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LET--US Eat Leftovers

Frugal ideas are like softball pitches: they arrive in various styles.   My softball pitcher daughter has taught me that play areas arrive as fastballs, slow balls, change-ups, curves, rises, drops, and screwballs.  A good pitcher throws a range of motion.  So too, any released idea can reformulate into frugality.

Thus let’s “toss out into the playing field leftover LETTUCE."  Or wait: Do we??

butter lettuce

butter lettuce

Case in point:  Saint Cecilia Super Supper  (where Saint Cecilia Catholic Church feeds the hungry) this May with my WILD LADIES SALAD TEAM.

Mission: To prepare two salads for our 40+guests.   Mary Lou Upton, Kristin von Kreisler, and Judy Morel brought their usual additions (tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.) to add to my lettuce and dressing.  Meanwhile, I dragged in dying romaine heads along with fresh ones hoping to use the wilted ones first.  While chopping, I lamented over the wasted leaves, and the ladies pronounced, “Oh, you can add those to soups, stews, or stir-fries!” A commendable curveball.

romaine lettuce

romaine lettuce

Switch to: Bainbridge High School softball field, Monday 7 April, when the weather was 70 degrees, and we were happily winning.   My husband, Michael, had watched Forks over Knives on spring break and decided to become vegetarian.  After the game, I had to prepare my first meatless stir fry. No moms in the bleachers could give me any good ideas, so I decided to try a screw ball-recipe with some leftover wilted lettuce greens.

Now: Home to prep our dinner.  On the chopping block were old sprouting potatoes, several horse-sized carrots,  wilted garlic cloves, kale, celery, and diced romaine lettuce in you know what condition, and the secret meatless stuff--tempeh.  I would sneak in a soy product on Michael-- a drop ball.  He and Deahna were bent over algebra problems, not watching: thank goodness.  So after the extra-virgin coconut oil heated, in went the vegetables, root vegetables first.  And for extra measure, I threw in a four-day-old leftover bag of salad.  My son, David, dropped by and said, “Hey, this is a great blend of flavors!”  He got a container full.

Michael and Deahna were served.    Michael’s remark?  “What is this stuff??”  I knew what ingredient he was referring to, and it wasn’t the wilted lettuce.  And wanting to fork and knife him on the spot, like any strong umpire calling a strike, I responded, “Eat it!  Just eat it!”  He did and pronounced it good! 

Genesis 1:18 “And God saw that it was good.” RSV

just plain lettuce

just plain old-fashioned head lettuce


Need a fearless fastball to get some vegetation into your offspring?  Puree those cooked greens and add to macaroni and cheese or spaghetti noodles.  Call them “Green Mac and Cheese” or “Green Spaghetti.”   Also, add chopped veggies to the meatloaf.  No one will know!

                  Erika Williams Frugal Frittata (a distinguished drop ball) serves 6

Use ANY Leftovers in the refrigerator, enough to fill the bottom of a 10 inch greased skillet or glass or metal baking pan.

Cut up leftovers into small pieces (add anything to balance it out, e.g., lunchmeat, veggies, or cooked pasta).

In a bowl, whisk 6-8 eggs. Add salt and pepper and/or herbs to taste along with 1/4–1/2 Cup milk and–enough fluid to cover leftovers.

Pour egg mixture over cut-up leftovers.

Sprinkle ½ cup cheese on top before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes  ENJOY—FRUGALLY!!


Martha Wild King, M. Ed., Author

The Frugal Catholic: Learn to live on less to give and save more.

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