I worked a damn long day today, and by the time I got home, I needed a new word for hunger. It had been at least six hours since I’d eaten any cake at work, and for me, six hours without food is a long time. And I kind of turn into an unreasonable bitch when I’m hungry. I needed dinner, and I needed it fast.
Here I am, one measly hour later, and I’ve already cooked the meal, taken some shitty photos of it, eaten it, and started this write-up, and it’s all thanks to odds and ends. Everyone has odds and ends, even if your grocery list isn’t a list at all because you order take out 7 nights a week. Odds and ends are the things that you currently have on hand: last night’s leftovers, veggies on their last edible day, the salsa that you didn’t eat with your tacos at lunch. You get the idea. It’s making something out of what you have on hand instead of planning a meal, trekking to the grocery store, spending extra cash, cooking, and FINALLY getting to eat. Sometimes you just need nearly instant gratification.
So here are some of my odds and ends.
The chicken was left over from a dinner I had last week, and there’s nothing better than having cooked protein on hand. The cheese scraps are from the deli, but haven’t made it onto a sandwich yet. There was a few tablespoons left at the bottom of a jar. Not pictured: flour tortillas left over from my New Year’s Eve gala. And yes, there was food that was both tortilla-appropriate and gala-appropriate. If you’d like to be invited next year, start being nice to me now.
A little chopping, a bit of heat underneath a saute pan, and Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas were plated and ready to go. Inner mean-girl sated, and no one got hurt in the interim. Could these have benefited from the crunch of a red pepper? Sure, but I’m fresh out of red peppers. Would black beans have made a nice, fibrous side dish? Yes, but I only have garbanzos, and I’m basically never walking to the grocery store just for beans. Besides, this isn’t about planning or having the perfect meal. It’s about loving those odds and ends!
Learn to use them up, and you’ll love them, too. They can make dinner time on a hectic day a breeze, and they can help you save your hard-earned coin, too. Do you have tricks for using up the little bits of things in the refrigerator and pantry?