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Leftover Love

October 18, 2017
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I don’t always crave leftovers. There are a handful of things that I love the next day: anything Indian, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, and…does cake count? I’ll always eat cake. Other that I have to either force myself to eat it or reinvent the leftovers into something new. I prefer the latter. I do hate seeing my time and money going in the compost bin by being too picky or too lazy to eat my leftovers so I employ a few techniques to avoid it as much as possible.

Before we talk tips, let me try to convince you it is worthwhile to invest in your leftovers with 3 main reasons:

  1. Dinner is already done! Or lunch, breakfast, a snack. Whichever meal it is, its already cooked! No dishes, no shopping, very little cooking. There’s little to no extra time spent.
  2. Some things actually taste better the next day. Restaurants and caterers are always preparing things in advance! There’s very little cooked from scratch within 30 minutes of serving it as you would expect at home. Advance prep is done to make selling a varied menu possible but for a lot of foods, that extra day or so to meld together improves the flavor. Foods in this category: anything stewed or braised, sauces that aren’t finished with butter (think: marinara, cream sauce, infused olive oils, chunky vegetable sauces, steak sauce, baked pastas, taco filling, many grilled meats, roasted chickens are amazing cold the next day).
  3. Reduce your food waste and save money. If you’ve already spent the time and money making 20 meatballs but you have 6 leftover, that’s 30% of your food! 6 meatballs may not seem like all that many, but think of it as $30 out of $100 dollars.

Convinced? Great! Now, lets talk intention and reinvention. I have a few tips and tricks to help your waste less and enjoy your leftovers more.

Alison Mountford is the Founder and CEO of Ends+Stems, a meal planning service designed to reduce household food waste and stop the effects of climate change. Alison has been named a Rubicon Waste Fit Champion, was a finalist for the Spoon Tech Startup Showcase, and has appeared on many podcasts and radio shows, and works as a food waste consultant.