Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Monday - Leftover Edition

This is going to be 'Scrounge Week' in our home. 'Scrounge Week' means we do our best with what we have in the pantry and freezer. All the meat I froze when we had leftovers? Defrost and make something with it. The gazillions boxes of mac and cheese? Cook it up. Cereal for breakfast? Why not!

On occasion when it becomes time to grocery shop I find that my pantry shelves are still full with random ingredients and I think why should I buy more food when I have food? It is those times I feel fiscally responsible to make due with what we have. Once Jeff Shinabarger, author of More or Less, challenged his family to eat for as long as they could out of their pantry. Expecting to make it a few days they lasted months! Months of food that they hardly paid attention to was readily available in plenty!

We have more than enough food here too. And rather than spend more money on filling pantry shelves this 'Scrounge Week' will save on the budget and help us remember that even when we my kids accuse me that "There's nothing to eat!" - there really is. And because we have food stockpiled, we should consider ourselves blessed.

To that end Menu Monday this week is not a Sikorski typical menu, instead here's all the food that I have found over the years to be leftover worthy.

Ground Beef - always fry up extra ground beef. In a pinch it always goes with a box of pasta and marinara sauce. Especially left over ground beef and taco seasoning. Burritos, nachos, taco salad and taco pizza.

Potatoes - baked, fried or mashed I always make up extra. Twice baked potatoes, loaded mashed, cheese and potato omelets/skillets as well as potato burritos all come together in a snap if the potatoes are already made.

And speaking of twice baked potatoes, please for the love of pork if you go to the trouble of frying bacon make enough for sandwiches, burgers, omelets, skillets and twice baked potatoes.

Flour tortillas or taco shells. You keep these no matter what, right? Quesadillas, peanut butter (or nutella) and banana roll ups, pizza crusts in a pinch and scrambled egg burritos for breakfast.

Chicken - fried, baked, broiled, grilled .... always make extra for salads, chicken salad, quesadillas, to throw in pasta bakes or top a potato.

Ham. If you're lucky you have ham leftover this week from Easter dinner. Ham keeps well and when coupled with scalloped potatoes, scrambled eggs or soup (and don't forget the sandwiches) you can really stretch one main ingredient into three or four more meals.

Sausage. I often make pizza for the Tribe and most of us like sausage pizza. I always keep extra in the fridge. Slap it with an egg on a leftover biscuit or English muffin for a breakfast sandwich, use it in a pasta bake or take a refrigerated roll of biscuits and turn them into a homemade hot pocket with you seal sausage (or any meat for that matter) and cheese inside!

Hopefully the next time you slave away in the kitchen you too can plan a little extra. That way when you need dinner in a snap perhaps some of these tried and true left over ideas from my kitchen can help you feel your family in a snap!

For more (and usually better) menu ideas be sure to check out TheOrgJunkie
She has a very cool Menu Plan Monday linkup!
If you love recipes you'll love visiting her every Monday.

What are some of your go to leftovers? I'd love to hear from you ...

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