Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It is well known amongst my friends and family that I am a tight arse, although I prefer the phrase fiscally prudent.

Perhaps it was my upbringing, or my grandmother’s influence (she could make a chicken last a week), maybe it’s just my nature.

But without such highly developed skills I would never have survived seven years in New York living and working as a musical theatre performer.

Ketchup soup anyone?

It ain’t so bad when your other option is tuna surprise…tuna mixed with whatever else I found in the cupboard.

And now I’ve found a way to carry my ‘waste not want not’ attitude into my daughter’s meals as well.

Behold. The ever changing, ever delicious, not-a-thing-goes-unused menu for the divine Miss Q…

·               Vegetable muffins - Wholemeal flour (yes, yes, I seriously am that healthy) and leftover vegies from dinner the night before. Sometimes I really shake things up by mashing the sweet potato so the muffins are a delightful orange colour instead of the grey of the healthy wholemeal flour.
·               Frittata – made in the microwave. Do the microwaves cancel out the goodness of the dish I wonder? Again, use any leftover vegies, rice, a few eggs, a bit of milk and toss in some sour cream or cottage cheese. Truly, I hit upon this by accident because I was just trying to use up what was in the fridge, but it adds a certain richness to the dish and honestly, I think MasterChef may want to speak to me soon.
·               Bran Muffins – these are actually a recipe, but I’ll have to post it later as it’s at my mum’s house. Suffice to say they include sultanas, buttermilk, all-bran and healthy flour. Keeping you healthy on the inside folks.
·               Leftover cold fish – got to admit, not something even I could choke down. But Miss Q’s uncle likes a spot of spear fishing, and what could possibly be better than freshly caught, freshly barbequed filets of fish prepared just for you. No tartare sauce required.
·               Meatballs – I use chicken, mince, pork, whatever. Mix with some breadcrumbs, an egg if need be and some seriously finely chopped vegies. Roll into balls and bake. Big hit people. Big hit.
·               Savoury pikelets – there’s a recurring theme here of using last night’s vegies, but Q has become the perfect replacement to our no-longer-alive dog. Just to really shake things up, you could grate the vegies instead of chop them.
·               Crockpot surprise – there is always a lot of jus (that’s sauce for you non-chefs out there) left over with a Crockpot meal, and I see no reason to let such a delicious thing go unused. What’s wrong with steaming a bit of chicken or pork and mixing it in with the jus? Or adding rice. Or pasta, couscous perhaps. The possibilities are endless.
·               Marinated chicken – in yoghurt, soy, whatever else is close to expiration. Leave them for a while, then wack ‘em in the oven and bake. Any leftovers can be re-recycled into the above muffins or frittata.
·               Stewed fruits – get the bag of old apples reduced to a couple of bucks on a Friday afternoon at the supermarket. Stew and mix with yoghurt for dessert. Your child need never know how many brown spots you had to cut out.
·               Porridge – do you know how cheap that stuff is?

I could go on and on, but I think I’ve given you a good enough start.

If you are a fellow fiscal prude and have suggestions of your own, please, consider it your charitable duty to keep the rest of us informed.

If you’re new to this way of life, I embrace you.
Soon you too, will be justifying your bought coffee addiction with your budget saving cooking.
Waste not on your child and you will not want for your coffee.
Everybody wins.

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