Frugal Food: Beef and Beans

My husband laughs at me for keeping the smallest bits of leftovers. I can’t help it! Why would you take something you’ve worked so hard for and just toss it? If I can’t get a full meal out of a little bit of leftover veggies, rice, or even meat, I’ll put it in Tupperware, label it, and put it in the freezer. Most items are destined to become future soups or stews, but you can get way more creative than that. About a month ago, a beef roast feed us a couple of meals, but after the second heating, there was very little left and it was starting to dry out. We really didn’t feel like having it again, and it was too dry for sandwiches. So, I cut it up into small pieces and put it in the freezer. And there stood my husband, shaking his head, “Just toss it hun, it ain’t worth saving. What are you going to do with it? Don’t you have enough scraps in the freezer?” But I just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

Well, wasn’t it a few weeks later when I had some leftover tortillas, I found a use for those scraps. That bag of roast tidbits came out, got finely chopped up, tossed with some sautéed onions, garlic, chili powder, hot sauce, black beans…

…and became some terrific filling for beef and bean quesadillas! I always have an onion in the crisper and individually frozen portions of pre-cooked beans in the freezer. And who doesn’t have leftover cheese in their fridge? The meal didn’t cost me a dime because it was all leftovers and items I had on hand! We have a nifty little quesadilla maker someone got for us a couple of years ago, but a pan and a quick flip would be just as effective. Or, I could have used the same filling to make burritos.

I didn’t say a word about what was going in them to my husband. It wasn’t until after several happy bites and wondering where the beef came from that I smiled and told him it was his scraps he told me to throw out. He happily ate his words that night. Creative cooking from scraps is not only easy, it’s extremely cheap (free!) and delicious.

Anyone else have some favorite scrap recipes they like?

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4 thoughts on “Frugal Food: Beef and Beans

    • We got it for Christmas from my boss and his wife a few years ago, so I have no idea! But it’s acutally a kit- it has replaceable plates so you can make quesadillas with those plates or pull them out, fold it out and put the grilling or flat plates in for making something else -it even has a glass cover for that. It’s hard to explain, but it’s amazing! 🙂

  1. I do this same thing! I save all the leftovers and make burritos or stir fry or soup or scrambled eggs… the list never ends because the possibilities are endless! That’s the best part of all. 🙂

    So glad you’re back… happy spring too! Enjoy all that lovely green!

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