Cook up those end of year leftovers!By Victoria Wighton
It’s now coming to the last few weeks of the academic year and the one thing you’re dying to do is celebrate, however funds are still on the tight side.
Not to worry, a good way to keep your cash firmly in your pocket is to take up the old attitude of waste not want not.
Here I have given you five different ways to use up some of those common left over foods just lying around in your cupboards. They are quick, easy and most important cheap or cost next to nothing to prepare meaning more money to socialize. What’s not to like about that?
This is a favorite of mine and so simple to make. Start by boiling a pot of water and adding about 75g of pasta, add more if your feeling particularly peckish and leave to cook for about 10 minutes or as instructed on the packed. Whilst this is cooking, slice up any veg you may have leftover or vegetables such as Carrots, mushrooms, peppers or onions and add them to a heated frying pan with a drizzle of oil and cook on a medium heat. Once the veg start to soften or brown, cut up 2 sausages into bite size pieces and add them to the frying pan, stir and cook until everything is cooked throughout.
Once this is done, add about half a tin of chopped tomatoes with a tbsp. of tomato puree and either fresh or dried basil and simmer. Next, drain the cooked pasta, pouring boiled water over to get rid of any starch and serve up. Finally, take then pan off the heat and serve on top of the pasta. To make this dish more sophisticated try adding a drizzle of red cooking wine to the sauce or to give it a good kick add a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce or a sprinkle of chili powder.
There is so much you can do with leftover potatoes however; nothing beats a good side dish to accompany any meal. For this start by dicing a large potato into small but quite thick square’s and spread out on a cooking tray covered in foil. Next sprinkle over with paprika dried chopped basil and olive or rapeseed oil and mix so all the potatoes are fully covered. Place into a pre-heated oven of 200 degrees and cook for about 40-50 minutes or until cooked throughout and golden brown. Finally take out of the oven and serve in a small bowl and add more fresh or dry basil to serve.
3. Tin of baked beans
One way to use these up is to make extra special beans on toast. Do this by toasting two slices of bread, which ever you have lying around and heating up the baked beans in a saucepan. To make this meal more exciting, boil a pot of water and crack and egg into the water and poach. Once everything is cooked, butter the toast and place onto a large plate, add the baked beans and finally place the poached egg on top. Add salt and pepper to taste and hey presto!
Now that the weather is brightening up it’s the perfect excuse to start eating freshly prepared salads, and not all salads have to be dull. For this Moroccan beauty, start by heating a pan with a tbsp. of oil, dice the leftover chicken and add it to the pan and fry on a medium heat.
Whilst this is cooking pour about 60g of plain couscous into a small bowl, add a few sprinkles of ground cumin and coriander and finally pour over boiling water and leave for about 10 minutes to swell. For the fresh salad get together some lettuce and basically any left over fresh vegetables you have or anything that is cheap to buy such as tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, olives or sweetcorn and arrange onto one side of the plate. Once the couscous has soaked up all the water and is fully swollen, serve next to the salad taking about 1/3 of the plate and do the same with the chicken once cooked. Finally for the dressing you will need a couple of tsp of natural yoghurt mixed with the zest of half a lemon and the juice and chopped mint, preferably fresh if you have it. Pour onto the salad and serve!
After cooking up all of these savory dishes, its about time for something a bit more on the sweet side which is why leftover eggs are perfect for this sweet version of eggy bread. For one serving, start by cracking one egg into a clear bowl and mixing with 3 tsps. Of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Next dip 1 slice of bread and fully coat with the egg mixture. Place the bread into a heated pan of 1tsp of melted butter and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes or until it starts to brown. Turn over and do the same for the other side and once cooked, take off the heat and serve onto a plate. Finally sprinkle a good amount of ground cinnamon and sugar over the eggy bread and serve.