Thursday Leftovers

Incidental to having meatless Fridays in a weekly cycle when groceries are usually procured on either Thursday or Friday, we usually have to clean out our perishables on Thursday. Frequently we have, say, deli meats or leftover beef taco filling that still would be safe eating on Friday, but since we’re not eating red meat or chicken on Fridays, that would leave the leftovers to Saturday, by which point they might be a little too, um… gamey. So. Thursday has become the day to make magic with what otherwise would be growing mold in another two days.


McTortilla Soup in the Slow Cooker
(The title has nothing to do with a fast food joint. It’s just my way of warning people that, “Hey, the Irish girl is cooking in a medium in which the Good Lord may never have intended Irish people to dabble, so don’t expect authentic cuisine here.”)

2 cups-ish of leftover taco filling: ours is ground beef, corn, the last of the homemade salsa, diced tomatoes
1 15.5oz can black beans
1 15oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes (we’re using cilantro & lime)
1/2 c chunky salsa
3 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons uncooked hominy (aka “quick grits”)
Corn chips or tortilla chips
Toppings of your choice: shredded cheddar, sliced olives, sour cream, avocado, chopped cilantro, etc etc

Put all but the chips and toppings into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 2-4 hours, low for 6-8 hours. Pour into bowls and garnish with a handful of crushed chips. Top otherwise as you see fit.

UPDATE: 2 out of 3 children surveyed gave it an Empty Bowl Rating. Not bad. The toddler (1 of the 2 out of 3) was eating it by the fistful, because apparently the spoon wasn’t fast enough.

Mr. Mackerelsnapper and I have begun the discussion about what to do for tomorrow night’s (Friday’s) dinner. The family schedule is such that it would be far more practical to just eat out, and we even have a Long John Silver’s near enough to make that both affordable and manageable. However, we could really stretch ourselves and pack a meatless dinner. That part’s not so hard. The hard part is where to eat it, given that it’s cold and wet out there. The only option is to eat in the car. I think First Shift of Kids is ready for that. Second Shift, however, is picky and a toddler (I know, is there any other kind?), so decisions need to be made.

I feel a bit silly asking the Holy Spirit to guide us on something so trivial, but I’m asking anyway!


About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at .

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