My husband and I are a happy family of two (plus one very large black lab rescue dog) so quite often I am presented with creating meals that are not only tasty and fun to make, but don't leave us with a whole mess of leftovers destined for the trash.
I absolutely cannot stomach throwing away food. Perhaps, it's my mother's voice still ringing in my ears with her exclamations of starving children Africa or maybe it's just the sad sight of perfectly good food sitting atop a mush pile of dirty napkins and emptied milk cartons in my trashcan that really gets my goat. Either way, I get so worked up over tossing out the goods, I need shot of bourbon and a ten minutes of cross-legged meditation just to get through the rest of the night.
So, what does an anal home cook like myself make on a regular basis when cooking for deux?
Goodies like these:
Dim Sum Heaven: Pork Shu Mai, Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls & Fried Pork Spring Rolls
(Note: I totally cheated and bought all of this at the Asian Grocery
Korean Bulgogi w/ Lettuce Leaves
and Marinated Asparagus Salad
Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Cuban Tostones and Black Bean Confetti Salad
Tuna Salad with Olive Oil Soaked Spanish Bonito and Marinated Red Peppers, Olives and Anchovies
As you can see, most of these meals merely required an assembly of ingredients. I've found this really helps to control portions, so instead of working (or having to scale) a recipe that is preset for six or more people, I buy exactly what I need and go from there. For example, for an evening of Mediterranean mezze (see top photo) I hit my fav Greek Grocer Nick's International Foods, got some cheese, a handful of dolmas, a few olives and a vat of their rockin' hummus. While it was more than we could eat that night, the next day, I had all the fixin's for a Greek salad for lunch (pita and all).
Our Korean Bulgogi dinner was even better the next day, especially when I removed the meat off the skewers and sandwiched it in between a couple of slices of baguette. Impromptu Korean-styled Banh Mi anyone?
Leftover Spanish bonito tuna and pimenton is equally good on a slice of rustic style bread, and it was more than easy to shred my leftover Peruvian chicken and wrap it along with some black beans into a flour tortilla for a satisfying burrito lunch.
Waste not, want not, is my motto. Whether you choose to make a meal for a family of four or for a family of one or two, assembling only what you need is key to avoiding waste. And, if you happen to have some tasty treats leftover, be sure to plan out lunch ahead of time, because with careful thought and a little creativity, you'll never have to toss away food again. Pin It Now!