Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What's in the Fridge?

Making the best use of what you have is very important when trying to spend less and have a smaller environmental footprint. Food is one of the things we seem to waste quite a bit of. It takes a lot of energy to grow, harvest, store and cook food so it seems a terrible waste to throw it away. Thursday nights are leftovers nights in my home. There are usually only three of us home for the evening meal on a Thursday as my husband has a regular dinner engagement. Thursday morning I check through the fridge and decide what needs using up. There is usually something that has been shoved up the back and forgotten. The microwave is great for heating up small amounts of leftovers.

Leftovers include bread products that need to be used. Bread rolls can be turned into garlic bread, toasted with cheese on top, toasted and used as a base for 'pizza' or leftovers on toast. Bread gets a similar treatment to rolls or used to make bread crumbs or even bread and butter pudding.

Leftover rice can be used to make fried rice, thicken a soup or used to make baked rice custard. Making soup is a good way to use all those vegetables that are getting close to their use by date.

When we do the dishes on Thursday night I use the hot soapy water to give the inside of the fridge a quick wipe down. Any spills are cleaned up and the fridge is clean and ready for the week ahead.

Rice Pudding
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stand 5 minutes.
Whisk eggs and sugar in medium bowl and gradually whisk in hot milk.
Spread rice into greased 6 cup oven proof dish.
Gently pour egg mixture over the rice.
Place dish in large baking dish and add hot water so it comes half way up the sides of the pudding dish.
Be very careful, this can get heavy and hot water can burn.
Place in oven 160C (325F) for about 1 hour or until set.
Serve warm.

Notes: Although I have used brown rice for this recipe white rice does give better results.

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