Monday, May 21, 2012

Vegan leftovers....or not...

I am the only person in my household who eats leftovers.  The children barely like their dinners the first time (unelss pizza or pasta, of course), and my husband just doesn't care for heavier that privilege/responsibility falls to me.  I love it.  I always have something to bring to work, and I never have to answer the question, "what's for lunch?"

Since becoming vegan by day, leftovers have been an issue.   For dinners, I always make enough food in case everyone wants 2 servings - so sue me, it's the Italian in me.  The kids are wild cards, loving pork chops one day and hating the next. And I feel physical pain when someone is digging in the pan for the last sausage and there aren't any left.  As a consequence, there are almost always leftovers.  And now, where do they go?

Some of them get fed to others.  Otherwise, I have to get creative.  One of my favorite things to cook is a big roast-like meal on a Sunday.  But now I know that roasted meat will sit there unless I use it, so I have to plan two meals for the meat, not just one.  I'm a planner, and this is ok.  In a way, better, because we have less waste.  Reworking one meal into another has been a fun creative challenge, a real positive side-effect of the Vegan Experiment.

Overall, though, this month I think we've wasted more food than we've saved.  I need to figure out what to do with that second-day food.  Not all meats are as easy to rework as roasted chicken - sometimes it's chicken already doused in cream sauce, or pork with a distinctive Mexican blend of spices.  How many quesadillas can this family eat?  I guess the first step would be to prepare less for dinner, but that is going to be hard for me. 

What do you do with your leftovers?  How do we reduce this waste?