Ahhhh leftovers. You either love them or hate them. For me, I love the challenge that leftover ingredients bring.
For those of you that were with me when I was blogging under Danny’s Kitchen, you may recall a little challenge I would occasionally have for my readers called The Great Leftover Challenge. I’d ask my readers to create something new and different using leftover ingredients found in the fridge. I loved the creativity and dishes that were shared. I wonder if I should bring it back?
Well, for today’s posting, I’m sharing two recent dinners where I once again had to get creative with leftover ingredients: zucchini and baby carrots
Dinner #1: Zucchini Burgers
No, this wasn’t a vegetarian burger — I love meat too much. I was simply inspired to shred one zucchini with a box grater and blend it in with ground beef to create burgers. It’s a great way to add veggies to a burger and give it some added texture with each bite. To finish this off and make it more gourmet, I topped each burger with some fried pancetta, a thick slice of smoked gouda and used potato rolls instead of the traditional bun to create gourmet sliders.
For snacks, I often buy those little pouches of baby carrots. It got to a point where I was down to three little pouches and I was getting tired of carrots as a snack — sorry Bugs! Rather than subject myself to three more days of carrot snacks, I decided to use them up in soup for dinner — perfect for a cold January day.
The challenge though was that I didn’t want to make carrot soup, but fortunately, I found two other bags of frozen veggies — one of mixed veggies and another of frozen corn — enough to supplement my carrots. So along with a pound of frozen ground beef, I was ready to whip up some soup.
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 medium Onion – chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic – minced
- 8 cups of water
- 2 Beef Bullion Cubes
- 1 cup dry Barley
- 1 can Stewed or Diced Tomatoes or 14.5 ounce can of Tomato Sauce
- Carrots – sliced
- Frozen Mixed Veggies (or blend of frozen corn, peas, etc.)
- Dried Basil
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh Black Pepper
- Salt to taste (optional)
Soup is simple so here goes. Brown the beef (drain excess oil), add onions and garlic and mix until softened.
Add water and allow to come to a boil. Once boiling, add in remaining ingredients except salt. Allow soup to simmer for an hour over low fire — periodically mixing.
Season with salt if needed. Soup is served!