Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Leftovers ~ Schmeftovers

My husband refuses to eat leftovers. Seriously. Refuses!!

Which has been quite a challenge for me, especially in the beginning. We had to eat everything off our plates, or I ended up taking leftovers to work for lunch. I just can't in good conscience throw food away. A MAJOR problem, though, quickly surfaced. I gained 50--yes, 50--pounds the first year we were married! And it was from overeating. Not because I was starving. But because I couldn't throw food away, and since hubs didn't do leftovers, we ended up overeating.

Quite embarrassing for me to admit.

Anyhow, I've managed to overcome this ginormous problem. Not by continuing to overeat, or throw food out, or eat "leftovers" for dinner. When I have leftovers, instead of a leftover buffet, I purposefully plan to repurpose the meal!

Now sometimes that might mean I take the occasional leftover dish to work, but not always. What it really means is that I plan to make a completely different meal out of what's left, usually with the meat, and by doing so, my husband will eat the "leftovers" because they're really not leftovers at that point.
Take for instance tonight's meal--Rotisserie Chicken. I'd share the recipe with you, except I have no idea how to make it. Hubs cooked it up on our rotisserie attachment on the grill, and it was ready to eat when I got home from work (he is "inbetween" jobs right now due to the economy, so he had some time to kill). But believe you me, his Rotisserie Chicken is goood!

The chicken was a 7lb roasting hen, probably the largest fryer I've ever seen. That meant PLENTY of extra meat that needed to be used somehow. There's no way that I could get away with having Rotisserie Chicken another night. So I needed to plan for a meal that was completely different.
My first goal was to use the extra chicken to make Chicken Divan, which is on the menu for Saturday evening before hubs and I go on our date (I promise to post the recipe later :).

My second goal was to use the bones from the chicken to make homemade chicken broth. I can freeze the broth in two-cup portions, then pull it out to make rice, homemade soup, and other dishes. I tried to spare you the gory details and didn't get a close-up of the carcass. :}

After deboning the chicken, I had so much leftover, it was enough for two meals! I was going to use my in-laws' leftover T-day turkey to make Turkey Shepherd's Pie, but forget that! I'll use the extra chicken for that instead and call it Chicken Shepherd's Pie instead (I promise to post the recipe for this, too!). I put the extra chicken in a food saver bag, sealed it up & popped it into the freezer for a future date.
And here they all are--future Chicken Divan, future Chicken Shepherd's Pie, and future homemade chicken broth. Some crowd-pleasing (and husband-pleasing) meals because we're not having leftovers in the traditional sense. Do you like my decoration? I tried to make the picture all Thanksgiviny. :)
For some great ideas and recipes for your leftovers (including meat, vegetables, pasta, etc.), check out the Leftover Chef.

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