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Leftovers, Not Just For Compost Anymore

Let me just say that going from 0 food blogs to 2 food blogs in just over two months is a bit daunting. If you don't know already, I have taken up a challenge to not repeat a dinner entree recipe for an entire year. Two friend have joined me in blogging about our trials and triumphs in a new blog, no reEATS, Dianne (who is brand spanking new to blogging but who inspired this challenge by starting it up four months before on her own) and Jen, at Piccante Dolce.

One of of my personal goals is to be less wasteful, use my cookbooks more and plan our meals a bit more efficiently. This has led to some meals that have been very tasty and that have consisted of food that would have probably been thrown out before. We are kind of terrible about leftovers and impulsive eating out. I used to take food out and prep it for dinner, only to have Shack call home and say "I feel like spaghetti bolognese at Gio's" and suddenly we were in the car and going out to dinner, my poor dinner forgotten and uncooked in the fridge. Sometimes I would make it the next day but sometimes the same thing would happen the next day as well.
I don't need you to look at me like that, I am painfully aware of how terrible that is and I would hang my head in shame if I could still type without ever peaking at the keys.

So, last night I roasted chicken thighs and beautiful multi coloured carrots. Because Shack had actually ordered pizza at 4pm

none of us were terrible hungry and we only hate one chicken thigh each and almost none of the carrots. It was very tasty but they had bellies full of pizza and I was in need of carbs (*see dinner party the night before with Mr Beringer and Mr Patron) so I filled up on the thai red rice.

Anyway, that leads us to this morning. I am being painfully honest here when I admit that prior to this challenge, those chicken thighs would have ended up in the compost OR the dog dish and I would have made something else for dinner tonight. The carrots definitely would have sat, forgotten, in the fridge for a week until I discovered them and threw them out.
This is a new me, a new year and a whole new deal so that is NOT what happened to our delicious leftovers. No, I put on my thinking cap and decided that I would fashion them into a hearty, chicken stew seeing that it is presently -456C outside.

Chicken Barley Stew

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
1 cup chopped eggplant
1 cup chopped yellow zucchini
2 cups leftover roasted carrots
5 cups of liquid (chicken or veggie stock, water or a combination )
3/4 cup pot barley, washed
meat from 3 roasted chicken thighs, shredded
fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
juice of 1 lemon

Heat a good glug of olive oil in a heavy pot over med heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for at least 5 minutes until they start to take on a bit of colour. Add the chopped eggplant and zucchini (and carrots if they are raw) and sautéed another 5 to 10 minutes until softened and starting to colour a bit. Add the leftover roasted carrots and 5 cups of stock or water and bring to a boil.
Add the barley, thyme and a bay leaf and the chicken and let simmer for about an hour, until the barley is cooked. Add the juice from a lemon in the last few minutes of cooking and serve.

I made another loaf of my pumpernickel bread. It is still super tasty but the loaves are starting to get really flat and weird looking and are not pretty at all and they look more like a foccacia or a giant bread cookie than a loaf of bread so don't be afraid of your funny looking pumpernickel bread. It's useless for sandwiches or anything like that but it's still tasty and you can still dunk it into soup or stew or slather it with butter and nosh on it like that.

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