Growing up the youngest in a family of five I was lucky to have a mother who worked very hard to get a wholesome well-rounded meal on the table every night by 6 o'clock. If my memory serves me right, dinner was different every night each week except for one random night that my mother named "Must Goes".
"Must-Goes" night was a sort of last hurrah of all the leftovers from dinner throughout the week. Macaroni and cheese served alongside a ham and cheddar quiche. Maybe some creamed corn with some tuna casserole. Typically, there were many choices on "Must-Goes" night with the only rule being we had to eat, but what we ate was up to us. My brothers and I would try to lay claim to our favorite dishes first to avoid less desirable leftovers. Needless to say, when it was "Must-Goes" night we got to the table quick to get the best of what was leftover before someone else did.
I've written about my aversion to leftovers before, but I want to make clear that it's not the result of my mother's random "Must-Goes" dinner nights growing up. When cooking for a family of five leftovers are typically not in abundance, which means serving them all up on one night is usually enough to clear the fridge for the next grocery shop, as well as to clear the conscious knowing that nothing is going to waste.
Cooking and shopping for one is a whole other situation. Following traditional recipes means there could be potentially days of leftovers looming, which is probably where I developed my great dislike of them. The idea of eating the exact same thing for days is completely disheartening and depressing. So trying to balance the need for a different meal every night to avoid potential culinary depression with the desire to not waste food or money often proves to be a challenge.
I don't have the solution yet, but I did make some baked chicken this morning that can be used in a variety of ways over the next couple of days. I baked it at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes with some basil, thyme and butter. I figure I can use it for sandwiches, maybe toss it in a salad or add it to some pasta and tomato sauce.
This is what it looked like before I put it in the oven...
I forgot to take a picture after it came out, so look at the above picture and imagine the butter all melted and bubbly around the herb covered chicken.