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DEUTSCHFUR's Photo DEUTSCHFUR SparkPoints: (1,010)
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1/26/11 1:51 A

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I would like to add that you can make vegetable stock with the bits and pieces of left over vegetables then you know what it is made of instead of store bought veg stock or cubes.

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RMORMAN10 SparkPoints: (1,936)
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1/25/11 1:03 P

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Another suggestion I might make is quiches you can throw anything you want in them and they can be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I make mine without a crust so I get more of that yummy flavor. And you can freeze whatever leftovers you have and microwave it for a quick meal. Good luck!

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SSSCOLLINS SparkPoints: (6,781)
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1/25/11 10:45 A

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I cook for 2 now, but spent many years cooking for 4, so I often cook too much. I freeze even small amounts of leftover vegetables and chicken, ham, or turkey. Every so often, I go through the freezer, pull out all the little bits of frozen foods, throw them in a stew pot, add canned tomatoes and any other veggies or items needed, and have a big pot of "everything but the kitchen sink" soup. Any leftovers get frozen in individual packages to use for lunches or for evenings when I don't have time or just don't want to cook. Considering the weather we're having right now, I think I'll go fix a big pot today. :)

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1/23/11 1:12 P

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Soups are my favorite thing to do with old/left over vegetables.

LISA8381's Photo LISA8381 Posts: 57
1/23/11 1:01 P

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I usually do one of three things when I see the produce about to go...1.Stir fry. 2. Roast in oven or 3. Throw in soup!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

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JSPEED4's Photo JSPEED4 Posts: 1,677
1/23/11 11:36 A

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Any produce that is looking a bit old gets stir-fried. Just put a couple of tsp of oil in a skillet or sauce pan, chop the veggies and put the hardest ones in first. Stir around on Med High or Med heat until they start softening at the edges or even softer, add the next-softest veggie, and so-on. Add some crushed garlic for the last half-minute and serve with a few drops of soy sauce and lightly or medium toasted sesame oil. Add a slice of the chicken you cooked two days ago--just tear or cut it into strips or pieces and put it in the veggies just a minute or two before stirring in the garlic. emoticon
Cutting the veggies into thin pieces, no matter how long, will reduce time required to stir them. Broccoli florets can be added at the table, along with shredded lettuce and such.

For lettuce, I even put lettuce, that I don't think I will get to, into a blender with some water and a few rosemary leaves, or basil, and drink it!

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JSPEED4's Photo JSPEED4 Posts: 1,677
1/23/11 11:29 A

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I love the skin and smell of a baking chicken. I put the whole chicken in the oven, table-top convection oven (Mine quit--need to get the heating element replaced.)

I use about 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. It seems that the longer it cooks, at not too high a heat setting, the less salt it needs. Usually, I eat it plan like this. Almost always, I'll put onions, celery, and carrots with it for the last 50 minutes--right in the pan the chicken is in.

Other times, for the last 15 minutes, I dust it thoroughly with curry and/or parmasan cheese, but my favorite is a lot of bulk paprika. The bulk seems to have more of the natural plant oils and moisture in it--preserving the taste.

I have sprinkled on mixed Italian herbs,lemon zest finely grated without the white part of the peeling, coarse salt if I'm in a salt mood, grated cheeses of various kinds, dotted-on some mayonnaise if I'm needing some emulsified fats.

A 3-4# chicken has enough meat for 3-4 servings, and the flavorings just sink in more overnight. This makes good sandwich or salad meat.

J. Speed Eastern Standard Time, UTC/GMT -5
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SLOLOSER's Photo SLOLOSER Posts: 8,646
1/23/11 7:59 A

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It can be difficult, particularly when you buy bags full of things. I sometimes accept some waste. If the 5 pound bag of carrots costs only slightly more than the 2 pound bag, and I don't quite finish it, then I really have not lost any money, if I throw a few carrots out at the end.

For me, the key is just being aware of what I have in the fridge. If I forget what I have, then I'm in trouble. I love the SP suggestion to keep all leftovers in one part of the fridge. For me, it's on the right hand side of the top shelf. I won't miss it there!

I use more dried herbs than fresh. They keep longer. However, I agree that often fresh is best.

Soups, salads, and stir fries are excellent ways to use leftovers.

I like the multi-bean soup idea. I have a container that used to contain the beans for 9 bean soup. Now I have no idea how many kinds of beans and lentils are in the container. When it gets low I just add some more beans or lentils, and shake it.

Diane

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GRAMCARM's Photo GRAMCARM Posts: 1,065
1/23/11 1:54 A

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Glad to be of help. Rotisserie chicken is more expensive and sometimes they taste too salty. By putting the whole chicken in a crockpot, you won't have to cut up the chicken cause the meat will probably just drop off the bones. MMMMMMM..sounds good right now. I better get to bed before I'm tempted to snack.
Carmen

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STARFRUIT1005's Photo STARFRUIT1005 SparkPoints: (836)
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1/23/11 1:43 A

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Thanks guys! I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow and I think thats what I'll look for. I've never cooked an entire chicken before, and I've been trying to become a better cook so I guess might as well try it! Rotisserie is always option B though, haha. I work midnights so I'll probably put it in the crockpot when I get home at 8:30 AM so it will be ready by the time I wake up in the afternoon.

I'm not good at cutting up the chicken, but I'll probably end up shredding all the meat and put it in freezer baggies anyway. Thanks!

Vegetables/fruits are my biggest issue, especially the herbs like you mentioned GMACRM.

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GRAMCARM's Photo GRAMCARM Posts: 1,065
1/23/11 1:13 A

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It's me again. I live in the midwest and I love soup during the winter months. One of my friends told me about a 13 bean soup which I recently tried and loved. I found it at a Target which carries groceries. The bag is $1.99 and even has a small bag of ham seasoning. It's really easy to make and I had enough leftover to put into 3 freezer bags in individual portions. I had actually fixed a ham on the bone and put the bones and some ham in the soup.

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GRAMCARM's Photo GRAMCARM Posts: 1,065
1/23/11 1:08 A

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Hi. I also live alone and my lifestyle change is to cook dinner every night. Some of the members had suggested putting a whole chicken in a crockpot in the morning on low setting so when we get home from work, the chicken is ready. They suggested having it for dinner that night and putting the rest in individual freezer bags in 2, 3 or 4 oz portions and just taking out a bag when you want to have chicken for another dinner. Check out SP recipes for meals that may use some of the same ingredients. I agree that it gets expensive to keep buying spices or veggies or herbs for specific dishes and then not again. You can make a lot of meals out of a chicken like chicken wraps, chicken tacos. Keep me posted on what you do cause this lifestyle change has to work.
Carmen

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CONNIEANGEL23's Photo CONNIEANGEL23 Posts: 643
1/22/11 11:23 P

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What you can do is either buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, or a whole chicken, usually inexpensive, bake it and have a meal with vegetables and fruits, etc. Pick off the leftover chicken and package it in plastic bags in 1 or 2 cup servings. Use could make chicken casseroles, chicken soup, chicken salad and chicken sandwiches. You can always freeze what you don't use right away. emoticon

I thank God for being in control of my life and know I can trust Him. Praise God!


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STARFRUIT1005's Photo STARFRUIT1005 SparkPoints: (836)
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1/22/11 10:54 P

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas or meal plan idea where you can make sure to have recipes using the same general ingredients so you can use your leftover ingredients. Basically, a good set of recipes with ingredient carry-over. I have been trying to cook healthy on a budget, but buying specifics for each and every meal adds up! Plus recipes that don't use a million ingredients. I live alone, so I get tired of a lot of food fast so sometimes I've found it goes bad too fast. :(

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