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Making Use of Leftovers + Warm Chicken Salad Recipe
Posted By Bevin Wallace On May 15, 2013 @ 10:44 am In Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | No Comments
I admit I’ve got some serious hoarder tendencies , especially when it comes to food. While I’m not especially proud of my mismatched assortment of Pyrex and Tupperware, I have to say that opening the door and seeing those myriad containers of leftover food makes me feel good.
First, it’s fun for me to plan meals using leftovers, and I know making those meals will be quicker and easier than starting from scratch. And second, I like the idea that I’m not contributing (or at least not very much) to the huge problem of food waste  we have in this country.
It shocked me to learn recently that 40 percent of the U.S. food supply ends up in the trash. That’s about $165 billion worth of food! This is a real problem that affects the environment, public health and the economy. The same paper  explains that if we could reduce food waste by just 15 percent, in a year we could feed 25 million hungry Americans — and save more than $2,000 per family.
I realize that the bulk of the inefficiencies and issues around food waste are beyond our personal control. If you’ve ever been to a food bank warehouse, you’ve seen the vast amounts of perfectly edible food that is rejected by grocery stores. Often, there is so much that the aid agency can’t even distribute it fast enough and it ends up rotting. I once saw rows and rows of pallets piled ceiling-high with butternut squash  — enough to feed a small city — that had been deemed unsightly by a grocery distributor. No one had any idea what to do with all of it. Even though it looked beautiful to me and was just begging to be roasted and pureed, it was about to be tossed.
Still, there are things we can do to reduce waste at home, and I like to think of not wasting food as a way of helping make sure everyone gets enough to eat.
Here’s an example. I made this last week using leftover chicken, and it was a huge hit. We liked it so much that I’m planning to roast a chicken just so I can make it again!
Ingredients (all quantities are approximate)
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until slightly browned. Add the kale, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of water. Turn up heat and cook until water has evaporated and kale is soft. Season with salt & pepper. Add potatoes and chicken and heat until hot, tossing everything together (unless you have a child who doesn’t like “mixed” food; in which case, you can set her portions of the chicken, potatoes, and kale aside beforehand). Check seasonings and add more salt & pepper if needed. Sprinkle grated cheese on top before serving.
If meal planning is something you’d like to do but you don’t even know where to start, check out the Real Life Meal Plan.  This awesome subscription service can rid your life of the soul-sucking “What’s for dinner?” dilemma — and it easily pays for itself in less than one week of takeout.
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/making-use-of-leftovers-warm-chicken-salad-recipe/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Warm-Chicken-Salad.jpg
 hoarder tendencies: http://life.gaiam.com/article/do-you-have-hoarding-tendencies
 huge problem of food waste: http://life.gaiam.com/article/high-cost-wasted-food
 paper: http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp
 butternut squash: http://life.gaiam.com/article/squash-superfood-get-yours-4-yummy-recipes
 shopping list: http://life.gaiam.com/article/5-tips-surviving-your-next-trip-grocery-store
 Eating Well’s: http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/guide_to_stocking_your_pantry
 Pyrex: http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageId=14&CatID=380&SubCatID=1169&upc=71160036093
 guide: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html
 garlic: http://life.gaiam.com/article/garlic-good-news-keeps-coming
 Real Life Meal Plan.: http://reallifedelicious.com/real-life-meal-plan/
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