My Friday Favorite: Food Containers!

My Friday Favorite: Food Containers!

Believe it or not, this is one question I get asked all the time–what containers should I consider for my leftovers?

 

I get it because I am always dealing with leftovers myself–I LOVE leftovers because they are the magical beginnings of a new creation or else, just a glorious recap of the night before’s dinner. Either way, I’m good with them because they mean less work and ease of accomplishment for the next meal.

 

Food Containers (Twitter)

So what do you put these divine leftovers in anyway?

 

I’ve done it all from Rubbermaid, to Tupperware to mason jars and plenty of wraps, bags and foil in between.

 

The cleanest however is mason jars–they come in a variety of sizes, can be used over and over and over again. They freeze (if you follow some smart tips to keep them from breaking) and they’re easy to write on (plain old masking tape with a sharpie to identify and date on the lid).

 

Mason jars are inexpensive and are easy to find whether you’re in a hardware store, shopping online (Amazon for sure), in Target or Walmart–they are everywhere!

 

The lids need to replaced every once in awhile–they wear out and can get gross if they’re not washed thoroughly because they’re a two piece lid.

 

I prefer to put both pieces (separated) in the silverware caddy in my dishwasher and I like to use the heat function of the dishwasher (I usually don’t–I open the door and let them air dry; living in Colorado, it’s really dry here) to keep them from rusting.

 

Sometimes though, you just need a little tiny something to store that 1/2 a lime in or spoonful of gravy (add it to your soup to add texture, depth and a little extra flavor).

 

That’s when I fall down the ziplock rabbit hole. I have them and I use them but its not my first go to. They do come in handy though!

 

Speaking of Amazon, here’s a great deal I found (and am getting myself!)

 

A couple members of our team also rave about Bee’s Wrap.

 

 

Keeping Your Kitchen Green

Keeping Your Kitchen Green

Food For Thought
Keeping Your Kitchen Green

by Leanne Ely, CNC

Recycling and repurposing what we have is not only a smart economical move, it’s green and good for the environment. Most of the time it’s plastic and paper that we recycle, but if you open up your refrigerator you’ll find plenty in there that can be used for another meal. This is the ultimate in recycling; taking leftovers and giving them new life in the form of a meal makeover.

We are all guilty of throwing away food from time to time. But honestly, we can do better than throwing away half our leftovers.

How?

First, be aware of the food you have. Maybe keep a little magnetized dry erase board on the refrigerator door so you can jot down the leftovers that you’ve put in it through the week (don’t forget to date them, too).Second, don’t let leftovers exist beyond the 4 day mark. At that point they’re primed for cooties! And the third point of course, is to actually eat your leftovers.

Sometimes ample leftovers put you in the place of dread–no one wants to eat the same meal three days in a row. However, I’ve purposefully cooked “extra” just to get the leftovers. This is my “go to” guide for leftover proteins:

1) Leftover roast chicken, roast beef or pork? Shred it up and make it into a burrito (just add some canned black beans and salsa).

2) Grilled meat, chicken or fish? Make it into a main course salad, repurpose it as a sandwich or use it as your protein source for a new pasta dish.

Awareness empowers; make a plan for all your food, leaving no morsel wasted!

Want to stretch one pathetic chicken into 3 meals? Check out my Rubber Chicken! Want to stretch your clothing budget? Be sure to check out our thredUP giveaway!

Roasted- 4 Ideas for Leftover Roast

Roasted- 4 Ideas for Leftover Roast

Dinner Diva

Roasted- 4 Ideas for Leftover Roast

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C

So you bought a gigantic, on sale roast beef, did you? Want to know what to do with the leftovers so you can get every scrap out of it? Here then are four recipes that will get your leftover roast “cooking” again! Enjoy!

 

1. Roast Beef Soup

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups roast beef chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

6 cups beef broth

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large soup pot, heat oil until hot, add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is clear. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Turn down, cover, and simmer until potatoes and carrots are done. About 45 minutes.

 

2. Open Faced Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

Makes as many as you have leftovers for

This one is really simple! Toast sour dough bread, top with gravy and heated leftover roast beef, ta da! Just like in the diner. Serve with a nice big green salad.

 

 

3. Roast Beef Enchilada Casserole

Serves 6

2 cups leftover roast beef, sliced into thin strips

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1 1/2 cups chunky salsa

6 corn tortillas

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add peppers, onions, cumin, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft. Add beef, and 3/4 cup of salsa. Spoon the mixture in equal parts into each tortilla and wrap. Place in 11×7 prepared pan, side by side, seam side down. Spoon remaining salsa over all, cook for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Top with cheese, return to oven for 10 more minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

 

 

4. Beefy Fried Rice

 

3 cups cooked, cold brown rice

1 1/2 cups leftover roast beef, sliced thin

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 green onions, sliced including green

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup julienned carrots

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly black pepper

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup frozen peas, thawed (I like petite peas best)

 

 

In a large deep pan, or wok, heat oil over medium high. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, sesame seeds, and pepper. Cook until onions are clear. Add soy sauce and rice. Toss and stir for a few minutes (about three). Push rice to the side and pour two beaten eggs in center so you can scramble and cook them. Add peas and meat, heating through then serve!

DD – Creative Leftovers

DD – Creative Leftovers

Dinner Diva Early Edition

Creative Leftovers

By Leanne Ely CNC

Holidays can leave us with lots of leftovers–I hope you stuck a bunch in your freezer!

When we remember to feed our freezer and have a plan for how we’re going to use leftover food, we can recoup our losses and not waste a bit of it. If you find that you’re feeding your garbage disposal, it’s time to get creative with your leftovers. So take note!

1) Single Serving. Freeze your leftovers that night into individual single serving sized portions. Now you have a quick frozen dinner for someone later down the road.

2) Have a Plan. Before you cook your meal is the very best time to decide what exactly you will do with the leftovers. If you can prepare more now and freeze half for later, you’ll save yourself time and money in the long run.

3) Write it Out. Make sure and write what it is on the freezer baggie with a Sharpie marker (it’s the only one that won’t run). Everything looks the same once it’s frozen!

Here are a few more ideas —

  • Ham: Leftover ham can be used to cook a lot of different things — pinto beans, corn chowder, potato soup and ham salad for example. You can also slice the ham and use it in sandwiches of course, and as a side to your breakfast eggs, or you can use it in a casserole. You can also use the leftover ham in your fried rice, your nightly veggie side dishes, as a baked potato topping, and into a quiche, too.
  • Chicken or Turkey: Poultry leftovers are very versatile. You can use them in the same types of dishes as the ham, soups and stews such as dumplings, vegetable soup, white chili, and turkey salad. You can use turkey anywhere you’d use chicken, in casseroles, and dishes such as with pasta like, chicken fettuccini carbona, and both birds make excellent pot pies.
  • Veggies: Any veggies left over can be frozen and then tossed into your soups or stews. You can use them up in stir fried dishes too. Remember that pureeing them into a soup isn’t a sin; it’s a virtue (and adds extra nutrition, too!).

The important thing with leftovers is to have a plan for them and they won’t be a mere leftover anymore, but a made over!