Here's a recent success building multiple menus using leftovers:
Day 1: Chicken Verde Tacos
- 2.5 lbs. boneless chicken breasts (thawed if using from freezer)
- Salt and
- Freshly ground black pepper.
- 1.5 C tomatillo salsa verde (I use Trader Joe's)
- 1-3 t chopped or crushed garlic.
Shred chicken using two forks and serve in warmed corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, salsa, pico de gallo, and lime wedges. (Store remaining chicken in the cooking sauce to prevent dry out, and retain all the sauce for day 3 recipe.)
In our house two to 2.5 shredded chicken breasts serves two adults and one preschooler.
Day 2: Chicken Taco Salad
For each adult, toss the following together in a serving bowl: (measurements are approximate)
- 2-3 handfuls lettuce
- 1-2 handfuls tortilla chips, crushed
- 1/2 C leftover shredded chicken verde
- 1/4 C red kidney beans
- 1/4 C grated raw zucchini
- 2 T sliced black olives
- Corn salsa to taste (optional)
- Pico de gallo (optional)
- Shredded cheese (optional)
- Salsa verde (or other salsa of your choice)
- Ranch dressing or homemade dressing (see below).
Simple Homemade Taco Salad Dressing
Shake together in a tightly sealed jar
- 1/2 C Mayonnaise
- 1/4 C lime juice
- 1 T finely chopped cilantro
- 1 t crushed garlic (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Day 3: Tomatillo Chicken-Potato Casserole & Corn Bread
Combine in slow-cooker
- all remaining leftover shredded chicken verde and sauce
- 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, cut in half or smaller for bite-size pieces
For the last hour, add to the crock
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 2-3 oz. sliced black olives
For the last 20 minutes of cooking, sprinkle on top
- .5 to 1 C shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.
Serves three. (If you want to serve more or have eaters with heartier appetites, add more potatoes, zucchini, olives, and cheese.)
Molasses Corn Bread Muffins
Follow the recipe on the back of your corn meal box making the following substitutions:
- Use white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose.
- Replace 2 T of the sugar with 2 T molasses.
- In our house, we also replace the milk with almond milk.
The artistry does not compare, but I like to think of this kind of menu planning as similar to a classical musician's "variations." When I do have the energy and/or a creative streak, it is joy to make beautiful, healthy, innovative meals.