What’s In Your Refrigerator? (II)

Last year readers enjoyed sharing what they had in their refrigerators after the holiday, so I thought I would ask again. Remember, you don’t have to be after a major holiday to play. I’ll start off by sharing what’s on my stove. I put up a pot of soup to preserve some of the leftovers. […]

Book Review: An American Wasteland

Jonathan Bloom isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty as he examines American food waste from all angles, literally.  In his new book, American Wasteland, Bloom convinces us that food waste is a huge—but solvable—environmental and economic issue. I enjoyed Bloom’s trek through American farms, schools, restaurants, highways, groceries, homes, and landfills to see first-hand […]

Leftover Challenge: Gazpacho

A reader asks what to do with her “blah” leftover gazpacho. In this post I share ideas that can be transferred to all kinds of leftovers.

Make Your Leftover Sauce or Gravy into a Complete Meal

Reader Ariela sent me this message: I had a “Cooking Manager Moment” yesterday and I “owe” dinner to you. All we had leftover was the sauce from a goulash. My husband had made a delicious goulash with meat and veggies, only 2-3 cups of the sauce were left. I remembered something you wrote about your […]

What’s in Your Refrigerator?

If you cooked a lot of Rosh Hashanah food, you probably have a lot of leftovers in the fridge. Let’s see if we can keep them from being thrown out. I’ll be brave and admit share what I have left. You don’t have to be Jewish to play–just open the fridge and tell us what’s […]

Ten Kid-Friendly Foods Using Leftovers

You’re a good cook when you can make a delicious dish from fresh ingredients. But creating something new based on leftovers is especially satisfying. Those of us who value frugality and conservation are proudest when our unique leftover-inspired creation are enjoyed by everyone in the family.

Every home cook has to manage leftovers one way or another. Serving leftovers as they are is the easiest and often the tastiest. But when they aren’t enough for a whole meal, or you suspect there won’t be takers, leftovers can enhance your next cooking project.

Never try to recycle food that is starting to spoil. Spoiled food cannot be salvaged. You will ruin the entire dish and risk getting everyone sick. Always examine food carefully, and heat leftovers thoroughly before serving.

Need help with organizing your leftovers? See Thirteen Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers

Follow the links for more detailed recipes.

Easy Recipes Using Leftover Chicken

On the Cooking Manager Facebook page (have you “liked” it yet?) I asked readers to share ideas for leftover chicken in response to Aviva Hadas’  comment on 13 Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers. Leftover chicken, especially white meat (the kind that is usually left behind in my house), requires special care. Because white meat […]

Thirteen Smart Ways to Manage Your Leftovers

Every home cook has to deal with leftovers. In a small household, fewer people help eat them and one person’s change in schedule throws everything off. In a larger household, bigger quantities are harder to manage.

As always, advance planning will save you time and money. I’ve collected these tips to help you get a handle on your leftover food.

1. Change your attitude. If the idea of leftovers depresses you, call it cooking in advance. Cooked food in the fridge is a blessing, not a trial.

When Using Up Leftovers Is a Waste of Resources

Tesyaa left this comment on Why You Should Eat Everything on Your Plate:

Another thing about waste – quite often I’ve tried to avoid waste by making, say, a banana bread with overripe bananas, or using up rice in some other type of dish. Those items use energy to cook, and use other ingredients. If there is no real need for banana bread, making it to use up old bananas just wastes oil, eggs, sugar, & flour.

To me, avoiding foood “waste” is only helpful if it frees up other food items. If not, it’s not doing anyone any good.

I’m not sure what you mean when you write “there is no real need for banana bread.”

Why You Should Finish Everything on Your Plate

“Finish everything on your plate!” That mantra from Mom has gone out with the leftover corn flakes. Over the years we’ve learned that forcing children to eat can lead to eating disorders.

But Mom had a good reason. By the time it gets to your plate food that has been grown, watered, picked, transported, processed, packaged, stored and cooked. Whenever we throw out food, we also waste a portion of the resources that went into getting it onto our plates.

And I don’t need to remind anyone that wasting food costs your family money. If only one person in the family leaves just half a teaspoon of oatmeal each day, you’ll throw out more than 11 cups over the course of a year.

But there is yet another reason to scrape that last bit of food off your plate.