Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Containers of leftovers take over my refrigerator

This morning, containers filled with leftovers made putting breakfast on the table a snap.

Editor's note: We prepare meals at home five or six days a week, relying on high-quality ingredients from Costco Wholesale, ShopRite and Whole Foods Market. But at times, the leftovers seem overwhelming. Today, I also report on a takeout meal from Wondee's, a great Thai restaurant in Hackensack.  


Cooking large quantities yields lots of leftovers and cuts down on meal-preparation time.

But, then, our refrigerator becomes packed with meals we prepared in the past few days, and we "lose" food that gets shoved to the back of shelves.

Still, being able to assemble a fortifying breakfast in just the time it takes to plate your leftovers and reheat them in the microwave is a great time and money saver.

Breakfast plates, above and below, filled with leftovers. Above, a sweet potato, cheese and pesto frittata; mashed sweet potatoes, organic whole-wheat shells with salted cod and pesto; peppery mustard greens and store-bought stewed tofu from H Mart in Little Ferry. The ingredients came from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack and Whole Foods Market in Paramus. This breakfast eliminated two large containers crowding my refrigerator shelves.

Sweet potatoes three ways: Sliced, boiled and layered in a frittata; baked and mashed with extra-virgin olive oil. Tofu and fried green plantains also are on the plate, as part of a breakfast that allows you to explore your roots.

Buying big sizes

We buy large quantities from Costco Wholesale, where most food comes in oversized packages, and on Amazon.com.

And we cook large quantities, such as the four cups of Lundberg Organic Long Grain Brown Rice (Amazon.com) I prepared in an electric cooker for dinner Monday night with a can of diced organic tomatoes, chopped fresh garlic and pine nuts, all from Costco.

That rice will reappear at breakfast, topped with two fried organic brown eggs (sunny side up) from Costco, allowing me to break the yolks and mix them with the whole grains. 

Sweet potato frittata and a baked sweet potato make a filling breakfast.

A wedge of frittata with leftover organic whole-wheat pasta shells and salted cod fish dressed with refrigerated, ready-to-use Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto.

Wondee's takeout

With a family member recuperating from a broken leg, we decided to do Saturday night takeout from one of our favorite restaurants, Wondee's Fine Thai Food & Noodles, 296 Main St., Hackensack (201-883-1700).

Saturday is usually the day we eat dinner out.

I made sure to get my favorite dish, Som Thum, a crunchy fresh green-papaya salad in a tart dressing with peanuts, green beans, tomato and ground dried shrimp ($8).

Fresh green-papaya salad from Wondee's.

We also ordered Thome Yum Koong, a spicy soup with shrimp and mushrooms ($4 for small); Geuw Nam, wonton soup with roast pork ($3.50 for small); Thai Fried Rice ($10.50), and a whole red snapper steamed with chili peppers, garlic and lemon juice, a dish called Pla Ma Now ($18).

Part of the fish is in a container in the refrigerator, and my wife is planning to have it for lunch on Wednesday.

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