I'm a person that hates waste . . . and really, in today's economic climate, getting the most that you can out of your food budget only makes good sense.
I hate to think that half of the world are starving, and yet we here in the UK, throw away more than 8.3 million tons of edible food every year. I know we are not alone. It is probably the same in most developed countries and to be honest . . . it's just plain wrong.
I think the best way to deal with that sort of thing is to only buy and cook what you are going to eat . . . and to eat all of whatever you have bought and cooked.
That means learning to use our leftovers, which can be quite a challenge at times, but then again . . . I do love a challenge!!
My mother always got every pinch out of her pennies and she knew how to stretch a food dollar further than anyone I knew. She still does. I like to think that I have learned a thing or two from her.
Pot pies, casseroles, salads, soups . . . these are all great canvases to use to paint your leftover pictures on. Have a tasty recipe to make with raw chicken, beef, fish or pork? There is no reason why, with a bit of adaption, you can't use it to make a perfectly tasty dish from your leftovers as well!
Take this recipe for instance. It originally called for raw beef mince . . . I have chosen to use leftover cooked shredded brisket instead . . . and, it was loverly! Absolutely LOVERLY!!
Of course you can make the same casserole using browned minced beef if you like, but, I would suggest that next time you have some cooked beef leftover from your Sunday roast you give this tasty dish a try!
Move over Bubble and Squeak! There's a new kid in town!!
*Beef, Bean and Bacon Casserole*
This is what I'd call a real winter warmer. Hearty and very flavourful. You can use ground beef in this, or leftover beef as I have used here. Pork, Venison or turkey are also lovely and work quite well.
16 ounces leftover cooked meat, shredded, or an equal
amount of raw ground meat (1 pound)
200g package of smoked bacon lardons (about 1/2 cup)
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS Dijon mustard
125ml of tomato ketchup (1/2 cup)
1 TBS soft light brown sugar
1 400g tin of cooked pinto beans in water, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 400g tin of cooked kidney beans in water, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 425g tin of sweet corn kernels, drained (2 cups)
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (2 cups)
1 coffee mug of crushed tortilla chips
Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once it is hot add the lardons and cook, stirring occasionally browned. Add the beef, onions and green pepper. Cook and stir together until the onions have softened and the beef is lightly browned. Drain off any fat if need be. Stir in the beans, (Both tins) the corn, mustard, ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix well to blend. Pour this mixture into a 2 litre casserole dish, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer. Remove from the oven. Top with the cheese and sprinkle the tortilla chips over top. Return the oven and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and the chips are crisp. Serve hot, with some steamed rice if desired.