Nobody likes to waste food because when you waste food you are also wasting money. At the same time you can never be sure how much your family will eat on any given day. Some days they eat like ravenous wild animals. The next they eat like monks who are in the middle of fasting. Here are a few ways to prepare and eat leftovers, regardless of your family’s current appetite level.
Cook Ingredients Separately
Instead of cooking all your items in one pot or frying pan, and mixing them together, try keeping them separate. This makes it easier to mix and match ingredients later on that week. This works particularly well with layered meals. For example tacos and burritos share many of the same ingredients. You could have tacos one day and burritos the next. Or you could have homemade sub sandwiches and later that week have pita bread sandwiches. Unless you make meatball sandwiches, then you make spaghetti the next day.
Make an Previous Meal an Ingredient
The only difference between chowder and a pot pie is crust. One day you could make a chowder using cream of potato soup, mixed vegetables, and a can of chicken. The next day make a pie crust, dump in the leftover chowder, and let it bake until the crust is brown. There you have a new meal, making your dinner less resource intensive.
Plan Your Shopping.
Make a meal plan for the month with eating leftovers in mind. For example, if you know you are going to have Sloppy Joe’s one night, plan to make spaghetti, or a meat lasagna the next day.
Plan To Eat Leftovers
In spite of all your effort you still may find yourself eating leftovers. The hardest part of leftovers is finding the right time to eat them. For this reason it’s important to set a time aside to do just that. I have seen families set aside a particular day where the leftovers are eaten such as Friday night when nobody wants to cook, or Sunday afternoon. Another way of setting aside time to eat leftovers is by making it a set meal. For our family, lunch is our leftover meal. The left overs are usually still fresh when eaten daily.
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Making baby food can be a great way to save money, if you are prepared to put the planning and effort into it. It allows you to make food in bulk or for your baby to try new foods that are on hand. It is particularly effective if you already eat a healthy and balanced diet. Your grocery list will only need a few tweaks. Here are a few other things to consider while making baby food.
Do you have all the right tools to make baby food? Surprisingly, most of the things you need to make baby food are already in your kitchen. Sauce glassware, baby spoons, bowls, and a strainer. The one thing that I didn’t have to make baby food was a baby food grinder, but my blender worked fine when set for puree. This doesn’t always work with cereals though. For things like oatmeal or rice a food processor would have worked better.
Make sure that the foods you plan to give your little one are age appropriate to them. Start out with your cereals and move on to sweet potatoes. Study up in books or on the internet what fruits and vegetables are appropriate at your child’s eating level. You will also want to decide if you will use formula or breast milk in you baby food. Will you want to use organic foods? What foods can help you make a balanced meal for your little one? Above all make sure new foods are introduced one at a time and watch for allergic reactions.
Now that you have made this wonderful food for your child, brace yourself for the spitting. Making your own baby food does come with the risk of feeling rejection when you tot doesn’t like your new recipe. Remember that it’s not personal. It has more to do with a new taste or texture for your little one to adjust to than mommy’s new recipe.
I had a minor crisis yesterday. I ran out of dark chocolate. I actually made a decision about where to go grocery shopping partly based on whether I could get a decent deal on some good dark chocolate. Seriously! I did fix the problem temporarily by purchasing a small chocolate bar I shared with my children. But, I remembered that I’d read I could make my own. Since the bar is now gone, I was determined to find the recipe. So, guess what I did last night.
First, I melted a half cup of coconut oil.
Then, I added a half cup of cocoa powder. I use raw organic cacao because of its health benefits.
Once the oil and cocoa melted, I took the sauce pan off the heat and added about a 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
After that, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the chocolate mixture in there.
Freeze it for at least 2 hours. I left mine in there overnight.
Just like that, you’ve got chocolate in about 2 hours without having to leave the house to find the grocery store with the best deal on your favorite chocolate.
What are your must have snacks?
Every family has their picky eater, right? Well, in our family, that picky eater is my daughter. I’ve often joked that there is a picture of her in the dictionary right next to the word, “picky!” So, anytime I find something she may eat, I look for ways to include it and sneak in healthy ingredients…as long as she eats it. Well, we recently discovered that she loves lemon. So, I found a healthy lemon loaf recipe and made it happen!
1. Combine all the dry ingredients: 2/3 cup coconut flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt.
2. Next, melt 1/4 cup coconut oil. (Mmmm…so yummy and good-for-you too),
3. Then, grate two lemons. I did my best to grate mine (which were more than a week old–because it’s just what I had!) to gather all the lemon zest I could out of those two lemons!!! This was tough, but I was determined.
4. Next, I measured out the rest of the wet ingredients.
Juice from the two lemons.
Then, add enough milk to make 1 cup.
and 1/3 cup honey.
5. Combine all the wet ingredients and add 6 eggs. Yes, that’s a lot of eggs. But, trust me, it’s worth it
6. Mix wet ingredients. Then, add dry ingredients to the wet and mix.
7. Either grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper. I use parchment paper because it makes cleaning my cast iron loaf pan SO MUCH EASIER. Priorities, right?
8. Pour in the batter and bake at 350 for 35-42 minutes. When it’s golden brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, it’s done
9. Let it cool and slice away!
What’s funny is that my husband was not very excited at the thought of lemon loaf (because he would much rather have chocolate). But, he loves it…so do I!
Who says baking for your picky child doesn’t have perks?
What do you make for the picky eater in your family?
When I don’t have the right ingredients to make pizza dough, but I have the rest of the pizza ingredients, I like to make pizza pie. To make a pizza pie requires:
1 pie crust
1/2 a block of cheese
2 cups of tomato sauce or 1 can of tomato soup
Other wanted toppings such as pepperoni, green peppers, onions, or pineapple
First preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Then form the pie crust into a greased pie plate or tin. Then start stacking the ingredients. Start with a layer of tomato sauce or soup, followed by cheese, followed by your toppings of choice. Make about three layers in the pie, making sure to end with the toppings. This allows the cheese to melt and lessens the risk of it burning.
When you have the layers the way you want in the pie plate, put the pie in the oven and let it cook for fifteen minutes. Check it at ten minutes to make sure the cheese is melting nicely. When the pie is finished cooking take it out of the oven and let it cool for five minutes. This is a hearty meal and can serve about five.
Celebrate Christmas with ABC Family and Pillsbury as they share recipes and fun Holiday ideas for the whole family!