Leftovers? Eww right? Wrong.
After cooking for 5 at home for 20 years (and cooking for sometimes 500 at work for over 20 years), I have trouble cooking for only 2. Because of that we always have leftovers and we eat one meal a week using those leftovers.
Here are some "leftovers" tips I've used for a long time:
- Freeze meal sized leftovers. If you made 20 meatballs but only use 5 per meal, divide them up into 3 freezer bags and you only have to set out one meals worth at a time. If you cook too much meat such as chicken or ground beef, do the same.
- Choose the right sized container for your leftovers. Too much space between the lid and the food causes the food to spoil faster. If you are storing them in baggies, squeeze the air out of the bag before you put them in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Always label your leftovers including the date. Don't keep anything in the refrigerator longer than 4 days.
- Don't think that because something smells ok that it is ok. Sometimes that's just not true. Food can smell fine and still be spoiled. Look for signs of spoilage such as change of texture, color or a slimy feel. If you're not sure about it, throw it away.
- Be creative with your leftovers. If you have a ton of BBQ chicken leftover make up a BBQ chicken pot pie or a BBQ chicken calzone. That way you're not eating the same meal twice in one week.