Don’t Throw That Away! How to use your leftovers

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am flabbergasted by the cost of groceries. It should be criminal to charge what I end up paying for healthy foods, like fresh produce and meat. Mrs. Hacker has found a way around throwing all your valuable leftovers down the garbage disposal (or into your compost pile). First, we’ll discuss how to cook butternut squash and then use the leftovers (because sometimes those things are massive), and then we’ll give you a couple recipes for making the most of your poultry purchases.

Butternut Squash

Baking: Before you can think about leftover squash, you have to think about actually taking it from fresh to baked. Preheated oven to 350-400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Spray 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place squash sliced side down in casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake until tender (poke with a fork to check for tenderness). Turn squash halves over and season with salt. Add butter and brown sugar or agave nectar on section you are planning to eat  now. Put it back in oven face-up until butter and sugar mixture is melted into the squash.

Leftovers: Once you have eaten your sweet and savory baked squash, it’s time to use those leftovers. Scoop out leftover squash out of its peel. Dice a large onion. Brown onion in 2 tablespoons butter. Cook until tender and brown. In blender, mix squash, browned onion, and vegetable broth to desired thickness.  Blend until smooth and well-mixed. Pour blended mixture into a saucepan. Warm on medium-low heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken/Turkey

You might have noticed that buying a whole chicken can be cheaper per serving than buying breasts or thighs separately, but don’t waste your money if you’re only going to eat part of the chicken or turkey.

Enchiladas: Use your leftover baked or grilled poultry to make delicious chicken or turkey enchiladas.

  • 2 cups diced chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup sliced or chopped black olives
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 package dry enchilada seasoning mix
  • more grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together chicken/turkey, cheese, olives, and ¼ cup chopped onion. Mix separately in a saucepan until warm: tomato sauce, other ¼ cup chopped onion, chili powder, garlic, dry enchilada mix, 1½ cups water. Stir often. Warm tortillas individually in a skillet with a small amount of vegetable oil over medium heat. Place ¼ cup filling in each tortilla and roll it up. Place seam-down, one layer, in greased baking dish. Cover with warm sauce mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Turkey/Chicken a la King: This rich and creamy way to use leftover turkey and chicken is perfect for cold, winter days and can be served over rice, potatoes, or biscuits.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour (gluten-free: use Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas thawed
  • Salt and pepper

In a skillet over medium heat, cook butter until golden brown. Sauté mushrooms until tender, and stir in flour until smooth. Whisk in chicken broth, and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in cream, turkey and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened. Serve over biscuits, potatoes, or rice. Makes approximately 4 servings.

Your finicky family will never know they are eating last night’s squash or last week’s chicken (from the freezer) as you use these recipes to give them a new taste. Don’t waste a dollar, and share your tips by commenting on this post. We’d love to hear from you!

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