Posted by: jjiral | July 31, 2014

Leftovers – The Mother of Recipe Invention

Last Friday night, we had a party at our house to reduce our ever increasing wine supply (my husband knows I love good wine, so he loves to buy wine for me).  When we have these parties (which I call Wine Reduction Parties), I ask our ‘wine drinking volunteers’ to bring snacks.  The end result of these parties is usually lots of leftovers.

My husband loves this because he gets all those snacks (chips and nuts, etc) that I usually don’t buy.  I unfortunately experience lots of temptation while diligently trying to follow my weight loss goals.  (I only had 1 glass of wine at the party….woohoo)

So, how to sidestep all that temptation?  First, get all those chips and that chocolate out of sight!  That helps.  Next, determine if you can send some food to your husband’s office – or if you’re lucky (and some friends are celebrating an anniversary) create a lovely snack tray for their hotel room – which also gets more of those temptations out of the house.  Hopefully, you are left with the more healthy options by this point.

Now, I have to come up with some creative ways to use the leftovers.  And my favorite is to use the salsa (picante sauce) as a sauce for chicken.  I tossed the leftover veggies (from the antipasto tray) into my crock pot, then added some chicken breasts, topping with a can of condensed tomato soup.  No added seasoning was needed.  And the result was a quick and easy – delicious one pot chicken dinner.  And even better, Brad has 2 healthy lunches as well.

So, If you want to try something like this yourself, slice an onion, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, olives, broccoli, cauliflower – and toss into crock pot.  (you can add some pepperoni or sliced sausage for extra flavor, but not necessary).  Then add about 1-2 cups of salsa (or picante sauce) and top with 3-4 chicken breasts.  If desired, pour 1 can of condensed tomato soup for a creamier sauce.  Turn the crock pot to high for 1 – 2 hours, then lower temp until done – about 2-3 more hours depending on the amount of veggies and the size of the chicken breasts.

You can speed up this dish by cooking on top of stove in a dutch oven or even slightly cook the chicken breasts in the microwave before adding to the dutch oven – or crock pot.

I really love using salsa or even canned tomatoes as a sauce (think spaghetti sauce too).  It’s so tasty and so healthy.  Enjoy!

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