The “leftover party” is one our favorite types of parties — along with the “cookie party” and “beer party.” But cooking for one is nearly impossible, because apparently we’ve all been programmed to cook for many tummies bigger than just our own. Seriously, who knew 1.5 pounds of chicken turns into a month’s worth of chicken pot pie?
Cooking is hard enough as it is, and potentially wasting food is just sad. So unless you have a garbage disposal of a roommate, here are a few tips on how to make the life of your tummy fillers last rather than having your taste buds bleed monotony for the next week.
– Sriracha: Just do it.
– An egg: Any veggies left over? Mix them with an egg. Scrambled kale, anyone?
– Some rice: Mix your leftovers with rice. Steak fried rice wins hard.
– Citrus fruits: Citrus helps to make things taste fresh and clean again.
– Spices: Investing in a myriad of spices allows you to make your leftovers taste like new by getting next-level. Did you know you can turn that “plain-Jane” chicken into a sexy curry with just two more ingredients?
– Put it on a pizza: Macaroni-and-cheese pizza is a thing.
– Quesadilla everything: Yes, quesadilla is a verb.
– Potpourri: Make something that’s a melting pot of things and get heavy handed. Empty out your fridge to make foods in salad form, soup form, stir-fry form, casserole form, sandwich-type form, etc.
– Ramen: Throw it in your ramen, because everything tastes better with sodium, artificial preservatives and spice.
– Mason jars: As the saying goes, the degree of hip you are is directly proportional to the amount of mason jars you own — or, in this case, how sensible you are. Quart-sized mason jars are appropriately sized for a solid meal, and having an air-tight seal can keep things fresher longer than plastic Tupperware can.
– Freezing food: It saves you the hassle of cooking later. Cook in bulk, and save in individually portioned Ziploc bags.
– Salt: Foods high in sodium content last longer both in and out of the fridge (i.e. chicken adobo). It’s also been said that foods with a lot of garlic can kill bacteria growing within them for up to 15 days. But just to be safe, a good old-fashioned sniff test is always worth your time.
– Combine: Collaborate with your roommates and their leftovers. Who says you can’t eat Spanish rice with tempeh Stroganoff? There’s a #leftoverparty happening, and you and your beer are invited.
– Be a good Samaritan: If you’ve had every form of salmon your heart can handle and you still have buckets of it, pack it to-go and share it. There are plenty of hungry people living right down the block who I’m sure would enjoy a home-cooked meal.
When experimenting, just remember you’ve got nothing lose. And as for Plan B, there’s always Spoon Rocket.
Contact Noelle Reyes at [email protected].