Do you waste a lot of food? What do you do with all the leftover bread after you cut out the shapes? These are the questions that I receive a lot when they see my bentos. So I thought I will share some of the ways to use up the leftovers from the bento-making.
1. For sauces & meat, I will try to freeze them in tiny portions so that when I need them, I do not have to defrost them entirely. I just take the amount that I need. So there will be no leftovers. Click HERE to see how I normally freeze my spaghetti sauce. If you don’t have the Lock-Lock box, the ice-cube tray will work too. Also, check out Lunch in a Box for a great write-up on freezing individual portions of meat.
2. Bread – this is probably the food item that I get the most leftovers.
- Mommy’s breakfast!! : ) Since I prepare the bento in the morning, the leftover bread makes a great breakfast for me.
- Croutons. This is what I usually do with the leftover bread. Cut them into little pieces and save them in a container for a couple of days. Then toss them well with olive oil, garlic powder, parsley or any herb that you like, lay them out on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown. I usually just bake them in my toaster oven.
- Bread Pudding. I am not a big fan of bread pudding but if you are, this is a great way to use up those bread.
- Macaroni & cheese – When I make macaroni & cheese, I don’t use the cheese powder that comes in the box. I usually use the cheese slices. So when I have leftover from cheese cutouts, this is usually where it ends up.
- Cheese & Ham omelette – Add some leftover lunchmeat, you’ll have a great omelette for breakfast.
- Cheesy Nachos (check it out HERE) – Since I mostly have cheddar cheese leftovers, I will add some mozarella cheese and mix them together. Lay a layer of nachos on the baking sheet, top off with the cheese and bake it in the oven for 5-10 mins or till the cheese has melted. Remove and serve with salsa and you will have a great mid-afternoon snack.
- Mommy’s lunch!! 😛 Need I say more??
- Omelette – As mentioned above, add lunchmeat & cheese and make a yummy omelette.
- Quiche – Add some eggs, cream, bacon, spinach and you’ll get a yummy weekend breakfast.
- Fried Rice – You can never go wrong with fried rice. Add lunchmeat and lots of vegetables for a great fried rice.
Phew, I think that’s all I can think about. If you are worried about wasting food in bento making, I hope that this list is helpful. Happy Bento-ing!! (Is there such a word?? :P)