Leftover Help

I had a hunk of pork tenderloin leftover from Sunday’s meal, so today I chopped it up into bite-size pieces and browned it lightly in a large pan with a little olive oil.  I then removed it, added 2 sliced carrots and cooked them up until they were fairly tender.  I then returned the meat to the pan, added 2 handfuls of snow peas, 2 T. of rice vinegar and about the same of light soy sauce, a dash of agave or sweetener and cooked it about 2 minutes.  In the meantime, I chopped 2 scallions and tossed those in, gave it a quick stir and we had that for tonight’s supper.  I’ve done this, too, with other leftover meat or roasted vegetable like zucchini or broccoli.  It’s quick, easy and healthy for you.

If you don’t like to fix your own “stir fry” like above, you can just get a jar of pre-made General Tso’s sauce or a sweet-sour sauce and use that in place of vinegar, soy sauce and a bit of sweetness.  When I want a meatless dish but still need to  s t r e t c h that stir-fry, I will take meatless grounds or a fake “chicken” cutlet or strips and add those to the mix.  If you like mushrooms, they can also be included.  Let’s put it this way……add whatever vegetables you desire, really!  I’ve made this with onion, peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, radishes, celery, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans, and so on.  Just make sure you had the vegetables that take the longest to cook, first.  Let them cook a few minutes before adding the leftover veggies or meat and you shouldn’t have any problem with a way to use up the leftovers.

Sometimes, I will take my leftover vegetables and chop them fairly small, add 1 diced onion and a hunk of cabbage and cook it down with some garlic until they are all tender.  I then let it cool.  Then buy wonton wrappers and make your own egg rolls by adding 1T or so to the center of a wrapper, roll it up, dampen the area where the seams are and set aside.  Then fry in vegetable oil in a deep frying pot or deep fryer and  fry at 350 degrees until brown on all sides.   Serve with hot mustard or Mae Ploy (Sweet chili sauce) or duck sauce.

Leftover mashed potatoes?  If you only have a little then I suggest you shape into a patty, dip in bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes or potato flakes and fry in hot oil.  If you have 2-3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes, add 1 beaten egg yolk. In the meantime, beat the egg white until foamy and gently fold it into the potatoes.  Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until browned on top.

I seldom have leftover vegetables of any kind.  If I’m not making a stir-fry with any, then they go into soup that I make at least once a week.  If you have any you don’t need or can’t use, then freeze.  As a matter of fact, freeze all your vegetable scraps.  I keep a bin in my kitchen freezer just for that….in goes onion peels, carrot tops, celery ends, broccoli stems, garlic peel, etc.  When the bin is full, put it into a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, strain into a clean container and you have homemade vegetable broth for whenever you need it!



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