Believe it or not, I really don’t cook everyday. I do cook most days, but with all this cooking, we do end up with a lot of leftovers as well, and it is just my husband and myself to eat all this food. We are only two people, after all, and can only eat so much. He is actually really good about taking leftovers for his lunches though. His co-workers have gotten used to the fact that he usually has something pretty good and different for his lunches everyday, while they are stuck with their typical meals that don’t vary much day after day. Often they are asking for me to make their lunches as well. Hahahaha! Every now and then though I will make dishes for my husband to take into work to share with everyone, like green chili or regular chili or something that serves a larger number of people. Because he is so good about taking leftovers in for his lunches, we don’t eat them too often for dinner, however, there are those days when we do. When that happens, I do my best to recreate them so they are vastly different than what they were like before. A lot of times, if I just have a little bit of meat and vegetables, but not enough for both of us to have as a dinner portion on their own, they go into quesadillas or tacos, which works out just perfectly, especially if I make a little extra rice and beans to go on the side.
Sauces and marinades are very easy to recreate dishes with. The other day, when I made the Mexican street corn, I had some leftover marinade which I used to marinade chicken, that we later grilled up. We actually even liked it better with the chicken than we did the corn, although we both really liked the Mexican street corn a lot too. More so than not, this is just typical of how my creative juices flow. Both of my parents were Depression babies and WWII children, so I grew up with the motto “waste not want not”. It has been with me ever since. I just hate throwing away food if I can help it, so I try my best re-use everything as much as possible. If you allow yourself to think outside the box, you’d be amazed at some of the creative things you can come up with.
Leftovers as tacos, mixed with a little Caribbean cole slaw and some rice and beans.
Chicken marinated with the leftover sauce for the Mexican street corn, with some leftovers we had from Cinco de Mayo and a Pesto Sun-dried tomato roll. (You have seen all of these recipes in past posts. Now you are seeing them again, only served in different ways).
Don’t be afraid to “play with your food”. Have fun. Think of the plate as your canvas, and create what you like.