Thursday, February 21, 2008

Re-making Leftovers

Sometimes there are leftovers here even with the plague of locusts I call my children. Spaghetti is one of them. I can never get the right amount of noodles versus sauce it seems. (I serve the noodles then pour the sauce over the top.)

My family doesn't hate leftovers unless of course, you serve it to them more than twice in original form. Since putting down a mutiny isn't high on my list of priorities, I get creative. Re-making leftovers into a "new" dish keeps the natives fooled and happy and doesn't waste food. That saves me money. I could always use a bit more money, couldn't you?

We'll use the leftover spaghetti as today's re-make example. The poor spaghetti already had been made over once. However, since this particular spaghetti dish appears to be vain and wants a second makeover. That is rather pointless since I know what it look like after it has been chewed since my kids only like to talk to me when their mouths are overly full. Our spaghetti we had last week had its beginnings as leftover marinara sauce for Italian Herb Chicken, leftover canned spaghetti sauce used for pizzas and leftover tomato paste from making above mentioned chicken dish. I mixed all that together with a pound of Italian sausage I had browned (actually asked oldest child did). I then had my sauce to go with the noodles I had cooked. I like to use the whole grain (not brown whole wheat type though) pasta since my family is getting more fiber and can't tell I am cooking healthy on them since it looks like the less nutritious version.

Re-Make #1 saw some leftovers made into the spaghetti sauce. Luckily, just sauce was leftover this time (my hubby isn't a pasta person but humors me). With leftover sauce, I make pizzas either for my lunch, kids' snack and/or a dinner depending on the amount. My family never says no to pizza even if it was served four times in one week. There is an exception to every rule, I guess.

If there are any leftover spaghetti noodles, I turn it them chicken tetrazinni. There are a variety of recipes out there to suit any tase (unless you don't like tetrazinni like my hubby who will eat just one serving to be polite). To the noodles I add diced, cooked chicken; cream of chicken; shredded cheddar cheese; seasonings; and some milk to reach the consistency I like. Sometimes I throw in mushrooms if I have some. I bake the tetrazinni at 350 (with extra cheese sprinkled on top) in a casserole dish until the tetrazinni is heated through and bubbly.

The tetrazinni also freezes well so it can be put in the freezer and used for a meal at a later date. Ditto on the pizza.

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