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Hooray For Leftovers! Really. I Mean It.

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

I adore leftovers. It's a challenge to repurpose them in ways that are, 1- tasty, 2- appealing, and 3- don't suck. But, seriously (?), leftovers are the main reason that I encourage people to 'batch cook'. Make extra. If you're going to the bother of making something, make it as simply and basic as possible. I know this sounds counter-intuitive. Bear with me.

Let's say you're making a plant-based Turk'y roast. Make it as simply as possible. Who knows how you'll want to dress it up two or three nights later. You're looking at the Quorn Turk'y Roast from Sunday night, and the gravy from same. Sunday, I served the turk'y over mashed butternut squash. Tonight it went on a grilled slice of sourdough - with the last dab of mashed squash slathered on the bread like jam. If I hadn't had a bit of the gravy leftover, I could've done any number of sauces: BBQ? A Romesco? Brown gravy? Curry? Oh, and BTW: the Chow-Chow makes an AWESOME oil-free 'dressing' for the salad. I'm still bringing in slowly-ripening tomatoes from the vines I hauled into the garage a couple weeks ago.

The same goes for so many things - beans are a great example. Make them as simply as possible. Salt. An onion. Then, as the week goes by, they are a 'blank canvas' that you can dress up any way: BBQ sauce (Memphis or Mustard?), Tomato sauce? Curry? Or, tossed into a soup? Hmmmmmm.

Batch cooking is a wondrous idea that deserves your full attention. Make extra whatever. Rice. Beans. Pasta. You'll give yourself creative latitude during the week, and save a lot of time and angst. Plus, it will help you stick to a budget and meal plan. That's no small potatoes (hehehe!) either.

I typically batch cook on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Admittedly, it's a creative outlet for me, but when the house is quiet, and I'm finished with 'house cleaning' ... it's that time that I can really strategize meals for the week. In the winter, I'll often make two soups: One creamy, the other brothy. I keep those simple, too. Then, when I have extra beans, rice or pasta, I can toss that into either (often with a handful of vegetables out of a bag in the freezer) and my husband actually thinks it's a whole new soup. Men. They're simple creatures. And, speaking of rice - I made a big batch of brown rice to go with some curried vegetables, but a couple days later, I added LOT of fresh minced herbs and some pasta ... and it was a whole new day. Or dish.

So, consider the power and majesty of batch cooking, and your leftovers will sing arias in your honor.

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