There’s a rhythm to the kitchen. After a few evenings of full-on home-cooked meals, the refrigerator holds leftovers that need to be eaten. This means cooking takes a back seat to “meal assembly” for the next few evenings. Instead of serving the same thing multiple nights in a row (meatloaf AGAIN?), I have a better shot at getting the family to eat things a second time around when the leftovers are re-assembled. Take tonight’s supper.

If that leftover meatloaf wasn’t eaten soon, it was headed for the trash. A half-loaf of mulitgrain French bread was leftover from the weekend and a small casserole dish of leftover pizza sauce was taking up freezer space. Sounded like the makings of pizza bread to me.

After slicing the bread horizontally in half, I brushed the cut sides with olive oil. The bread then toasted at 300°F for a few minutes while I quickly browned slices of the meatloaf. The bread was topped with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and the meatloaf. This returned to the oven to melt the cheese and warm all ingredients.

While the pizza bread warmed in the oven, the (leftover) pizza sauce was stirred into a sauté of thinly sliced onion and colored bell peppers. I spooned this bell pepper-tomato sauce alongside the pizza breads and called it supper. (The sauce went on the side as I figured my girls would at least try the sauce if it was on the side. If it went over the pizza bread, they’d most likely turn their cute little noses up at the whole dish.)

Leftover (frozen) green beans added a bit more veggie to the meal and also ensured my girls would eat vegetables, seeing how they’d be passing on the bell pepper-tomato sauce after their token bite. Tonight’s meal will not go down in my family’s “greatest meals of all time” memories. Just the same, we enjoyed a fun–if basic–meal with good flavors. It had the whole-grain carb, protein, dairy, and lots of vegetable. And there’s now room in the refrigerator for when the kitchen rhythm picks up again.


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