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Not-So-Wordless Wednesday: The Wall Street Journal on Leftovers

Last week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She said she was working on a story about leftovers, and had come across one of my earlier posts on ways to use leftover chicken. She asked if we could speak by phone, and I jumped at the chance! I was asked all kinds of questions- from recipe ideas to meal planning. My husband got to be interviewed, as well- since he is the one who really dislikes leftovers, his opinions were of interest.

The end result? A great article in The Wall Street Journal on how leftovers are used, why or why not people like them, safety concerns, the price of food, etc. It's a fantastic article, and Sacha and I are completely honored to be quoted... because being quoted in The Wall Street Journal doesn't happen everyday!

I'm hoping that the quotes used in the article don't paint me or my husband in a bad light. We try to mainly cook for two, but with Balian being able to eat more and more solid foods, I make a little extra to encourage him to try new things. If he doesn't like it, it becomes part of the 'leftovers,' that later get used for other things. I was asked what we throw away the most, and my answer was that it probably had to be fruit. I love fresh fruits- but my husband and I like different things. He's just not a fruits and veggies person, and I am. Sometimes grapes end up as raisins, and a few of the strawberries go bad, because I am the only one who will eat them- and I either forget about them, or just can't eat them all before they end up spoiling! We try to grow our own veggies in our garden every summer, and this summer, I'd like to try growing some strawberries... I love raspberries and blackberries, too! I can't wait to get those veggies going!

  The Wall Street Journal- Front page, Section D

I'm going to be a little more intentional about sharing ideas and recipes for using up leftovers with all of you, and posting them here on MBP. Yes- there are tons of recipes and ideas on how to use leftovers in magazines, and online, but truth be told, I just don't have time to search for recipes. I'm a busy mom, even though I stay at home. I wish I would have been labeled a work-at-home mom, because that's what I am. 

When meal planning, I plan our meals out for an entire month. I know that seems crazy, but it only takes about half an hour, and I usually plan meals on a Saturday afternoon. The last week of every month, I make a meal calendar to hang on the refrigerator. I note which nights we won't be home, which nights we need quick-fix meals, and which nights I need to leave open, because I am unsure of our plans (these usually become leftover nights!). Of course, there are nights that we don't stick to the schedule, or I may change a couple of meals around... but this seriously helps me when I go grocery shopping. I know what I need to purchase, and I stick to that list. This plan helps cut out extra spending, and extra trips to the store.

It's super easy to use 'leftovers,' though. I save chopped up veggies and toss them into a quiche or casserole, bread not only gets turned into bread pudding, but it's great for French toast or homemade croutons. Peppers and onions are yummy when sauteed- serve them on a chicken philly sandwich, or eat them wrapped in a tortilla. Leftover chicken can be used for all kinds of things. We even use scraps from homemade pie crusts and use up stale tortillas bu turning them into a cinnamon-sugar snack. My mom is a pro at re-purposing leftovers, so I absolutely give her, and even my dad credit for teaching me and my sister not to waste our food. My mom grew up on a farm- where nothing was ever thrown away, so it's no wonder she's a master of food disguises!

I leave you all with a challenge- use your leftovers (within 48 hours is usually my rule), if you don't already. It's a wonderful opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, and it's also a wonderful opportunity to teach the kiddos a little something about thankfulness, and blessings- and to just downright spend some quality family time together.

Give the article in today's Wall Street Journal a read here, and let us know your thoughts!


1 comment

  1. I really did like the article. Being single and having a crazy never-the same schedule, I've found it increasingly difficult to adequately plan for meals. Especially if I get stuck in the office late and have to make it back in for a 7pm meeting. I find myself not buying as much but then I end up eating out because I haven't really prepared when I shop. I don't stockpile hardly at all but sometimes find it difficult to find new things to make, because I too, hate leftovers and quickly get bored with food. But more and more, I'm learning that at least having a potential plan helps, then when stuff pops up, I can rearrange.


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