Today was an excellent challenge day. Last night I took two containers of leftovers out of the freezer. I grabbed lasagna and beef barley soup. Those items along with the leftover mini pizzas from last night were the only options that I gave the kids for lunch. What do you know, with zero complaints, we knocked out some leftovers. Yay!
While I was digging around in the freezer, I noticed that I still had one container of leftover luau pork. Man, I love that stuff. It is so flavorful and easy to make and it freezes perfectly. It tastes just as good coming out of the freezer as it does going in. I took it out to thaw and started looking up recipes to see what I wanted to make with it for dinner. I found a recipe but I would need chicken broth. Uh oh. I'm still out of chicken broth until I shop later this week. Aha! I have two chicken carcasses in the freezer. Looks like it is time to make some homemade broth.
After thawing the carcasses, I put them into my big soup pot and added water to cover them. I wasn't even going to add veggies because the rotisserie chicken is already so flavorful. However, I noticed that my celery was beginning to wilt so I figured that I may as well add it to the pot. I also added a chunk of onion and a large carrot. I simmered it for five hours. Yum! Then strain and you have yourself some delicious homemade broth (and out of something that you would probably have thrown out!). It made enough for using tonight plus about 8 cups to freeze.
We needed a snack this afternoon so I looked through the fridge. I still had half a carton of strawberries. Smoothie time. I grabbed my food processor and got to work. Blend milk and spinach. Then add banana and strawberries. Blend. Then add frozen blueberries and ice. Blend. Then add ground flaxseed, cocoa powder, and local honey. Blend. The kids liked it but said that they prefer it without the cocoa powder. I'm thinking it wasn't sweet enough even with the honey.
Oh, and a side note about flaxseed. After you grind it up, store it in the fridge or freezer. It loses its nutritional potency quickly after grinding. Ground flaxseed is my newest superfood find. It protects against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. It helps to protect against cardiovascular disease and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It can help to reduce inflammation. It helps with hot flashes. I find that it doesn't have a taste so it can be hidden in just about any recipe. Granted, I don't believe that any one item can 100% protect from cancers, etc. I do believe that it doesn't hurt to do what I can to protect the health of my family. Also, I read that pregnant or nursing moms should not eat flaxseed. Do your own research before you start something new but I found that flaxseed is something that we will embrace!
For dinner, I settled on making some hash. I guess that hash is basically any dish with meat and potatoes sauteed together. I diced up a sweet potato and sauteed it in olive oil with some onion and mushrooms. After about 5 minutes and it was slightly tender, I added about 1 3/4 cup of my homemade broth and stirred in some of the leftover luau pork. I covered and simmered it for maybe 10 more minutes until the sweet potatoes were tender. I finished it off with some green onions (frozen from my garden). I served it with an easy side of cottage cheese. Usually my son will just push the cottage cheese around on his plate. He says he doesn't like it. Tonight I told him that it is really just like string cheese but all chopped up. He took a bite and said "mmmm this is good". Then proceeded to finish off his pile. I loved the hash. The kids really liked it too. Although, their favorite part may be when we named it "who hash". Ha. They have an incredible love for Dr. Seuss.
And dessert. I found a recipe on kingarthurflour.com for inside out carrot cake muffins. Inside out being that there is cream cheese frosting inside of the muffin. I was sold at cream cheese. Ha. They were pretty easy to make. We all liked them. I think next time I will add more cinnamon and ginger though. Maybe even as much as doubling what was in the recipe. But I had fun making them. I got to use my new food processor to shred the carrots. I think pretty soon I'm going to wonder how I survived with out that thing. :)