I love leftovers. When planning how much to make for dinner, I try to calculate the amount that will leave least enough extra for one person to eat another meal. I do this with the components of the meal, too. For example, if I think we need 1 cup of rice, I’ll make 2. Or if I’m soaking and cooking beans, I’ll intentionally do double or triple and freeze what we don’t use. My fridge door is full of baggies full of miscellaneous meal pieces: cooked ground beef, pureed pumpkin, chopped kale, Great Northern beans, stewed tomatoes…. Each baggie, while it probably doesn’t have a planned purpose, does represent to me the start of a meal. I guess I could call them meal inspiration baggies.
The same inspiration can come from leftover dinner. I could eat the same meal – so long as it’s delicious – for days on end. Big Handsome, while not really picky, would prefer a bit more variety. I find his desire for a different dinner each night odd since he used to very willingly take the same sandwich, granola bar, piece of fruit lunch to work day after day.
Anyway…one day last week I made a big batch of pasta sauce. It was nothing spectacular: ground beef, onion, garlic, carrot, dried basil, dried oregano, S&P and tomato sauce right out of the can. After the second time serving pasta with tomato sauce, I thought it might be time to change it up. Fortunately, I also had some leftover rice in the fridge, and cooked brown cowpeas in the freezer. Combining these together with some bone broth, a bit of salt & pepper, and a few green leaves produced a quick and tasty soup. Fresh, hot, “new” meal in 6 minutes? Yes, please!
Leftover Spaghetti Sauce Soup
2 cups leftover spaghetti sauce
3-4 cups bone broth (or any type of liquid)
1 cup leftover cooked rice
1/2 cup leftover cooked brown cowpeas (or any legume)
3 leaves swiss chard (or any green)
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Combine all ingredients together and heat until just boiling. Enjoy!