The Evolution of Leftovers

My mother taught me that leftover cooking is all about creativity. When you get tired of having warmed up leftovers as is, it’s time to turn them into something else. So leftover cooked vegetables might go into a frittata or casserole or soup, leftover grains or beans might turn into soup. In fact, just about anything can turn into soup.

The kitchari (a combination of rice and mung beans and spices) recipe I cooked up several days ago was more dry than I like my kitchari, so after serving it a few times to Rene’ with dinner (he likes to have grains with dinner; I only have them sometimes), I decided to mix it up into something else last night. Small cocktail shrimp were on sale at Whole Foods when we shopped there yesterday (they are the only place in town that carries the kind of dry cat food our boy cat, Beren, eats – and he was nearly out), so I bought some and put them together with the kitchari, onion and garlic (basic pantry staples for me – I always have them on hand) and what I had in my refrigerator ready to be used up: celery, zucchini, orange peppers, and some sprouted lentils (from New Natives). Delicious!

Some leftovers never make it to the evolution process. I had some of the roasted cauliflower from the night before as a snack – and then went back for seconds and finished it all up. A satisfying snack, along with the pumpernickel bread I had baked a few days ago and the almond date spread I’d put together to satisfy a craving, and a hard-boiled egg to make sure I had enough protein in the meal.

Almond Date Spread

128 gram almond butter
85 gram deglet noor dates
1/2 cup So Delicioius coconut milk, unsweetened

Place almond butter and dates in food processor or blender. Begin to blend, adding coconut milk in a stream. Blend until the texture is as smooth as you like it. Refrigerate. Use as a dip or spread. Nice with apple slices.

Servings: 6
Yield: 1.5 cups – 1/4 cup servings

Nutrition Facts
Calories 170.07
Total Fat 11.77g
Saturated Fat 1.08g
Sodium 1.39mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.7g
Fiber 2.95g
Sugar 10.75g
Protein 5.67g