Hi, my name is Deanna and I waste food. I rarely eat leftovers. I often buy fresh ingredients with a certain dish in mind, then let them all spoil before I actually get the meal cooked. I purchase food, and it sits in the pantry, unused, until it is eventually thrown out.
Terrible, I know. It was a couple of years ago that I first realized how much food we waste as a family, and since then I have tried to be more resourceful in our meals and shopping. The small changes have helped, but we still have a long way to go.
I have learned to buy mostly our staple foods at the grocery store each week, things I am pretty sure will be eaten. If I need specific ingredients for a dish, I try to think of other ways to use the remainder of that ingredient. If I buy for a specific meal and our plans change, I try hard to squeeze that meal in another night.
I am still not good with leftovers, but I am learning which foods I do like reheated, and I am making those foods more often. I have learned to decline a to-go box at a restaurant, unless I feel sure it will be eaten. (This doesn't really help the wastefulness, but hey--it saves the use of a styrofoam plate and doesn't take up valuable space in my refrigerator.)
I have also started a kind of meal rotation, especially for weeknights when Jeremy is not home to help with the crazy dinner and bath rush. It's not written down (yet!) or very specific, but I have a few standard meals that the girls and I both enjoy and that are easy to prepare.
One of our weekly standards is a Mexican night, when I pick up fresh chips, salsa, and queso from a Mexican restaurant on the way home. Addison & Mackenzie LOVE "chips and cheese", and could easily make a meal out of that alone (healthy, right?). For these nights, I usually have mexican chicken waiting in the crockpot, which we use to fill tortillas to go with our chips.
As a bonus, there is plenty of the chicken left for me to eat all week. I have been making nachos for my lunch at least 2-3 days a week lately, and it really helps me feel a lot less wasteful to finish off that entire bowl of chicken!
What are your favorite weeknight meals? Do you have any tips for becoming less wasteful? Am I alone in my disdain for leftovers?
By the way, here is my mexican chicken recipe, which is super convenient for tacos, burritos, nachos, etc....
Combine the following in the crockpot:
2-3 Boneless chicken breasts
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 package dry taco seasoning
Cook 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high, then shred the chicken and add a can of black beans (drained). Heat another 30 minutes or so, and it's ready.