Monday, September 29, 2008

Action Plan: Leftovers

So, you're lazy. Its okay, I am too. Cooking takes time, and effort, and ordering out is easy. Expensive, but easy.

One way to reduce the amount of time and effort one spends cooking is leftovers. Now, I know, most of us spent our childhood dreading leftovers and everything they stand for, but hear me out.

Leftovers can turn the effort you spend cooking one meal into three or four meals over the course of several days.

Here's what you do: See that recipe you're interested in? Double it, or make it twice if that seems more reasonable. Then, take whatever's left over after you've finished eating and divide it up amongst several microwave safe containers. I like to use Glad-Ware or the store brand equivalent because its freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, yet cheap enough that losing one isn't the end of the world.

Now, if you plan to eat everything in the next couple days, stick everything in the fridge. If your plans are more long term, use your freezer instead. Then, next time you need a meal, just pop the container in the microwave, heat it up, and enjoy!

Leftovers tend to get a bad rap these day, but some foods like soups, chili and stews can actually taste better after a couple days in the fridge, as the flavors have time to blend together.

A few words of caution, now that I've lauded leftovers from here to Star City. Some foods, like pastas, rice, and other starches do not keep well, either in the fridge or the freezer, so be careful. However, if you make spaghetti (the topic of a future post) just make sure to only make as much pasta as you need and mix the sauce and pasta together as needed. Then you can refrigerate or freeze the sauce to use later with fresh pasta.

So, cook once, food for a couple days. Pretty good deal, eh?

1 comment:

Luke said...

The big thing with making intentional leftovers is you have to (have to) package them right away. When I Was living on my own I would often do this but I would not package them right away and end up eating two dinners! I mean, I like to eat, but you have to be smart about it too!