Saturday, December 01, 2007

Leftovers for days..

Okay, so I was a little slack with VeganMoFo toward the end. Working two jobs, prepparing a T-day feast for 10 people, and trying to have somewhat of a life didn't help much. Now it's December 1st, and I feel like I have some making up to do. This post is a little late for MoFo, but technically I did write it a few days ago. I just didn't get around to loading up all of the pictures until now. So, bear with me..

As I listed as one of the things I am thankful for, leftovers are at the top. When I was younger, I especially despised leftovers. I couldn't stand the thought of eating leftover mac and cheese, hamburger helper, or anything else besides a few select things, one of them being my moms homemade beef stew and cornbread (especially in cornbread and milk). Thinking back, I believe that I would still feel the same today if my meals came primarily from a box. When the extent to which you prepare your food is by the touch of a microwave button, or a quick boil and pour, then the end result can only be so edible, for so long. Today, however, when I cook I savor the leftovers. Homemade, freshly prepared foods taste so much better the next day, when the flavors have a chance to sit and mingle with one another. So join me, won't you, and savor every leftover bite, making sure not to waste a scrap of food.

The next day after Thanksgiving, I would always enjoy a turkey sandwhich composed of various leftovers from the T-day feast. The sandwhich usually went- wheat bread, mayo, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mustard, wheat bread. This year, I wanted something similar, but a little more sophisticated and cruelty free. I went for a simple stuffing sammich, and included a little fresh arugula I had laying around.

Whole wheat roll, stuffing, arugula, walnut-cran-cherry compote.

Besides the stuffing, the dish we had the most of leftover was the roasted veggies. Besides leaving them as is and just allowing them to be a hearty side dish, I wanted to give them a spotlight of their own. While I was blog wandering one afternoon, I came across a recipe on Karina's recipe index and decided that I would do these beautiful vegetables justice by making them into a Roasted Vegetable Mulligatawny but without the curry.

It turned out wonderful and we savored every spoonful with leftover cornbread.

Speaking of cornbread, and as I mentioned previously, I have a serious love for cornbread and milk. We affectionately call it cush cush around our house, pulling the term from an old southern dish. I enjoyed the last piece of cornbread one morning with soymilk for breakfast. Along with a cup of coffee, I was nicely sated until lunchtime.

Now, to extend my leftovers even further, and to tempt our taste buds with a whole new dish, I decided to take these vegetables to a whole new dimension. I was again inspired by one of Karina's fabulous recipes, this time a baked brown rice risotto . First, I sauteed some wilting celery in a castiron skillet with olive oil, pressed a couple of cloves of garlic in there and let it mingle and soften. I dumped some leftover rice (free from work) in, and then poured pureed, leftover Mulligatawny and mixed it all together. I put the entire pan into the oven and let it bake at 250 for an hour. I might have let it go a little too long, because it was quite dry. Then again, we like our food crisp.

Such a simple dish, paired well with a mixed salad of greens and herbs, shredded carrot, dried cherries, and a simple pumpkin-cinnamon vinagrette.

I hope you enjoy leftovers as much as I do, and find something interesting and delicious to do with them. Even if you just eat them cold for breakfast, because some things are good like that.

1 comment:

Vegan_Noodle said...

How funny, I used to despise leftovers as well. But my mind has changed completely. I would definitely savor those leftover you have!