Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Monday is turning into a day to re-form leftovers into a new dish at work. I often use them to make soup. Rice, pasta and vegetables are the most common leftovers from the weekend.

Yesterday morning I took a quart of spicy chili beans and pureed the beans with about two cups of scalloped potatoes. To finish the soup, I added a diced tomato to the puree and built the soup up with a quart of chicken stock.

The residents enjoyed a smooth, slightly thick bean soup for lunch. I garnished the spicy soup with finely shredded cheddar cheese.

Several residents added crushed corn chips for extra flavor. "The soup is so good," exclaimed one resident.

My goal when using leftovers is to re-form them into a new dish. Dishes like the soup give a new purpose to the leftovers. I often use leftovers to create something that the residents will enjoy.

By skillfully using leftovers with a bit of forethought, I keep the bottom line under control. It's difficult to forecast the exact amount of food that the residents will eat at any one meal.

The number of residents on self-imposed diets, individual likes and dislikes and residents on passes influence the amount of leftover food. I try to prepare according to the number of residents that will eat a particular menu item.

Fortunately, I'm rarely faced with excessive leftovers. Experience helps me keep it under control.

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