Left overs


Having an allotment or growing vegetables in your garden , makes you realise just how important it is to use up every scrap one way or another . A vegetable or fruit has taken so long to grow from seed to  full-grown produce , it seems criminal to throw left overs in the bin.The same goes for meat , poultry or fish.If it is caught or killed for eating the least we can do is to do it justice by enjoying the results through cooking. Even if the produce has been brought from a super market the same applies.

Below are a few recipes that will not only help you to use up any thing left over but also save you money .

Shepherd’s pie.

I know this seems like an easy recipe and common sense but it is one that never seems to date… . and it is so cheap.If you have no left over cooked meat you can gently fry fresh uncooked minced meat and treat the same.

Ingredients

  • 1lb / 500 g  left over mashed potato.
  • 1lb /500g minced or chopped cooked meat (usually beef or lamb but chicken is ok)
  • 1 large onion chopped .
  • any herbs that you have hanging around.
  • any spices you fancy (even curry powder for a nice change.)
  • teaspoon tomato puree.
  • 1 stock cube.

Method

1. Gently fry onion on a low heat  until it is soft (try not to burn it)

2. Add the meat ,the stock cube mixed with a little water (not too much just enough to moisten the meat)

3. Cook gently until warmed through thoroughly and add your herbs or spices.

4. Put in   an ovenproofdish and cool.

5. Spread  the mashed potato over the meat mixture and rough up with a fork.This helps to give your mash a nice crispy finish.

6.Put in a pre heated oven at about gas marked 6 or 7 for about half an hour or until the meal is piping hot.

7. Serve with any vegetables you have available and extra gravy .

We have all at sometime carved out a pumpkin for the kids on Halloween and thrown away the insides ! Pumpkin or butternut squash soup is just delicious.

Quick pumpkin soup .

Ingredients.

  • 1 onion .
  • 1lb / 500g pumpkin flesh cut into cubes.
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1pint / half a litre chicken or veg stock fresh or from a cube.
  • sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • rosemary sprigs.
  • salt and pepper.

1.Gently saute chopped onion in a small amount of oil, add chopped carrot and celery.

2.cook  slowly for about 5 mins until vegetables are getting soft.

3.add chilli flakes , salt , pepper and rosemary sprigs ,then the pumpkin.

4.Add stock and simmer for about half an hour until vegetables are soft .

5.Ladle into a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth.

6.Serve in bowls with crusty bread.

Frittata

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small onion chopped finely.
  • Any vegetables you happen to have
  • salt and pepper.
  • herbs

1. Saute the onion until transparent in a little oil.

2 Add the vegetables , the best ones I find are mushrooms, chopped peppers , tomatoes ,cooked potato.

3 Cook gently in the frying pan .

4.crank up the heat under the pan and add the beaten eggs.

5. Cook until the eggs are firm underneath.

6. Put a plate on top and reverse the fritatta onto plate and then back into the pan.

7. Make sure the egg mixture is sealed on both sides.

8. Cut into wedges and serve with a salad.

9.This is also lovely cold with a dollop of mayo.

10. You can also add grated cheese at the very last moment.

Vegetable curry

This is so easy to make ,you don’t even have to use left over veg and you could add some prawns or cooked chicken to this at the last minute but make sure it is heated through.

Ingredients

  • 2tbs veg oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • small piece ginger
  • 4 tbs curry paste
  • half tsp tumeric
  • 1lb mixed vegetables like pumpkin,sweet potato
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 300ml coconut milk

1. Heat the oil in the pan and fry the onion , ginger over a low heat for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened.Stir in the curry paste and tumeric.

2.Add the vegetables and stir to coat in the spices.Leave to cook on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes to allow the vegetables to absorb the spices.

3. Pour in the vegetable stock and coconut milk.Bring to the boil ,lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. until the vegetables are tender.

4.Season with salt and pepper  , remove from the heat  and serve.

Hotch Potch soup

This soup is so varied , you could add just anything…How about some tinned harricot or butter beans?

Ingredients

  • Any vegetables chopped finely.
  • 2 leeks chopped .
  • shredded cabbage or spinach.
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 litre stock , chicken or vegetable
  • half a teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper
  • good pinch chilli flakes
  • Tomato puree.
  • left over cooked pasta chopped .

1. Cook onion till soft in a little oil.

2. Add vegetables except leeks and cabbage and cook until soft on a low heat .

3.Add stock and cook for 20 minutes .

4.Add chilli flakes , basil and seasoning.

5. Add leeks, cabbage and pasta and cook for further 10 minutes.

6. stir in tablespoon of tomato puree.

Serve with sprinkled parmesan.

Muesli

I know this seems simple and common sense , but so often in the larder we have a small amount of every thing left and not enough of one ingredient to make a whole breakfast or snack…This fills the bill and so easy to do and store.

Ingredients.

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup mixed nuts including macadamia if possible
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • dried apricots chopped.

Mix all ingredients together and store in a tight container.You can add or take away any ingredient you like , use what ever you seem to have at hand .Serve with milk or yogurt.

 

Vegetable Burgers

The only ingredient in this that can be  left overs ….  the egg used to bind and coat the burger !

Ingredients

  • 1lb /500g mashed potato
  • 8oz/250g left over cooked vegetables, could be anything …Peas,cabbage,grated carrot
  • breadcrumbs to coat
  • 1 oz flour
  • spices of your choice or herbs.
  • egg and a little milk mixed  to bind and coat.

1. Mix the mash , vegetables , half the egg mixture  , chopped herbs or spices together .

2. Make into rounded cakes and leave in fridge for about an hour to firm up .

3. take small plates or dishes and put some flour , egg and breadcrumbs on each one.

4.dip the burgers in first the flour then the egg and then the breadcrumbs.

5. fry in shallow fat until golden and heated right through.

6. You could add grated cheese to the mixture before cooking as well.

 

A few quick tips for using scraps.

  • A scrap of parmesan rind left in the fridge going dry? put it in a saucepan of soup ,it will give a great flavour.
  • A couple of slices of bread ..grate and freeze , every time you get a slice left over grate and add to same bag or box.
  • We all know about freezing wine if left over but if you freeze in small old yogurt cartons you will have just enough each time to add to one sauce. The other way of course is in an ice-cube tray if you only need a small amount.
  • Egg whites left over from separating eggs after using the yolks can be frozen and then defrosted and used in meringues etc.
  • Fresh chilli left over can be frozen also or why not dry them?
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