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During the week, my toddler has lunch at his daycare. While he is there, I use the time to study and see my clients. But that’s not all, I also have to clean up the house, go buy groceries, move my body at least for 15 min, i.e. exercise, cook, and have lunch myself. It’s a lot of activities to achieve in a few hours.

One thing I started to do in order not to spend hours in the kitchen is to recycle my food. I cook double, or sometimes triple batches of everything. It’s the “cook once, eat twice, or thrice” way, which saves a lot of time.

It also helps me save money by not wasting leftovers and recycling food. I’ve seen so many houses where the fridge is full of old leftovers that no one touches, and sooner or later end up in the trash can after going bad. That’s a lot of money wasted. And it’s not very nice for the environment. Actually it’s really sad.

No one should waste food anymore. It’s really easy not to. You just need to plan ahead a little. Think of what you want to eat for a week. And then, think which of those dishes or recipes you can reuse, or transform into another meal.

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Here’s an example of what I did last week: For tuesday’s lunch, I had sauteed oyster mushrooms with cilantro, steamed and lightly sauteed brussels sprouts with pecans, dried cranberries and a little maple syrup, and a romaine lettuce salad with mung bean sprouts and avocado. I cooked a double batch of oyster mushrooms, and a triple batch of brussels sprouts. I also washed enough lettuce to have with salads for three days.

On wednesday, I had some brown rice that I cooked that day, some swiss chard that was left from monday’s lunch, leftover oyster mushrooms from the day before, steamed asparagus, salmon and homemade mayonnaise (that I made the past weekend) with fresh chives for dipping the asparagus and salmon, yumm! I steamed a double batch of asparagus, and cooked three salmon portions.

With the extra cooked salmon I was able to feed my toddler dinner that day, and also have a salmon omelette for breakfast on thursday. The leftover steamed brussels sprouts were turned into another side dish with a little bit of dijon mustard, for thursday’s dinner, with some chicken. Friday’s breakfast was rice porridge made with leftover brown rice (see my Rice Porridge with Mango and Cacao recipe https://omnivorilicious.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/mango-season-part-ii/). Saturday’s breakfast was scrambled eggs with leftover asparagus cut into small pieces. And saturday’s lunch was chicken tostadas made with shredded leftover chicken from thursday’s dinner, and for dessert we had arroz-con-leche with more leftover brown rice, transformed with coconut milk, dried raisins and sprinkled powdered cinnamon and cardamom.

I hope this inspires you to start transforming your leftovers into other meals, while you save time, money and reduce your waste.

 

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