By guest blogger and Swap Shop columnist Sandy Thorn Clark
As I was (once again) purging the refrigerator of leftovers - leftover roast beef and mashed potatoes from Monday night and leftover cranberry salad from ... well, from Easter - I decided it was time to enlist in cookbook author Annette Sym's concept of "Sunday Night - Freezer Night" to spare leftovers an untimely and costly demise in the garbage disposal.
Sym was in Chicago on a whirlwind trip to promote the American version of her "Symply Too Good to be True" cookbook featuring 150 low-fat recipes and the 28-day weight loss program that helped her shed 77 pounds in 1993.
She says her budget-conscious waste-not, want-not solution is to freeze leftovers in individual portions, writing the contents and date on each package.
And then - here's the best part - on Sunday nights, Sym family members go to the freezer and select the leftovers of their choosing. A quick trip to the microwave is all that's needed and, voila, the meal saves time and money.
"It's my fun night. I always volunteer to 'cook' on Sunday nights," kids Sym, 54, who lives in Queensland, Australia.
Sym's favorite uses of leftovers? She makes omelets or frittatas by pouring eggs over leftover cooked or roasted carrots, potatoes and butternut squash ("You've got bliss"); adds salmon or tuna, green onions and a little lemon juice to mashed potatoes for pan-fried rissoles; microwaves veggies and meat in wraps for lunch; uses rotten bananas in cakes, muffins and smoothies; and mounds bolognese sauce, curry or stews over baked potatoes.