Thursday, February 23, 2012

Simple Savings: Making It Do by Using What You Have

I was going to finish my grocery shopping today, but as I opened the fridge this morning, there were a few things I wanted to use up before being something new. I had some spaghetti sauce, 1/2 a bag of spinach, a few green onions, a few tablespoons of ricotta cheese, about 1/2 cup sour cream, and about 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. I decided to make Spaghetti Pie, but put in some zucchini that was in the freezer that we had shredded last fall from our garden. I used the sauce I had instead of making the sauce in the recipe. Since we are trying to do meatless meals during the week, this substitution worked well, even though I am sure my family would have preferred Italian sausage. I mixed the ricotta and sour cream together since I didn't have enough of either for the recipe. I also made some spinach and feta pies from the leftover spinach and onions and some feta and made some calzones and breadsticks with the rest of the breadstick dough. I will freeze the calzones for lunches in the future. People will be more excited to eat spaghetti pie instead of plain old spaghetti and it helped me use up what I had on hand. My fridge is a little cleaner and I have dinner for tonight, even though it wasn't one of the ones I planned on my menu.

There are two things that I focused on this morning: using up what I have to make a meal and using something (bread dough) to make several different things from the same batch of dough.

I also had a little piece of ham that I could have cut up and put the ham and cheese inside the bread and rolled it up and cooked it. I wanted to save it to have ham and eggs for breakfast one morning instead.

Making all of these things above too about 1 1/2 hours and that includes the cooking time in it. I also emptied and filled the dishwasher in that time and wrote this post. I won't have to cook at all tomorrow or Saturday if I don't want to since the food will easily last a couple of days.

Look at what you have in the fridge and see if there are things that you can do to use something a different way or combined in a recipe. It is nice not to waste the food and to find a more palatable way to eat it!

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