Spring is here. The snow behind our house is almost gone, and our crocuses are blooming all over.
Easter is over. The Passover Seder is over too, though eating matzoh goes on for a few days more.
The meat served on Easter depends on ethnic traditions. Most Americans serve ham. In Poland, roast loin of pork is most common. Others serve lamb because Jesus is the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.
Jewish traditions also vary. While the disciples at their Seder most likely ate lamb, many modern American Jews favor beef brisket.
Whatever you ate, you probably have lots of leftovers. Sure, you can freeze some of the meat – but even if you do, you will still need to find ways to use it.
Leftover meat can be used in many ways.
Stir-fry vegetables and add the meat and soy sauce at the end. Serve over rice or another grain.
Add to pasta with fresh greens (like spinach or kale) and shredded cheese or a sauce.
Combine with potatoes and vegetables in a saucepan.
Use in Shepherd’s Pie or Pot Pie instead of hamburger.
Mexican staples like burritos and quesadillas can be made with leftover meat.
Add to a variety of salads — green salads, pasta salads, potato salads, grain salads.
Veggie and Meat Burrito
3 – 4 tortillas
I Tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 clove garlic
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cups shredded kale
1 to 2 cups cooked mashed squash, sweet potato carrot or pumpkin
2 cups diced cooked ham or other meat
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Heat oil in large skillet. Add diced onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Sprinkle and salt and cook 5-10 minutes. Add kale and a little broth, cover, and cook on low another 10 minutes. Stir in ham or other leftover meat and cook 5 more minutes. Stir in cooked, mashed squash or carrot. (To cook, dice and boil in salted water until soft, 10-15 minutes).
Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons cheese over the tortilla. Place 1/3 or 1/4 or the filling in the center. Fold bottom over, then fold sides over, then roll up. Place seam side down on baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Sprinkle remainder of cheese over the top, and bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes, until cheese melts and tortillas crisp a little.
Serves 3 or 4. Serve with a side salad.
Barley and Veggie Salad
1 cup barley (other options: couscous, brown rice, farro or millet)
2 broth cups
3/4 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
2 cups diced cooked ham (you can try with lamb or roast beef, also)
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2-3 scallions or 1/2 sweet onion
1/2 cup minced fresh arugula (or other fresh herbs like parsley or thyme)
1 medium carrot (1/2 cup shredded or chopped)
1 stalk celery, sliced (or 1/2 cup)
1 small apple, cored and chopped
For garnish: 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts, 1 or 2 Tablespoons craisins
About 1/2 pound Romaine lettuce or spinach leaves
Place barley, cranberries and broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook until liquid is absorbed (follow package directions).
While grain is cooking, dice the meat and prepare vegetables.
In a large bowl, combine cooked grain and ham (or other meat).
In a small bowl or jar, mix dressing ingredients. For over hot, cooked grain and turkey. Stir in veggies, herbs and fruit (except for the greens).
To serve, line 4 salad bowls with the Romaine lettuce or spinach. Spoon barley salad evenly on top of greens. Garnish with chopped walnuts and additional craisins.