Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trash To........Dinner?

The most expensive food you will ever buy is the food that you throw away. I know this seems like this should be common sense, but sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) it is hard to keep a tight rein on all the odds and ends in the refrigerator! Lately, I have been trying to make a conscious effort to minimize (or completely eliminate) the amount of food I toss in the trash.

Today I did a quick forage through the fridge to find the items that were coming close to expiring. I have an unwritten law that leftover entrees have a 4 - 5 day lifespan (anything with a cream, custard, or gravy base 3 days), and fruits and veggies are game as long as they aren't growing fuzzy beards or turning to liquid form. My adventure netted me the following:

  • Half of a pot roast
  • Some thawed out frozen strawberries
  • Half of an open quart of home made applesauce
  • Two half full containers of butternut squash and pumpkin puree
  • A cup of chopped jalapeno peppers from the garden
  • Three bananas that should be on life support!
After some quick thinking I turned the banana and applesauce (the applesauce stretched the banana, so I would have enough "fruit" for the recipe) into Banana Muffins (I added in some frozen blueberries to Katie at The Cutting Back Kitchen's yummy recipe). I am going to mix the rest of the applesauce into tomorrow's oatmeal. The pumpkin and butternut squash turned into Pumpkin Custard (a.k.a. Pumpkin Pie without the crust).

The strawberries were divided between individual reusable containers and I added Jello to them to make dessert for school lunches for the next couple of days. My kids have a thing for Jello right now, and making your own Jello cups is tons cheaper than buying them at the store.

I sauteed the jalapenos with an onion and added them to the pot roast (that I had shredded). I rolled the meat mixture in tortillas covered them with enchilada sauce and cheese (that I have an excess of thanks to fabulous cheese coupons). Notice a couple missing Enchiladas; the troops dug into them before I could finish my Kodak moment!

A little clever recycling turned potential garbage into delicious (in my opinion) alternatives. The best part is that my darling family have not realized that they are eating recycled leftovers, and I didn't end up throwing money in the trash!


  1. That's very resourceful. So many dishes. Wow!!!! they look delicious too!

  2. WOW! You are good! Next time I have a laundry list of leftovers I am calling on you for help :)

    Thanks for trying my glad you liked them! I love blueberries with banana!

  3. You are so creative! I am completely and totally impressed with how you used up everything. Those enchiladas look GOOD!

    I try to use up everything and avoid waste too, and thankfully have three big eaters around these days so we don't have too many leftovers. You have inspired me though to do better with the odds and ends of things I am always finding in the refrigerator.

  4. Awesome ... and delicious. You rock!!!

  5. Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I have missed you! You have such smart posts, especially this one! The food looks great!



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