I really would rather not tell you how often leftovers are either tossed away or left to morph into a different species in the back of the refrigerator. It’s a very sad fate that often happens to very good food. But with only three people home now, and one that rarely eats the leftovers, Joe and I can’t finish large pots of soup or casseroles no matter how many lunches he comes home for during the week.
But… there is a use for big batch recipes, you just need to be prepared. You know, those rainy days when you’re too tired to cook, or you get in too late from an outing, when you’re feeling sick, or you just didn’t manage to shop for fresh ingredients. In the past I’ve frozen big bowls of leftovers in the freezer, only to find them all ice-encrusted when I finally had enough people at the table to eat them. But on those occasions when I’ve frozen smaller portions instead, they are much more likely to be pulled out for a lunch for one, or even two portions for two. The trick is to have those single serve containers ready to be deployed.
Therefore, last night I boldly prepared a Vegan Bean and Barley Vegetable Soup for our dinner after purchasing several packages of single serve, freezer/microwave/dishwasher safe storage bowls. This isn’t exactly rocket science I’m telling you, it’s about being prepared. And when we had each eaten enough of this tasty, comforting soup, I didn’t worry about the remainder languishing in the refrigerator. Instead, I divided the leftovers into four of my new single serve containers and popped them in the freezer. I also labeled the contents with the recipe name and date it was prepared.
Because you never know when a rainy day is going to strike and one or more of us will crave those bowls of soup again.