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Leftover LaLapalooza – Or Do you Repurpose Food?

Happy Sunday Morning All,
Happy Second Sunday in Lent!

I’m hopping on really quickly with some frugal pantry advice.

Do you Repurpose Food? Some people call it leftovers, but my people don’t like “leftovers”… so I call it repurposing food. HA! They even help invent meals. Aint’ NOBODY got time (or money) to be snobby around here!!

Last evening, as I was purposing to use what I have for dinner I thought – “I have GOT to blog about this.”

In our home, we have three people, so there are often leftovers. And when my husband travels, that number goes down to two. Y’all it would be so dang easy to blow the budget and order pizza or Chinese Food, but a) it’s Lent and we are supposed to sacrifice, and b) we are holding ourselves more accountable for what we spend. SOOOO the long and short of it is, I had to find something to cook.

Additionally I am on my 3rd day of Antibiotics, recovering from Strep and Sinus Infection – you know, because one thing is not enough. I always have to overachieve… Anywhooooo…

Last night, I made a goulash of sorts. A perfect food for cold, rainy winter evenings. Filling, but not too fattening. Semi-Healthy (if you laden with veggies).

Do you know what Goulash is?

When I say, goulash of sorts, let me be clear… my definition is loosely based on the above, however, I am not a Hungarian, nor do I play one on TV.  (hahaha) AND there is no Paprika in this stew-ish meal.  But, it is teenager approved. So it works in our house.

Here is what’s I did:

In the fridge, I found two oversized chicken breasts that my husband cooked. I cubed the chicken, then cut about 3/4 of one of the breasts into smaller cubes and set it aside (see repurpose #2 below).

For the Goulash I put about a tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of a pan, chopped roughly half an onion up and used about a tablespoon of minced garlic and put those in the pan, let the onions cook a while and added the chicken, diced tomatoes, and cubed one yellow squash ad added it. Then I thought, Huh… what else can I add? I quite literally walked to the pantry, put some baked bbq beans in the mix, added cumin, garlic powder, and half a cup of water. I let it all simmer together, had the boy taste it, and he gave it the thumbs up (which frankly y’all is ALL that matters). He asked for it over bowtie pasta… And I served it layered, in bowls. Pasta, goulash and sprinkled some shredded cheese on it. You could add cilantro or whatever you want.

Here’s a picture of it.

Emily Davis’ Use What You Have Goulash

For the 2nd Repurpose of the chicken breasts, I made chicken salad for sandwiches (or crackers, or by it’s-self). Here’s what I did.

I took the smaller cubed chicken, added two grated boiled eggs, three small Vlasic dill pickles, and some garlic salt, Italian spices, basil and grated black pepper (all to taste), and lastly about three tablespoons of mayonnaise. Mixed it together and it’s ready to go for a day or so of lunches.

Here are a couple of pictures of it:

Those of you who have children of cooking age, you can really engage their imaginations by challenging them to come up with a meal.  It can’t be too funky, or no one will eat it. I was nervous about the bbq beans (which I had picked up a year ago, by mistake, thinking they were baked beans).

Lent is a good time to use what you have. With the extra we have, we are searching weekly adds, and purposing to fill a box with a certain $$ amount of groceries weekly. And… the money has to come from somewhere. Ya know?

A few years ago, I wrote this post: Frugal Pantry Tip – Repurposing Food. It’s a pretty decent post. We have always been the kind of people who, even if we had the money, we hated to toss out food. It’s just so wasteful. We both grew up in practical and poor-at-times households. And we make a practice to use what we have.

Plus there’s this. I mean – how true is this quote from Pope Francis.

I also found this. Y’all it is STUNNING to me how much food is wasted. We really need to do a better job of using what we have, not buying what we don’t need, AND thinking of others and what we could do for them if we don’t waste.

We need to teach our children about not wasting and about how blessed they are to have enough food to eat. Christopher started volunteering and being involved in our local Foodbank at the age of three. YES three. He has packed back-packs for children who don’t have. And though, he has never been hungry, he’s heard the stories.

It is not my intention to bring you down, but to educate you and remind you of what we can all do better. You aren’t alone if you waste, clearly… But here and now, decide to waste less. That’s all.

I hope you enjoyed this.
And while I have your attention, let me know how you repurpose food. AND let me know if you would be interested in linking up to a regular recipe post about how to repurpose leftovers? It might be fun to share our made up recipes. ❤

I hope to hear from you!

Love, hugs & Blessings,
Em

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