Friday 12 November 2021

Winning at Dinner

I discovered years ago that sitting down and making a weekly or monthly meal plan doesn't work for me.  I end up buying too much food and then throwing a lot of it away because I don't use it up before it spoils. What does work for me is to make using leftovers into a game. I make a meal with extra portions of the main ingredients and then challenge myself to see how many new dishes I can make from the leftovers in the days that follow.  I call it Winning At Dinner.

I've been posting about Winning At Dinner in my personal feed for a while now and, every time I do that, someone comments that I should be teaching others how to do it. So...Here I am, sharing the idea. 

My thought is that I'll post my week's best series of meals on my Facebook page each Friday and challenge you to share yours in the comments. I'll share the post again each weekday and, when it's time to post the next Winning at Dinner, the person whose comment has garnered the most likes over the course of the week will be announced as winner. There won't be prizes but the bragging rights will be huge.  😉

Here's my Winning at Dinner series for the week:

Day 1: A sheet pan meal of bone-in chicken thighs, cubed acorn squash, and beets, all simply seasoned with salt and coarsely ground black pepper, served with brown rice as a side dish.

Day 2:  A stir fry of onion, carrots, and cabbage in a sauce made from homemade vegetable stock flavoured with a little garlic black bean paste. Once the veggies were tender-crisp I stirred in the meat from one of the chicken thighs, and some canned green beans.  I thickened the sauce with cornstarch, then I served the stir fry over some of the rice from the previous night, reheated in the microwave.

Day 3:  I needed a change from chicken so I had macaroni and tomatoes, with a celery salad.

Day 4: Poulterer's pie: I like a crust on the bottom of my meat pies so I made the pastry from my quiche recipe and used it to form two individual pies in extra large muffin cups. I par-baked the crusts then filled each pie with the meat from a chicken thigh, diced roasted squash and beets, sauteed onion, and the last of the canned green beans, in chicken gravy. (I used a packaged mix.) To encourage the top to brown nicely as the pies baked, I topped each pie with mashed potato brushed with a little melted butter. I had one pie for supper, with coleslaw on the side, and put the second pie in the freezer for another day.

Bonus: I made a soup from homemade vegetable stock, the leftover gravy from the pies, the leftover stirfry cut into smaller pieces, the rest of the leftover roasted squash and beets, finely diced, the meat from two chicken thighs, the last of the brown rice and some poultry seasoning. The soup was divided into three 2-cup portions.  I froze them so I'll have something for lunches or evenings when I don't want to cook.

Please share your best dinner or series of meals in the comments on my Facebook page and then share the heck out of this post so others can like your comment and participate with comments of their own. 

Let the challenge begin!

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