Whenever I go to a restaurant and see people throw out food, I get very angry. Why do they do that? Sometimes, there is a valid excuse. If a person is staying in a hotel that does not have a refrigerator or stovetop in the room, saving leftovers is not practical. Many times it is just sheer laziness or a don't care attitude.
So much food is wasted in this country that it makes me physically ill. There are people around the world that are starving and would fight to consume our leftovers. I did not know what my mother meant about starving people in the world. Out of respect for our fellow man, animals, vegetables and the earth, We should not waste food. We should put it to work for us. What do I mean by that?
The economic condition of our country and the world is not good. We should save money wherever we can to protect our families, neighbors and ourselves. If you took leftovers and repurposed them, you will have saved money as well as the other things I mentioned above.
One good example is pasta or rice. These two items should never be thrown out because many things can be done with them to create awesome new meals. You do not have to be a chef. You do not even have to be creative. You just have to have the desire.
When I was a little kid, I saw this repurposed thing in action. I did not know what was happening, I just knew I was having a great lunch. Let me give you a recipe for leftover Sunday Dinner.
I am an Italian-American that grew up in the lower middle class. We had to stretch things and not waste things. The Sunday Dinner, Which Included the Sunday Sauce, Was a Weekly Event. My mother would make sure that extra macaroni and sauce were made so that they could be used during the week. There was always an uninvited guest or 10 that would show up on Sunday or during the week. They would never be turned away, my mother's practicality would be put to the test. There is a link below to give you free copies of my cookbooks. That is the food that I grew up on, and still eat today. There is a recipe for Sunday sauce.
Let's assume that you made the sauce and there is leftover sauce and macaroni. Let's also assume that 5 other people showed up at your house, uninvited at lunch timeon Tuesday. What do you do with that leftover Sunday Dinner to feed all of these extra mouths?
- Take the leftover meatballs and sausage and cut them into smaller pieces
- Take a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy duty pan and heat on medium/low
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, corn oil, or whatever type of oil you have
- Place the leftover macaroni and cut up meats in the pan.
Let them warm through. As they get hot, the macaroni will begin to sizzle a bit and the edges of some of the macaroni will begin to get crisp. Believe it or not, thatis a magical thing. I always loved the crispy pieces.
- In a bowl, scramble 3-4 eggs
- Add the eggs to the already warmed through macaroni in the skillet. Toss around a little bit and allow the eggs to cook.
- When the eggs are cooked, your meal is ready.
That sounded like a trivial thing, but that saved my mother a number of times from being embarrassed. The uninvited guests are the ones that should have been embarrassed, but that is not how my mother was.
For the price of 3-4 eggs, an amazing repurposed leftover dinner was created.There is something about leftovers that I love. They are the unwanted stepchild of last night's dinner according to some people. Until most people taste something great that became of these leftovers, they do not know the great possibilities that exist. It is time for people to allow themselves to be bothered by leftovers. There is No Shame in leaving a restaurant with a doggie bag.
Anyone that makes you feel insecure about bringing food home should not be wanted in your life. I bring home leftovers all the time and it's great!