From “Ugh” to “Yum!”

I’m going to be honest with you. I hate leftovers. Not because I hate eating leftovers, but because I never do. I put them in the fridge with the best of intentions, but out of sight is out of mind and I don’t always remember I have them until they are fuzzy. It’s even worse for leftover ingredients, because even when I do remember them I just think that I need to make something with that, put it back in the fridge, and forget all over again.

So when I ended up with about two pounds of ground beef leftover when I made burritos, my heart sank as I considered what to do with it. Put it in the fridge only to have to throw it out a few weeks later? Put it in the freezer only to find it next year and wonder what it was?

But! I realized that I had all of the ingredients to make enchiladas right in front of me. The cheese was even pre-shredded! I had ground beef, I had a can of enchilada sauce that I had planned on putting in the burritos but forgot, (Okay, how can I remember the exact species of plant that is growing in a remote corner of the yard but not to do something I decided on ten minutes ago?), and I had cheese. So I grabbed the corn tortillas out of the fridge, chopped an onion, and got to work.

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I piled some onions, beef, and cheese on a tortilla and stopped to fret. Was I putting it on in the right order? Were onions supposed to go first? Why wasn’t this as messy as I remembered? I was doing it wrong! I know! I’ll just call it enchilada casserole so it won’t matter if I do it wrong. (Actual thought process. Also, if you keep reading this blog you will learn about “Food Rules”)

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I rolled them up and started sticking them into a pan, fretting once more that it didn’t look neat. (Seriously though, I remember this being a whole lot messier from when my family made it when I was a kid. I’m definitely forgetting something.)

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And continued rolling and stuffing until the pan was full. I had a bit of leftover beef and onions so I threw those over the top, dumped a large can of enchilada sauce on top, and put enchilada sauce on the grocery list because it looks a bit dry. I’ll add it later.

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I threw the rest of the cheese on top, covered the pan tightly with foil, and stuck it in the freezer for a rainy day. Rainy days are also known as days when I’m too tired to cook. I’m guessing that using up these leftovers right away saved me about forty bucks because Pizza is what we usually get when I don’t want to cook and Pizza (especially gluten free) is ‘spensive.

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Look at that! Isn’t that pretty? It’s a broccoli flower! Yes, a broccoli flower! All of those little green “leaves” on the “dinosaur trees” (my parents had tricks to make us eat veggies) are actually flower buds! This makes me happy, and the flower was delicious.

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