New Header

Image Map

Monday, March 29, 2010

Food Hacks

I'm finding it hard to believe that just three days remain in March!!

If you all are like me, you're probably running low on grocery budget and supplies. Now, normally we'd eat out until I have time to head to the grocery store.

But this month, to mix things up a bit, I've challenged myself to work with the food that's remaining in my pantry. I call it Food Hacking.

It's harder than you might expect, making use of the strange bits and bobs that somehow collect in the fridge. However, The Boy and The Niece haven't revolted yet, so I suppose we've done alright. Hey - The Niece even came up with a Food Hack of her own!
  • Leftover marinara from Roasted Veg and Lentil Bake + Leftover chicken, grilled and cut into strips + red pepper flakes + 1/4 c. leftover Parmesan cheese = spicy chicken pasta
  • Leftover cooked turkey breast from Chipotle Turkey Soup + cilantro + adobo chili powder + mayo + chopped avocado = Tex-Mex chicken salad
  • Extra flank steak + grill seasoning (gift) + cheddar cheese + homemade salsa = quesadillas
  • Leftover chicken breasts + 1/2 jar Nando's Peri-Peri (fridge find) + cornbread + freezer veggies = spicy grilled chicken and veggies.
  • And The Niece's Hack - rice krispies + chocolate chips + powdered sugar + peanut butter = modified Muddie Buddies (aka Puppy Chow)
What Food Hacks have you pulled off lately?


  1. I "food hack" all the time. I am {almost} always happy to see leftovers in the fridge. Lunches are usually leftovers, suppers are frequently leftovers. Sometimes leftovers are also served to guests! Sh...! Don't tell.

    These are my go-to recipes for leftovers:

    1) Cold salads (use something from each category, proportions depends on your taste and amounts in the fridge):

    --leftover meat, poultry, fish (or canned e.g. tuna, salmon). or canned beans (garbanzos, cannellini, kidney, etc.)
    --potatoes, rice, pasta
    --vegetables (raw, cooked or a mixture)
    --fruit or berries (raw, frozen, or canned)
    --something crunchy (might be raw veggies such as celery, carrots, cucumber, or raw fruit such as apple, or nuts, or croutons, or a combination)
    --usually onion (red, sweet, or green), maybe garlic
    --herbs (fresh or dried), spices, salt & pepper
    --dressing: depending on the contents of your salad and your taste/mood, might be Italian vinaigrette, mayonnaise and yogurt/sour cream, or Asian-style with soy sauce & rice vinegar

    Mix all together in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to blend flavors (if you have the time--usually OK if you don't). Can be served on a bed of leaf lettuce, or can be eaten with bread or crackers.

    2) Hot salads/casseroles: same list of ingredients as above except for the fruit. Use a mayo-based dressing and add some shredded cheese. Put into greased casserole dish and heat 25 - 30 minutes at 375° or until mixture is bubbly.

    3) "Leftover" soup: dump small amounts of leftover vegetables, sauces or gravies into a blender. Add broth and/or milk, and blend all together to get a "cream" soup. Heat thoroughly. By trial and error you'll find some combinations look more appetizing than others and some taste better, too.

    4) Pot pies (not my recipe, but it's good):

    1-2 cups leftover diced meat or poultry
    1-2 cups gravy/white sauce/mornay sauce ( or used canned cream of mushroom or chicken soup)
    2 cups leftover mixed vegetables
    1 cup Bisquick
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix meat/poultry, gravy/soup, and vegetables in ungreased pie pan. Stir together remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Spread over meat and veggie mixture. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

    It's really fun to be creative with leftovers. It is almost disappointing to look into the fridge and find that there are no leftovers to use. :-)

  2. I agree - and these are some great suggestions!!! Thank you for sharing.

    We've always felt that eating home cooked (and Food Hacked leftovers) tastes much better than eating out for variety.

    We're contemplating starting a container garden this summer. Baby steps...