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I have heard a few times that in the U.S. we throw away a large amount of our edible food. I had heard the number 40 % thrown out. Frankly, that sounds about right, but it’s so very wrong! That really bothered me. So to my family’s annoyance, I have become the leftover nazi! I am on a mission to ensure our family throws away as little food as possible. I try to be mindful with my ingredients and use the items I know will have to be thrown out soon. I also try to make good use of my drop freezer! Freezing leftovers is a great option! Not only do you have convenient meals ready to go when you don’t have the time or energy to cook, but you also have a resource for people in need. We’ve had several occasions lately when friends were going through a hard time and I was able to pull meals out of our freezer and transfer them to theirs, so they have some easy meal resources. I keep lots of those cheap plastic food storage containers around, like the ones that lunch meat comes in. This way I don’t really care if I get the container back or not.
The other night at home, I made a particularly successful dinner out of leftovers. Since my family has been grumbling about having to eat leftovers, I’ve been trying to get creative with them and repurpose them, so maybe the family won’t realize they’re eating leftovers! Never underestimate a resourceful mother!!!

We had some leftover chicken fried rice, from a meal we had purchased at our favorite Chinese restaurant and I also had a big container of cooked, plain brown rice from another dinner. I also had about four slices of SPAM leftover from a breakfast my husband had made. I’m thinking a new batch of fried rice is sounding good! My family never complains about Chinese food. They love it!!!

So here’s what I did…

In a frying pan I added:

• Fried Rice

• Brown Rice

• Frozen peas

• Diced 4 slices of SPAM

• Diced green onions

• Soy Sauce

• Sriacha

• Pepper

• Garlic Powder

• Egg – After all the prior ingredients were well mixed together, I made a well in the center of the pan pushing everything out to the sides. I beat 2 eggs with a little milk, like I would for scrambled eggs and then I did just that in the well I had created in the pan. Once the eggs were good and scrambled, I started mixing them with the other ingredients, breaking up any large pieces.

I didn’t add any additional salt. I figured the SPAM and Soy Sauce would take care of that and it was a good call. Cook until all ingredients are warmed through and voila! A delicious dinner is born!

The great thing about this concoction is you can get creative with it. I could have used just about any leftover meat; chicken, steak, pork. I could have used a variety of vegetables too.

So the challenge is this! Before you bust out all new ingredients to make a meal, peruse your fridge for leftovers and see what you might be able to salvage. Get creative! Go ahead and play with your food! In Kel’s Kitchen that is completely acceptable!!!