Leftover foods are a constant pickle in our house. It really kills me to see perfectly good food go to waste. Yet I really don’t like to eat the same meal two days in a row. A bit of a pickle huh? And it’s not the only nut to crack.
The Scandinavian way of living
The Scandinavian way of living is also a lot about divorces. What does that have to do with leftover food you might ask? Well, let me tell you.
Sweden has one of the highest rates of divorce, however, kids usually live on a week to week basis with their mum and dad. In separate households.
Kid’s week and solo week
This means, when either parent meets someone new, there’s a huge likelihood that their new partner also has kids. And syncing kid’s week is a real concept in Sweden. That means that you can potentially have a huge family one week, to be only two or one the other week.
In our family, we are seven people one week and the next one just the two of us. In a picky household, this means a lot of leftovers. What do you do with leftover foods? I really don’t like perfectly good food going to waste.
Here are some ideas as to what you can do with leftover foods. This particular recipe is inspired by the Scandinavian Friday tacos
Which is also a thing, Friday night tacos.
Have a lot of rice left over? Here's the perfect leftover food dish to make with that rice.
- 300 gr cooked rice any rice will do
- 1/2 large red onion
- 1 tsp chopped chilli remove the seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100 gr beans
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 100 gr red cabbage
- 1 tsp fresh or frozen ginger
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs soy
- 2 tsp sesame-oil
- 100 gr chopped peanuts or cashews
Start by heating up the oil and fry the onion along with the chilli for a few minutes. Add the cabbage, bell pepper and fry for another 4 minutes, while stirring.
Add chopped garlic, ginger and stir in the rice.
Whipp the eggs and push the veggies and rice to side of the pan making a little hole in the middle.
Pour in the eggs and gently stir it with veggies and rice. Serve with chopped nuts.
Other typical leftover foods in our household and what to do with them.
Tortilla bread – Freeze them or use as pizza crust.
Avocado – Dice it and freeze it. Use it to make guacamole or a green smoothie.
Parsley – I always buy a huge bundle of fresh parsley. Which I then chop and freeze in little jars.
Garlic – Chopped garlic in the freezer is the best. You can use in a stir-fry or a Massaman curry.
Chilli – Either dry it and it will perfect for any soup, especially a tomato soup or chop it finely and freeze it.
Corn – I found it that I waste less when I have frozen corn instead of canned jars. However, if you have some left, you can freeze the canned ones too.
Chickpeas – We eat a lot of chickpeas in our house, or I do anyway. When I have some left, I mix them in a food processor, freeze them and use them as a base for my hummus.
Black beans – Same as with chickpeas. But instead of hummus, mix it with garlic, lime, olive oil and chilli. And you’ll have an excellent bean dip.
Grated cheese – If you should have any left, if, just freeze it. I found the frozen cheese to be used best on a homemade pizza or grilled sandwiches.
Instead of plastic bags
I’m trying to cut down on our use of plastic, which I know is a pain. Honestly, almost everything is covered in plastic. So either re-purpose the plastic you have. Or use glass jars. It works and no it does not explode in the freezer. However, do leave a few centimetres of air at the top, since frozen food expands.
Or my favourite, especially when it comes to berries and such. Put them on a tray and freeze. Take the trey out and move the berries or whatever it is that you freeze into jars of glass. This way, not everything comes out in a bulk.