Thursday, January 7, 2010

Extreme Leftover makeover..lunch edition

Okay, so maybe it's not so extreme, but it is indeed leftovers & I did make them into something else....I really am bad at eating leftovers, but my hubby is really good at it. Eating the same meal three days in a row gets boring for me, and often the food sits in the fridge after the 1st try @ eating leftovers. Eventually it goes in the trash, and the money wasted quickly adds up. When I started contemplating the fresh start for us in 2010 and began making my goals, I was quickly convicted of the waste we have in our home & the need to do something about it.

I'm starting off simply by attempting to make meal plans that already use up leftovers to make new meals. In addition, I'm trying to find ways to reinvent the leftovers into something really good. You know, not just bearable, but something you might actually want to make, even if you didn't have leftovers. The first extreme leftover makeover that I took on was leftover pork!

As per my meal plan, Tuesday night we had a pork roast, which everyone enjoyed. After dinner, we still had about 1/2 of the pork tenderloin leftover. I knew that I was planning to use the pork for the Cowboy Rice & Beans for dinner tonight, so I went ahead and shredded it, as per the recipe. But the recipe called for only 2 cups, and I had almost 3 cups. Having been clear that I need to try to be the best steward of this food, I knew I had to find another way to use it, but how?

As I sat in front of the fridge surveying what I had, I saw the tortillas. I had bought them the other day because they were a marked down item. It wasn't on my list, but I figured that I could use them for something. But here it is, almost to the expiration date for the tortillas, and they still remained unopened. It's no bargain if I let them go to waste, and again it was not being a very good steward. So I grabbed the following from the fridge.

The cream cheese, shredded cheese, shredded pork, tortillas & salsa. Surely I could give it a try. I've never had pork on a quesadilla, but it looked kind of like chicken. I started with one, and decided that even if I didn't like it, I would know to mark that off the list of ways to re-do pork roast!

First, I spread a small amount of the cream cheese all over the tortilla & then I placed the shredded pork down on one half.

Then I sprinkled the shredded cheese (we happened to have taco cheese on hand that had already been opened because we had Taco Bake on Monday). I folded it in half & placed it on a greased cookie sheet.

I popped the quesadilla in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, flipped it over and baked for 5 more minutes. I cut it into three triangles, poured some salsa in a cup and I was ready to try it.

I took a deep breath, and took a bite. It was so good that I devoured all three triangles & began making more. I made enough at lunch to serve with the Cowboy rice and beans tonight (just in case the kids weren't too fond of the new recipe. Atleast I knew they'd atleast have something they'd eat for sure). They weren't needed, as the kids happily devoured the Cowboy Rice & Beans, but I let them eat the quesadillas as well.

If you have leftover refried beans, you could add that to the inside of the quesadilla as well. Also, leftover rice can quickly be made "mexican rice" by adding a spoonful or two of salsa and some cheese to the rice while reheating in the microwave.

I felt really good that we used the ENTIRE pork roast this time. This is the first time I haven't thrown any out. It feels so good to know that I got every penny out of that pork roast I paid for and because I had planned ahead of time, I wasn't scrambling at the last minute and ending up feeding my family sandwiches for dinner. (Not that there's anything wrong with that on occassion, but if I'm home all day, I should be able to make a real dinner most of the time.)


Anonymous said...

Good for you! It's fun to make up your own recipes. I do it all the time,You never know what you might make!! Chef Christy in the making! Mom

Sarah said...

Great idea! I keep tortillas on hand all the time- it's amazing what leftovers can be thrown in and made into a casadilla :) I though it would help to cut down on my carbs, but I end up eating more of them so it's a wash.