The How's and Why's of Leftovers and a Recipe for Ginataang Gulay

Like most families, groceries are our biggest expense. It wasn't such a big concern when it was just my husband and I. When I got pregnant, that's when the expenses started piling up. I was overwhelmed with the long list of expenses I had to deal with when I gave birth. So, I decided that the grocery budget had to be cut. My solution? Leftovers. Yeah, the L-word. Most people don't like leftovers. I don't like wasting food so my family has learned to embrace it. 

In this post, I give you a few examples of how to make leftovers enjoyable. 

Remember this saucy kangkong in oyster sauce dish? I served it again but this time with a fried daing na bangus above. 

For dessert, I served some of this leftover cake from Banapple which my son demolished. 

After this meal, we had some leftover bangus so I served it with some leftover chicken wings from Wing Stop:

And this newly cooked ginataan dish:

And some leftover chami.

It looks like a feast but in reality, we are just eating leftovers. My rule before was that I only serve leftovers once then I give the excess to our cats. That's because my husband doesn't like leftovers. Now, it's different. I serve them until we consume everything. This has tremendously helped our budget. I normally just buy ingredients for 4-5 dishes and they last us a week. My husband can't complain because I serve other dishes with the leftovers. That's my first tip.

Tip number 2

Try to coordinate your daily menu. For example, if I cook ginataang gulay on Monday, I will write down daing na bangus for Tuesday so that the meals complement each other. This way, your palate does not get tired of the same thing. 

Tip number 3

Variety. Add variety to your dishes. As seen above, I served some takeaway with the leftovers. My son loves variety in his meals. I don't want to disappoint but I also don't want to go overboard with our food budget. 

Tip number 4

Regardless of how much leftovers we have, I cook one dish every day. There comes a time when we get bored of the same dish so sometimes I put the leftovers on hold and serve a new dish for the day. Come tomorrow, expect the leftovers to make an appearance again. 

My techniques is saving us a lot of money and has also cut my kitchen time. I've been dreading cooking for the past few weeks as I am in a cooking rut and this techniques has been a life saver. I don't need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen anymore. 

So, now you know why I serve leftovers, let's get on with today's recipe - ginataang gulay.

You will need

Vegetables of your choice but I used squash and snake beans because yes, they were leftovers from a previous recipe
shrimps or pork, totally up to you
coconut milk (I used the canned variety)
bagoong (shrimp paste)
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Saute the chopped garlic and onions in some oil. Add shrimps. Wait for them to cook and set them aside. Add the bagoong. Mix it with the garlic and onions. Pour the coconut milk. Add the squash. Wait for the mixture to boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Add the snake beans and shrimps. Season with salt and pepper. Wait for the vegetables to cook and serve with rice. 


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