In a previous post, I mentioned about the sad fact that 40 percent of our waste are actually food scraps. It’s a worrisome fact considering a significant number of our locals resort to eating pagpag, and here we are, wasting food on a daily basis.
But we can turn things around!
One of the best ways to do this is to recreate leftovers into a brand new delicious meal. Chefs do it, and I’m pretty sure, a lot of moms out there do, too.
Here are just some makeover ideas for last night’s leftovers. These are the usual dishes I redo at home so that nothing goes to waste.
1. Old and Tough Bread to Tasty French Toast
Nothing can be as bad as chewing tough and old bread for breakfast. When you have one (or a loaf, even) lying around the house, a great fix-it solution is to transform it into beautiful, crunchy french toast. Soak it in a mixture of one egg, 1/4 cup milk, and a dash of cinnamon (If you don’t have cinnamon, that’s fine). Fry both sides on a teaspoon of hot butter, and voila! French toast is done. Top with maple syrup and butter to make it tastier.
2. Adobo Chicken or Pork to Soy-glazed Fried Meat
Adobo doesn’t get old in our house, but when it does, I simply drain it of its sauce, then deep-fry it in hot oil to make crispy soy-glazed meat.
3. From Plain Jane to Garlic Fried Rice
One of the classic, oft-done ways to reuse cold and old plain rice is to turn it into garlic fried rice for breakfast. It’s ridiculously easy and simple. When I’m up for it, I sometimes also make yang chow fried rice for lunch or dinner.
4. Tinola to Arroz Caldo
Do you have leftover chickens from tinola? Don’t throw it just yet! Rinse it off and set aside, then add in to arroz caldo once the rice is cooked. It’s yummy and you wouldn’t even know the difference, because arroz caldo basically has the same ingredients as tinola.
5. Ground Pork Stew (Giniling na Baboy) to Tortang Giniling
Because tomato-based dishes spoil quickly, what I do with leftover ground pork stew is to reuse it for the next meal to make torta. Strain the sauce and set aside the meat while beating one egg (more, depending on how much leftover ground pork you have). Sprinkle cornstarch to hold everything together. Combine the meat with the egg mixture, then fry in a skillet.
Another torta variation is to use leftover canned sardines. Same easy-peasy directions.
6. Soggy Banana to Yummy Turon
Not into banana muffins? Here’s a Pinoy way to turn soft, overripe bananas into a potassium-rich, simple-to-make dessert. Slice each banana into two or three longitudinal slices (depending on the size), roll over brown sugar and wrap in lumpia wrapper. Fry in hot oil until brown to make turon. Not only is it super easy, it’s also incredibly economical, costing only about P3.50 each piece!
7. Leftover Hotdogs to Spaghetti
“You put hotdogs in your spaghetti?”, a foreign client of mine, amused, once asked. Yes, we do, especially if we have leftover fried hotdogs at home. It’s the classic Pinoy version of the good ol’ Italiano spaghetti, and it’s also a cheapo way to make spaghetti meatier.