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Posts Tagged ‘what to do with leftovers’

Have you ever felt that terrible guilty feeling when you throw out perfectly good food that went bad when it didn’t fit into your recipes for the week? I used to be someone who habitually had a garbage full of food that could have been used, but went bad first. When the guilt finally consumed me, I decided to find a way to do something about it.

What’s Left?

The day or two before you go grocery shopping again, check your cupboard for anything that you bought the week before that isn’t already rotting away. It’s impossible for me to predict what you might have, but take it all out of your fridge and put it in front of you. It really could be anything. Maybe you have a chunk of cream cheese, a stalk of celery, half an onion, and some stale chips. I can’t tell you what to do with the stale chips, but I bet you can make a hearty dinner out of the rest of your leftover food.

What to Keep Stocked

There are a few things you’ll need to keep on hand each week for this last meal, but they are things that can stay a while without going bad. Keep a roll or two of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in your fridge, keep your condiment shelf full, and have some veggies in the freezer. I love the steam-in-a-bag kind–so simple.

Filling for the Braid

With the dough, condiments, frozen veggies, and the leftovers out on your counter–get creative! The possibilities are endless. What you want to do is think of which ingredients would go together nicely as a casserole or a dip. You will turn those ingredients into a filling for a dough braid. If you’re really stumped, do an ingredient search on Allrecipes to find out if there are any casserole or dip recipes using the ingredients you have. Pillsbury has some recipes for dips too, all of which could be put into a braid.

Let’s say you had some leftover cheddar cheese, half an onion, a little bit of cooked chicken, and a slice of red pepper. Doesn’t seem like much, but mix it up with some mayo, broccoli steamed from your freezer, salt, dill, and garlic. Now you have the perfect filling for a dough braid!

How to Make the Braid

Spread your dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Place the filling down the middle of the braid horizontally. Cut one inch strips on either side of the chunk of filling. Fold the ends over the filling, sealing them together on top. Seal the ends. Brush with a beaten egg-white. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and brown.

You will be amazed at how almost any combination of ingredients tastes good when put into a braid. Follow these steps and you will feel a lot less guilty on refrigerator clean out day.

More Filling Ideas

Buffalo Chicken Braid

Cheese, cream cheese, cooked chicken, hot sauce, chopped celery, chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, blue cheese

Greek Braid

Black or Kalamata olives, feta cheese, chopped cucumber, chopped salami, cream cheese

Reuben Braid

Deli turkey or corned beef, sauerkraut, chopped onion, Thousand Island dressing

Spinach and Artichoke Braid

Sour cream, artichoke hearts, frozen (steamed) spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic, parmesan cheese

Recipes That Could be Made Into Braids

Hot Crab Dip

Nacho Dip

Broccoli Casserole

Corn Casserole

.alissa.

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