Monday, February 11, 2013

Leftover Series #3: Great Uses for Porridge and Pilaf


In keeping with my promise to make good use of all the food we have and avoid wasting, I have discovered wonderful uses for two of my least favourite leftovers: porridge, and pilaf. Cold porridge used to either get ignored on the stove until it was inedible, or packed into the fridge and left there until it was past its prime.
I have already published other posts about leftover porridge, and have made bread and cookies from it in the past. I have also been regularly making cooked oatmeal scones, thanks to this recipe. My husband often blends quinoa and large flake oats to make a filling and protein-rich breakfast. If there's even a cup leftover, I'll save it and turn it into equally filling and protein-rich scones.

That got me pondering another possibility: probably our biggest food waste issue is pilafs. I often make a whole-grain side dish of some sort, from barley, quinoa or some other grain, and there's always more than we can eat, and all of us are less than enthusiastic about seeing it a second time. It often sits until it's beyond using, and then I grind my teeth about waste as I scrape it into the compost.

But if you can make great scones out of leftover porridge, why couldn't you use the same basic recipe and make biscuits out of leftover pilaf? The answer is: YOU CAN!

Using the same recipe but adapting it for the savouriness of the pilaf, I pulled off some excellent biscuits—studded with onions, mushrooms, peppers and celery, which had all been cooked with the quinoa I used as the base—that lined up beautifully next to a slow-cooked lamb and beans recipe I served to guests on Saturday night. There will be many more batches of these little lovelies in my future, since there always seems to be pilaf around. And we will all enjoy them far more in their biscuit form (and they're freezable, too!)

Savoury cooked grain biscuits

2 T. butter
1 c. cold leftover pilaf (I used a quinoa and vegetable pilaf, but I will be experimenting with others)
2/3 c. milk
1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Melt butter and stir into pilaf along with milk. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into the grain mixture. Add cheddar cheese, if using. Batter should be stiff but quite sticky. Gather together and place on a well-floured surface. Pat into 3/4" thickness, and cut into squares, triangles or circles (or whatever shape you like). Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes.

One more waste prevention tactic in place...check!


1 comment:

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