It is very environmentally friendly to reduce the amount of food we throw away. By transforming leftovers into "new" dishes that our family members will eat more readily than leftovers that look exactly like what was in front of them the night before (or several nights before), we are taking a small step towards helping our planet, because that food is less likely to end up in the trash. One less chicken that needed to lose its life, fewer resources that went into the food production, whether plants or animals growing, less energy consumed to transport it, and possibly to process it. A great way to deal with leftovers is to take the chicken off the bone after the first meal, and if you don't anticipate using it the next day, put it in a container or zip lock bag in the freezer until you are ready to use it again. When I made this dish, I used leftovers from 3 nights: a little bit of the chicken braised in red wine (and the vegetables, etc. from the sauce), plus a little bit of chicken left on the carcass from the roast chicken I made another night, plus leftover pasta (I cooked 2 pounds instead of 1 pound, using half one night with tomato sauce and half for this recipe, warmed up in the microwave). Before you turn your nose up at this, let me tell you that each of my three children pronounced it "not bad." OK, this is not a gourmet meal, but it IS greenplaneteating.
1 onion, chopped
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS flour
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups (approximately) leftover chicken, vegetables, and sauce from Chicken in Red Wine posted on this blog January 13, 2012 and from any other leftover chicken dishes you might have
1 bunch broccoli, florets and stems cut into bite-sized pieces
Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until translucent. Add flour and stir. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until thick and smooth sauce forms. Add leftover chicken, sauce and vegetables. The leftover sauce has lots of flavor that contributes to the flavor of this "new" dish. Add broccoli. Stir and heat. Cook until broccoli is tender. Serve over pasta.
Why I Am Posting These Recipes
I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.