{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Dinner Do-Over

I hate wasting food. Like, a lot. I'm not saying I'm a freegan who jumps into grocery store dumpsters with a flashlight on my forehead digging for bruised tomatoes and dented cans of Spaghettios, but I definitely feel a twinge of remorse when I throw out uneaten produce or meals that didn't quite live up to my expectations. 
Last week I made a roasted tomato and red pepper soup that didn't really light my fire, but I remained convinced I could transform this less-than-stellar soup into a super-tasty somethin' else. One of the most gratifying parts about cooking is the creativity it occasionally requires, so I donned my thinking cap and came up with another use for what I considered kind of a dud.

I grabbed some zucchini and squash from the "reduced for quick sale" bin at my grocery, which offers 6 squash for $1. (Hmmm, maybe I do have some of the freegan-blood swirling in me) and gave them a shimmy in the frying pan with some olive oil and garlic.

Poured the "soup" on top, grated some fresh parmesan and voila! Presto-chango...a deconstructed zucchini parm without the heavy breading. Or, as they say 'round these parts, cheap squash with some old tomato soup poured on top. Who cares? It was a lot better than the original meal, and I didn't waste anything.

What's the best dinner do-over you ever came up with?


  1. Wow - what a save! I don't consider myself a creative cook at all so if it's bad we just keep adding garlic salt until it's edible ;)
    What's the bread in the first photo - is that cheese w/apple?? Mmmmmmm!

  2. this is so creative and sounds just lovely. I am all about saving too and I try my best not to waste food. My favorite do-over would is my sandwhiches with my left over roast.(not so creative right?)

  3. Oooh, i love it when a cooking plan comes together and doesn't get wasted!
    Looks really good, you're making me hungry as it's tea time now! :)

  4. I actually did something similar a few weeks ago. I made a tomato soup that was less than tasty on its own...but I poured it over pasta and steamed veggies, and I ended up enjoying every bite. Great recipe! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

  5. You're so creative, it looks delish! I probably would have just sulked and ate my soup as I cried into it.

  6. fantastic! That looks delicious! hmm best meal do over? I can't think of a do over, but.. I made a butternut squash risotto for dinner with the girls one night. For lunch the next day I had a little bit left over and added spinach, roasted red peppers, and mushrooms topped with more parm...it was quite a tasty re-invention!