Originally Posted by newmamalizzy
I guess my problem with making smaller recipes is, as someone else mentioned, that it takes the same amount of time to make the full recipe as it would to make half. I think that's why we tend to have so many leftovers. That and we have the world's smallest freezer. I used to freeze leftovers, but now I buy larger packages of meat and freeze those, and that takes most of the space. I think there's definitely a family-size thing to this. I think it's easier to use up food with a larger family. I have to say, though, I'm surprised how many people cook a new meal every night. I honestly don't think I could do it. I have a really hard time getting anything done with DD around, and DP doesn't get home until 7 or 8, so I think that makes a big difference. I'm also surprised at the antipathy towards leftovers. I LOVE leftovers!
I like leftovers too. I like them for breakfast because I hate breakfast food. I hate cooking in the morning or figuring out something to eat. I love leftover soup in the morning.
One reason why I do not like always making enough to serve 8+ people when we are 3 people is that at the original meal it lends itself to overeating and wasting food. I grew up cooking for more people with bigger appetites and it took a number of years for me to figure out healthy portion sizes and that I should sometimes scale down recipes. We still have some leftovers but it is a more manageable amount- what we can finish in a week or fit in our freezer space. We do not have a huge freezer either.
My dh also gets home around 7:30 pm and some days are long and tiring. Having a limited menu of 28 meals that get repeated each month, frozen leftovers and the slow cooker are helpful.
Here is how our week is playing out with a different meal each night-
Sunday we had grilled sandwiches and baked french fries. Each sandwich was made exactly the way each person wanted. Dh showed up just as I was cooking dd's sandwich so he cut some cheese for his sandwich and put it together and then I cooked it next. There were no sandwiches or fries leftover.
Monday we had baked fish, mac & cheese and peas. I fed dd before dh got home as he was running late. There was just enough fish for each person. DD wanted to eat dh's food after scarfing down hers and having a second helping of mac and cheese but I told her she could eat fruit or a granola bar if she was still hungry. Dh and I both had 1 serving of fish, mac and cheese and peas. There were only some leftover peas that I ate with my lunch the next day.
Tuesday I pulled leftover curry out of the freezer and re-heated it. I cooked rice. Dh made it home about 7pm. Dd had snacked around 6pm. I think dh and I both had 2 helpings of curry and rice. Dd was cranky and refused to eat the curry and ate rice and a sandwich dh made her later. Dh took the remaining leftover curry and rice for lunch the next day.
Last night we had gyros. We had gyros last month and I had frozen half of the meat and tzatziki sauce so I pulled those out. I made fresh pita bread in the afternoon and we had toppings on hand so I just had to slice a few things and warm the meat. Dh was home early so we ate around 6pm. Dd and I both had 1 gyro each and dh had 2. The meat was totally eaten up and the tzatziki sauce was pretty much gone. The leftover pita bread went in the freezer for falafel next week. People would have eaten some of the pita bread if I left it out but now I don't have to make it again next week.
Tonight we will have pancakes. I have half a package of sausages in the freezer and some frozen fruit that I will get out to have with our pancakes. There might be one or two extra pancakes that I will put in the refrigerator for dd to snack on.
Friday I will cook chicken strips, mashed potatoes and baked beans. There won't be any leftover chicken strips or mashed potatoes. I might have leftover beans and I will probably freeze them to have next week when we have veggie burgers.
Saturday I will cook roast beef in the slow cooker. I have planned to use part of the meat again in a beef stew/soup next week. I'm going to try a new pasta dish with squash on the side. I don't know how much will be leftover of that.