Friday, January 27, 2012

there is no way I am cooking every night (the idea of "re-purposing" leftovers)

I had an excellent night out last night with a bunch of mom friends. But of course, even when we're out and there's not a child or husband in sight, conversation still includes cooking, and other (riveting) household topics. Anyway, I was kind of surprised at how many of my mom friends say they cook each night. Seriously? While I regularly get snarky emails from my friends saying, "I don't know how you do it", I always respond, "I don't". As in, yes, I make my family a healthy, nourishing dinner every night, but I definitely don't cook every night. At least 3 nights a week, it is all about re-purposing (or hauling something delicious out of the freezer). Speaking of the freezer, you can see my go-to meatless freezer ideas here. Or for those who eat a little bit of everything (including chicken, turkey, beef), here are all of my go-to freezer-friendly entrees. But, back to the topic at hand: re-purposing.

As those who have been reading full plate for a while know, I usually cook a bunch of something at once, so I, well, only have to cook it once. Makes sense, right? But what if everyone doesn't want roasted root veggies again, or you cooked enough zucchini for a small army? I know some people have an aversion to leftovers, so I'm leaving that word out this post (though I, personally, have no problem eating some delicious thing made the day before). Instead, we're going to give it a fancy (albeit industrial-sounding) name: re-purposing. I regularly "re-purpose" veggies in soups, frittatas, and whatnot. So, it should come as no surprise that one recent evening, my leftover-- I mean re-purposed-- veggies were transformed (in a matter of minutes) into a decadent pasta sauce....

This particular sauce (which I served over whole wheat rotini) was a combination of "re-purposed" roasted butternut squash and onions + a jar of artichoke hearts (in oil, which became the cooking oil for this sauce) from the pantry + the small remainder of roasted zucchini in my fridge + the few cherry tomatoes I had kicking around + some minted peas that had been a great side a few days prior + a tub of bocconchini (mozzarella balls) I had. My point is not to share a recipe, per se, but rather to give you an idea and some accompanying visuals so you see how easy it can be to create a delicious dinner with what you might already have on hand.

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