Second Helpings

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An astonishing 30-40% of food goes to waste in the U.S. “As well as being financially foolish, wasting food damages the planet because it accelerates climate change,” notes food writer and cookbook author Sue Quinn in her latest cookbook, Second Helpings: Delicious Dishes to Transform Your Leftovers, which aims to keep food from our own kitchens out of the trash. Quinn kicks off with a chapter of recipes for base dishes (soup, pasta bake, risotto, to name a few) that teach the reader skills that can be used for everyday meals. She moves to sections on small plates, light meals, main meals, sweet things and bits and bobs, the last of which includes ways to incorporate leftovers such as mashed potatoes, salad greens and the spoonfuls and scrapings left in various types of jarred foods.The book’s structure gives many different options for each recipe, resulting in numerous dishes to use up the items you have on hand. I made the roast dinner enchiladas using some cooked chicken from the night before, sliced peppers and jarred tomatoes, which transformed into an amazing sauce when simmered with Quinn’s suggested mix of spices. Second Helpings is the perfect blueprint for repurposing leftover food into other nutritious, delicious meals.

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