nutella, a dollop of peanut butter, and a drop of jelly. Just as I was thinking about eating a waffle myself… I looked at the breast and a half of thawed chicken that needed to be cooked anyway. And the leftover mama (how many names can I make up out of this?) opted for delicious! And all but the almonds were left over from previous meals: spinach, blue cheese crumbles, chicken, toasted almond slices, and strawberry poppyseed dressing. So good.

We are hoping to start eating more fish… here is what I’m making this weekend:

Chili-Seared Salmon

  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Sweet Pepper Salsa

Combine chili powder, salt, and pepper; rub evenly over salmon fillets. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add salmon, cook 4 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Serve with Sweet Pepper Salsa.

sidenote: For an easy but delicious salmon dish with crispy skin, be sure to use “pure” olive oil, not extra-virgin olive oil, which burns more easily.

Sweet Pepper Salsa

  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeded and julienned
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 lg yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • 1 sm red onion, julienned
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Stir together all ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I may double it, just so I have leftovers I can work into another recipe! What are your favorite meals to make out of leftovers?

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