I know some people are particular are about leftovers and prefer only freshly-made food, but let’s get a reality check. That doesn’t work for most people who need to get back to work and get on with everyday life and don’t have the time or energy to continue the charade of menu planning, shopping and cooking- especially after hosting a party!
I”m not sure about you, but when I plan a party, I often buy just a little more than what I need in case more people show up than I had expected. It all turns out well, usually, because I can send guests home with food and anything extra will go in the freezer. It also just so happens that when I attend parties, other people are doing the same by giving food to guests like me who also have to figure out what to do with these extras. Below are three ways you can deal with them:
1. FREEZE Cut Ingredients AND Finished Dishes
Ingredients like these below can go right into freezer bags and into the freezer for later use in soups and stews and smoothies and other drinks. The same goes for finished dishes like rice, pasta, stews, etc.
- fresh herbs
Examples of finished dishes:
- plain or seasoned rice
- pasta dishes without cream or dairy
- soups, stews
- finished meat dishes
2. Oven-Roast or Grill Vegetables
Some vegetables can even be roasted first before heading them off to the freezer or you can enjoy them in a nice roasted vegetable pasta dish, perfect for summer. Check out one example of how to roast vegetables like tomatoes here.
3. Make Soup
What is soup other than a mix of lots of cut vegetables and water plus meats, bones and broth, at times? You can throw so many lovely ingredients into a pot of water (after first sauteing some onion in olive oil or butter) and even throw in rice or pasta or potatoes to thicken the soup. Adding more water only extends the amount, which means you can also do the next tip- share the leftovers even more. If you need some soup recipe ideas, go here.
4. Share the Leftovers
If you run out of freezer space and/or want to be a generous neighbor, colleague and friend, find someone who could use the leftovers to feed their own families or treat everyone at work with something to nibble on during work breaks. People love to see free food in the cafeteria at work!
Either way, as long as your leftovers are still fresh and edible, be sure to extend their use in some way and don’t consider throwing perfectly good food away as an option.
*Note- I would love to suggest feeding the homeless or donating food to a food pantry, but many state laws prohibit such acts so it is not always possible; however, if you live in a place where it is allowed, please consider doing that as tip #5. I love what this anonymous man in Saudi Arabia did to feed the poor with his ‘charity fridge’ idea.