Friday, July 25, 2014

14 Leftover Hacks You Have to Try Now

12:59 AM

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Flashback to last Sunday lunch: Alphonse*, a foreign exchange student staying with my family for the month, puts down his utensils and turns to my cousins and I with an flabbergasted look on his face: “Your family serves too much food!” 

All my Filipino homies out there would probably know for a fact that Filipino family gatherings will always amount to large portions of food. So we assured Alphonse that it was totally normal to have that much food and to have relatives try to push food onto your plate (while having them point out your weight, if they’re feeling comfortable with you). In retrospect, we kind of feel bad for the guy, because I don’t think he’s ever witnessed this much food being eaten in a short amount of time, let alone encountered the concept of the food pusher. Maybe he doesn't have those characters in his family. Or culture.

Ah, the food pusher - there will be drug pushers, the peers who will pressure you into things you will not want to do, and the people who try to push you into vice, but none of them will be as notorious as the food pusher. Yes – that infamous relative that transforms shoveling food and persuasive speech an Olympic sport. It’s like they literally kill you with kindness.

From my experience [and ironically enough], Food Pushers seem to be pretty fit. As someone who loves food past the “normal psychological standard” (or something like that), this thought gave me some discomfort. How can someone who loves eating be able to support that physique? At the time, the components never seemed to add up. After some time, a relative of mine decided to enlighten me with the concept of the “Push Away” Method: they would take a bite, say that it’s good, pass it around, and then trick you into getting majority of the contents of their plate.

(Insert tires screeching to a halt.)

But Author, what does this have to do with being sustainable and being healthy? What the heck are you rambling about?

Yes, I have been known for rambling, Reader, and I do have a point to why I’ve placed lengthy anecdotes. Number 1, once I’ve read something, I tend to write in the tone of what I’ve read (in this case, I’ve recently read Mindy Kaling’s autobiography, in which she does put some of her musings into detail, and which I realize is totally unnecessary to replicate). And number 2, this month’s theme is all about new beginnings. Since this is the food section, we might as well talk about healthy beginnings (I say “beginnings” instead of “eating” or “diets” because I am not a medical professional, and you have no obligation to copy me – this is just from experience). And usually, if you think about “starting anew,” you would do what TV, magazines, movies, and the Internet have taught you over the years – throw away the bad food, hit the grocery, try out a diet and then exercise like a “beast.” Throw in a catchy makeover playlist and a movie montage if you will.

So if you want to start out anew, why not hit two birds with one stone?

Hypothetically, let’s say, that you would want to start eating healthy. The first step would be ridding your fridge/storage area of whatever junk food you find. But technically, junk food is still food, and throwing it out just like that would be a waste. Enter the Push Away Method: If we made this leftover junk food more appealing, you could actually pull it off as something you can pass to someone else! Not only are you saving food from being wasted, but you are also giving it away as something good, and you get to keep your waistline and wallet intact! It’s hitting four birds with one stone (if that were possible)! So where do we start?

Let’s take a look at your fridge/storage area:

1. Leftover Chocolate/Candy

A. THOSE FORGOTTEN KIT KAT BARS: Kit Kat Cream Cheese Brownies (Recipe here)

B. CANDY FROM THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW: Chocolate Bunny Bark (Recipe here)

C. YOUR SECRET STASH OF REESE’S PIECES: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake (Recipe here)

D. THE M&M’S FROM YOUR LAST SLEEPOVER JUNK FEST: Marshmallow Peeps Cookie Sandwiches (Recipe here)

E. THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE: Nutella Stuffed Browned Butter Blondies (Recipe here)

2. Leftover Chips

A. THE NOVA PACK YOUR MOM DIDN’T FINISH: Skillet Nachos (Recipe here)

B. THE CHEETOS PACK YOUR FRIEND LEFT BEHIND: Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders (Recipe here)

C. THE LAYS PACK YOU WERE SAVING FOR YOUR MOVIE MARATHON: Duchess Potatoes (aka Mashed Potato Chips) (Recipe here)

3. Leftover Pizza 

A. TAKE-OUT FROM YOUR FRIEND’S HOUSE: Pizza Eggs (Recipe here)

B. THE STUDY GROUP SCRAPS: Pizza Quiche (Recipe here)

C. PIZZA PARTY SURVIVORS: Pizza Lasagna (Recipe here)

4. Leftover Pasta 
A. RAVIOLI FROM THE ITALIAN RESTAURANT YOU ATE IN LAST NIGHT: Fried Ravioli with Cheesy Marinara Dipping Sauce (can be substituted with leftover ravioli) (Recipe here)


C. LAST NIGHT’S DINNER: Pizza di Spaghetti (Recipe here)

Author, how do you know all of this is going to work? 
We have no way for sure. The method speaks of a hypothetical situation with a hypothetical result. Even though my relative once proclaimed that the Push Away Method is a lot more effective than any diets of the he had tried in the past, [as of now] there is no statistical way of calculating success rates. But we can all agree that the Food Pushers really had something going on. Without them, how would be have our article? You can make tons of stuff with food you already have. You’re helping sustain food and your waistline.

So get creative with whatever you have left… And make sure that it’s not expired!

[As for Alphonse, if he is reading this right now, brace yourself (and your pants) for another two weeks. You can’t give up on us now!!!]

*Changed the name because publicity, yo. And yes, Alphonse is a totally legitimate European name. I double-checked on (my research skills are over the top)

**To my future son, who might be reading this: please stop judging me. Your name has nothing to do with the article.

Article by Mikee

Art by Isa

Mikee - One-cup magical procrastination powers, quarter-cup of gibberish, and a generous amount of FEEELS that has been baking under the Philippine sun since 1995. Filmmaker, baker, lover of the light, and your go-to supplier for staple wires (next to National Bookstore).

Isa is 18 years old, currently studying graphic design and illustration. She is known for her erratic sleeping schedule and over usage of exclamation points and smiley faces so she doesn't sound mean on the Internet.


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