Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Healthy snacking next-overs

I’ve a vague idea of me mentioning this in the past but anyway, I’ll say it again: I HATE wasting stuff in the kitchen.
This leads, by turns, to amazing success stories AND epic failures. Ever tried to eat mince stew in a bap? I have. That one is best described as a mixed result.
One of my recent notable epic failures was the time I tried to salvage some brandy and pepper sauce I’d had the day before with steak and chips. There were also some leftover chips in the oven; you can see where this is going, can’t you.
In a bid to save the remnants from the confines of the bin, I tipped the chips into a shallow baking tray and covered the lot with the remaining sauce. I should mention, that a pinky-ful of the sauce on its own had me rolling my eyes in delectation but (and it’s a big one), reheated in the oven, the sauce all but disappeared into the chips, making them unpalatably soggy and gaggingly rich. Waste not want not, though and I duly polished off the lot.
I don’t know what I was thinking. I mean, chips are rich enough without a sauce made from butter, garlic, brandy and cream. That one went straight into the top ten of Leftover Dishes Never to Try Again.
Have you heard of the concept of ‘next-overs’? Basically, they’re like left-overs only it’s an intentional plan where you use the ‘next-overs’ for the following day’s dinner but in a different way than the previous night. It’s left-overs with a plan.
I’ve been doing this before next-overs became a thing. But yes, apparently it’s a thing. Go me!
Like, if we had a simple roast chicken on the Sunday night, I’d know that we could use the remnants the following day to heel into tacos with salsa, cheese, guacamole and/or crema. I might even add some cumin or chilli powder or coriander to the mix to bulk out the Mexican flavours.
Or, if I’m making a spag bol mix on the Saturday, I’ll retain a quarter that I can Mexify the follow day with yet more cumin, chilli powder and coriander. Can you spot the Mexican pattern here?
Last week though, I hit on a new way to have green beans. We were having them as an accoutrement to steak and the following day there were loads left over. This fulfilled the waste-not, want-not premise and also the next-overs concept.
Green beans it turns out (this recipe works equally as well with tenderstem broccoli, I have since discovered) LOVE soy sauce and garlic and you don’t even have to go to the bother of blanching them first either. Although if you have them already cooked, it cuts down on the stir frying time.
I had planned on taking a picture of the green beans (and/or tenderstems) beside a soy marinated salmon fillet but organisation is not my forte of late and I have also arrived at the firm opinion that these little salty/spiky stems make a great healthy finger food when you’re watching something on the box, preferably whilst enjoying a cold beer.
1 tbsp of mild olive oil
1 packet of green beans or tenderstem broccoli (200gs of thereabouts)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsps of soy sauce
1 tsp of sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
grinding of black pepper
Start by heating the oil in a large frying pan and when hot, add the beans or stems. If you’ve already cooked them, they won’t need cooking to the same extent again, so all you have to do is toss them in the oil for a minute on a high heat. If you’re cooking them from raw, give them about two to three minutes until they’re taking a bit of colour and starting to soften, before adding the garlic and chilli and frying for another minute or so.
Add the soy, sesame, sweet chilli and toss everything around on the liquid until coated. After another minute the soy etc will reduce slightly and stick to the veg.
Give it a grinding of pepper and possibly a pinch of salt and they’re done.
Sprinkling with a few shards of red chilli and/or sesame seeds (if you’re feeling fancy) and tah-dah! You’re home on a boat of delicious snacking.
Just in case you think I’m being overly healthy with these snacks, I normally consume a batch of these alongside a supplementary packet of crisps – and that cold beer. Go me!

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