Wednesday, August 13, 2008

WEDNESDAY: Leftover Magic

I'm a reformed food waster. I used to be really bad about throwing out food. We wasted at least as much as we ate. Terrible, I know. Things are different now, but its not always easy. We often live with (and maybe even gave birth to) people who don't like leftovers. This makes it difficult to save money and not be wasteful. Thus the need for leftover magic - transforming once served foods into something completely different.

My very favorite form of leftover magic is to create vegetable soup out of leftover veggies. Today I'll share our use for leftover broccoli. You will notice that broccoli cheese soup is on our menu very often. We're really blessed - our kids LOVE broccoli and so do we. Broccoli is served with dinner at least a few times per week and sometimes we don't finish up all that was prepared. A half cup of leftover cooked broccoli is really all it takes to make a nice broccoli cheese soup. Here's my recipe:

Heat about a tablespoon of oil (I use butter) in a sauce pan until it shimmers (for oil) or bubbles (for butter). Then sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of flour over the fat and stir to combine (if you've never made a white sauce before, this will look like a thick paste). Next, slowly add about 1-1.5 cups of milk, stirring to combine. Continue stirring over heat until this mixture thickens, adding more liquid if it gets too thick. Next, slowly add cheese, a little at a time, stirring each addition until completely melted before adding more. If you add more before the previous addition is incorporated, you might end up with stringy or clumpy cheese. Finally, once you have the cheese to your liking, add about 1/2 cup broccoli and stir. Once heated through, serve.

You can use just about any kind of cheese in this recipe. Because my littles really like American cheese, we often use it, but sometimes, we also use cheddar. This week, I'm going to try it with Havarti because we have some of it in the fridge that I need to use up before it goes bad :o)

You can also use less milk when making the "soup" and you get a nice cheese sauce to pour over leftover veggies to transform them somewhat :o)

Do you have a favorite Leftover Magic recipe? I'd love to know about it. You can post about it on your blog then link to it in the comments or if you don't have a blog, post your recipe in the comments. :o)

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