Let’s play a game…it’s called: “Guess what the above photo is” (I know I know, where do I come up with these names?). A pile of rocks? A close-up of a swamp? Nope. How about some slightly freezer-burned-but-still usable and totally delicious frozen leftover’s of Katie’s Mushroom Barley stew? Yep, you got it!
I made this stuff a couple of weeks back, and never got around to posting it (plus, I figured you could just read all about it on RFKW). I changed the veggies and seasonings a bit, based on what I had on hand, added some dried mushrooms, but kept the recipe the same other than that….delicious! We had one portion in the freezer, and the tupperware somehow got broken (hence the freezer burn) so I wanted to use it up. I made a few additions, turning one portion into two, and another tasty meal. When it comes to leftovers, I’m a re-invent and re-imagine kinda girl (but Katie, it’s not because your stew wasn’t already delicious), so here’s how I re-imagined this stuff.
I started by chopping up some garlic (surprise, surprise), onion, eggplant, red pepper and mushrooms. I sautéed them in 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat until slightly browned.
Then, I added a bunch of chopped kale, and cooked until it had wilted. To the veggies, I added the frozen stew, 1 cup of Romano beans (leftover in the fridge after the veggie stew…when I have leftover beans, I am always itching to use them, as they get slimy SO fast) and some canned tomatoes. I seasoned with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning and dried thyme and added a bay leaf. I brought it to a boil, then reduced heat simmered for about half an hour….long enough for the frozen stew to thaw and everything to blend together. This made two hearty and SUPER-filling bowls of bean, barley and veggie stew (my mom couldn’t even finish hers)!
Now, I had planned to make turkey bacon BLTs on the side, but I was in for a nasty surprise when I opened the package – super-slimy turkey bacon. Too slimy even for me to use! So I went for plan B – opened the freezer, found some frozen pre-cooked chicken breast pieces, and made a Mediterranean chicken pita. I filled two light pitas with the chicken (tossed with a bit of Greek seasoning), spinach, tomato, red onion and spread with a bit of my fav – PC Blue Menu Tzatziki and seasoned with a bit of garlic salt and pepper. Turned out a pretty yummy plan B! And the light, fresh flavours went perfectly with the hearty, filling stew.
I’d say if you compare the top and bottom photos, it makes a pretty good before and after, wouldn’t you? I guess I’m all about the remixing this week. What do you do when an ingredient you were planning to cook with has gone bad? Do you totally scrap the meal, or just improvise a little?