Leftovers and Recession Dinner recap


some tasty leftovers!  Tonight was sort of the ‘let’s just figure out what to do with all these leftovers’ night!  We had the risotto that we did not take to work (had a business lunch planned) and we had tons of potatoes with salt cod from the Portuguese dinner.  Now who says leftovers have to be boring …..

I took the leftover Portuguese dish added some olive oil and slowly heated it in the oven.  It came out very moist and even more flavorful then the first night.


The risotto, I zest a Meyer Lemon over the top, covered it and slowly heated along side the salt cod.  It was even better with the added lemon.  The peas were just perfect and the lemon really enhanced the dish.  It reminded me of one of my favorite Bill Granger recipes, lemon risotto with chili shrimp.

Leftovers can be great!

To recap the recession/depression dinner week, here are tips I used to keep the costs down for these meals while allowing us to eat organically and as locally as possible, all while shopping at Whole Foods.

Chicken – i always buy an organic, cage free chicken and they come from a ranch north of here.  I have the butcher, butterfly it and remove the back bone (save to make stock).  Half of one of these chickens will feed us dinner with leftovers either for dinner the next night or lunch.  I save all bones, bits and pieces when we are finished eating, and put them in the freezer, to make stock.

Stock – i have been making our own stock but for this particular series, I used the Wholefoods organic chicken stock that comes in a 32oz container.  It is flavorful and not too salty.

Bread crumbs – instead of buying the Ian’s crumbs (which I love) that cost around $3.45, I bought two baguettes.  I used half of one to make bread crumbs for the meatloaf.

Produce – i use to belong to a CSA but got tired of getting the same thing week after week.  Now I buy exactly what I will need to cook with for that week and make sure everything is organic.  If it isn’t then I substitute with something similar.  As well I only buy what is in season (unless we are craving a big fat juicy pineapple in the middle of February).  Instead of buying bags of salad, I buy one head of lettuce, which lasts us an entire week (salad every other day).

Sugar/flours/rice/grains – i use the bulk section and buy only what I will need for the week.  I like their unrefined sugar.  It is cheaper and better then C & H.  I will buy specialty flours that I may need also in bulk.  As well the grains are usually all organic and cheaper then buying a big bag/box which you may never finish.

Coffee – i have yet to find a supplier of sustainable coffee that is reasonable.  Anyone?  For this series I purchased coffee for the week and it was about $9.00 for not quite a pound.  I normally buy an imported Italian coffee in bulk from a guy in Seattle and it is a 2.2 lob bag of beans for about $20, which will last us about a month and a  half.

Canned goods – i try not to buy unless it is tomatoes, legumes, etc.. then I will always try to use dried (legumes) and long cook them, if I have time.  Or I will buy small packages of frozen.  Whole foods has a great organic frozen line of veggies.

I always will buy the WF brand if it is organic and if it is lower.  Sometimes other vendors will be a bit lower and then I check the labels to see where it came from and go from there.

I definitely feel I could be better at saving on our food bill by going to the Farmer’s Market to purchase our produce as well as other items.  I just need to plan my weekly menu out before the weekend, which has not happened in a few months.  It is my goal to start doing this.  As well a few of you sent me emails asking about saving when eating vegetarian only;  it can be done.  We normally only eat meat once or maybe twice a week.  I am planning our next weekly menu all around vegetarian meals.  So stay tuned … for part two!


  1. All good tips and suggestions!

  2. Those salt cod-potatoes still looking good! I’m going to have to make them to satisfy my longing.

  3. great tips! about the breadcrumbs, my house finds that using slightly stale bread is pretty good too ;)
    nothing like leftovers…somehow they just taste better the day after and they’re pretty flexible in any dish too. x

  4. your risotto looks yummy!

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