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Welcome to The Smart Mom Manual. I'm Winnie Yu, mom blogger at CompletelyYou.com. My daughters, Samantha and Annie, are 14 and 12. Like most moms, I'm still trying to perfect the balancing act that we all know as motherhood in the modern world. Please don't hesitate to write to me as you read my blog. You can also tweet me @Completely_You. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lovin’ Those Leftovers

By Winnie Yu for Completely You

My favorite meal of the week is the one I made days before. Not the fresh pot of chili, the hot-out-of-the-oven homemade pizza or the new batch of mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s the old one, the one that’s been sitting in my fridge, sometimes for a few days.

Yes, it’s the leftovers.

Of course, I’m being a little facetious here. But the truth is, I love leftovers. Why? Because it means I don’t have to cook. It means all I have to do is open up my fridge and throw something in the oven or microwave.

That’s why I always like to make a little extra when I do cook. That’s why I keep a giant stash of containers and lids that invariably tumble out of my cabinets. That’s why some days, my refrigerator looks more like a giant display of Tupperware than a warehouse for chilling foods.

Leftovers night tends to fall on Thursdays. I usually cook on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After I accumulate three days worth of leftovers, I announce to my family that it’s Leftovers Night, and I tell them they can eat anything they want that’s in the fridge. Sometimes, that can make for some eclectic meals, as in chicken fajitas with a side of Chinese stir-fry veggies. By the time dinner ends, the plastic containers are emptied, and our tummies are full.

Having an extra fridge allows me to extend leftovers into the more distant future too. Kudos to my mother-in-law, who years ago talked me into putting an extra fridge in my basement. The extra space allows me to freeze some of the foods I make. On those super busy days, I can make dinner simply by grabbing something from my extra freezer.

So let’s celebrate those leftovers, those wonderful meals that come from cooking a little bit more and eating a little bit less.

For more great health and lifestyle content, check out the rest of Completely You

Photo: Corbis Images

Winnie Yu is Completely You’s mom blogger. She has two daughters (Samantha, 14, and Annie, 12) and is the author of seven books, including New Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding and What to Eat for What Ails You. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Woman’s Day, AARP Bulletin, Prevention and WebMD.com.

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