Ahhh… Leftovers!

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The beauty of my freezer cooking is that most dishes make enough to feed my family of 3 and have leftovers.  As I started on this month’s cooking, I husband mentioned that we always end up with a fridge filled with left overs that go to waste.  I thought about it and realized he was right.  Admittedly I am not a big leftover person.  I usually will take some for lunch the next day, but that’s about it.  I really don’t like eating the same thing night after night, unless it’s cold pizza!  That’s another story!  SO as I was planning out this week’s menu, I planned for left overs.  Wednesday night sounded like a good night for such small little bites. 

As I was finishing up my day at work today, I shared my excitement that tonight was leftover night and that our dinner would be ready even faster than usual.   I was sharing my excitement about my freezer cooking challenge with my co-workers when one mentioned that it wasn’t dinner that was the source of her nightly stress, but kid clutter.  She too has toddlers and like me has toy cars, and other kid junk on the floor.  How to make the clutter disappear?  For me, it’s spending less time cooking and dealing with dishes, and more time in other areas.  Hopefully this time is spent playing and talking with my kiddos and husband and not cleaning, but the extra time does allow me to do the necessary cleaning.  Tonight I had time to make some more energy bars.  I posted the recipe a few days ago.  These yummy bars were so good that we ate them all!  I can’t complain since they are filled with yummy nutritious ingredients: dried fruits, nuts, and oatmeal. 

Although it’s leftover night, lunch and breakfasts were not left overs.  I went to one of my favorite on the go breakfasts today breakfast burritos.  My stomach doesn’t like eggs but egg whites are a go.  So added to my egg whites is hash browns, ham, and cheese.  My husband will add whatever veggies we have in the fridge.  I made a HUGE batch this last weekend and wrapped up the extras.  Not all of my freezer cooking has to be done on one day.  If you’re making a meatloaf for dinner, make 2 and freeze 1.  Lunch was finally (after forgetting my lunch) my favorite twice baked brocoli and cheese potatoes.  Yes, you can freeze cooked potatoes.  If you’re going to try these, get BIG potatoes.  The bigger the better since you’re only going to eat half at a time, or pack 2!  Before sitting to write this blog, I went to my freezer and pulled out my next 2 meals to start defrosting in the fridge.  My son has also requested “cookies” for breakfast. 

Breakfast Burritos

Eggs (or egg whites)

hash browns or potatoes

ham

cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Tortillas

Cook the hash browns and egg whites separately.  Mix the cooked eggs and potatoes along with the hame, cheese, and seasonings.  Add any additional toppings you wish. Warm the tortillas before filling.  Scoop filling into the middle, wrap in freezer or parchment paper, and then again in foil.  To serve: defrost the night before in the fridge.  Remove foil and warm in microwave. 

I usually make 6-8 at a time.  This time my husband was clever and used an ice cream scooper to fill the tortillas.  Place all the wrapped burritos in one bag to freeze.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, steamed
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded #1
  • 0.5 cups sour cream
  • 0.5 cups ranch dressing
  • 0.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded #2

Directions:

Wash and poke holes in potatoes using a fork. Cover potatoes in foil. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour. Remove potatoes from oven and from foil. Allow to cool to the touch. Cut in half lengthwise. Using a towel or hot pad to protect your hand, hold the potato and scoop out the insides being certain to leave a 1/4 to 1/2 inch in the skin (see illustrations below). Place scooped out middles in a large bowl.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Note: they should be lumpy, not smooth. To the potatoes add steamed broccoli, cheddar cheese, sour cream, ranch dressing and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add mixture back to hallowed out skins. Top with remaining cheddar cheese #2. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheeses melted. Serve.

Freezing Directions:

Follow directions above but do not bake a second time. Instead, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a gallon freezer bag. To serve: Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or microwave for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

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