Foodcycling: Reinventing leftovers

Polenta Fries & Roasted Red Pepper Brussel Sprouts

Most of us have done it a time or two, requested or served breakfast foods for dinner. It’s not only fun, it’s a  great way to recycle and reinvent meals. I know most kids love the idea. A critical component to what we do at Earth’s Elements is “FOODCYCLING”, a low-waste, cost-effective approach to sustainable living and eating well.

This is the story of birth and how excess, leftover grits from a weekend breakfast favorite became a dinner menu. We love yellow corn grits, also known by others as polenta. It’s warm, creamy and definitely satiating. Especially fitting during cold winter months. Corn grits, non-GMO, and organic, seasoned with pink sea salt, nutritional yeast and dulse flakes gives you that fish and grits classic, without the flesh. So instead of sending a perfectly cold  pot of corn grits to the trash, reinventing it felt like the right thing to do. And the best part, is that you can mold the grits into whatever shape or form you prefer, they are pretty forgiving, like cool clay.

Making polenta fries is not only a great addition to dinner, it’s quite simple and low-fat. The only fat is what you choose to grease your pan with to avoid sticking while baking. Once you have cooled grits, selected the seasoning of your choice, and greased a baking pan, all that’s left is molding and baking them in the oven. You can even make crusted polenta balls if you care to take your food adventure to the next level. Or you can pair it with a delicious side of vegetables, soup, or salad.

Grateful to have Brussels sprouts on hand and you guessed it…. It became a great compliment to the solar plexus balancing effect of corn. Brussels sprouts, in season, multi-dimensional and at the top of list of all cruciferous vegetables are super- nutritious. All of which I touched upon in previous blog on brussels sprout slaw. High in antioxidants, vitamin C, E and A, a source of nourishment for the heart chakra and high water content reflects none but the quality and energy of the moon. Just be sure not to overcook brussels sprouts, to retain as much nutritional value and keep sulfur compounds at bay. I have also included a nutritional analysis if you are interested in learning more about the mineral and energy content of this amazing vegetable.

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group), fresh, Nutrition value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)


Nutrient Value

Percentage of RDA

Energy 43 Kcal 2%
Carbohydrates 8.95 g 7%
Protein 3.38 g 6%
Total Fat 0.30 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3.80 g 10%


Folates 61 µg 15%
Niacin 0.745 mg 4.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.309 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.219 mg 17%
Riboflavin 0.90 mg 7%
Thiamin 0.139 mg 13%
Vitamin A 754 IU 25%
Vitamin C 85 mg 142%
Vitamin K 177 µg 147%


Sodium 25 mg 1.5%
Potassium 389 mg 8%


Calcium 42 mg 4%
Copper 0.70 mg 8%
Iron 1.40 mg 17.5%
Magnesium 23 mg 6%
Manganese 0.337 mg 15%
Phosphorus 69 mg 10%
Selenium 1.6 µg 3%
Zinc 0.42 mg 4%


Carotene-α 6 µg
Carotene-ß 450 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 1590 µg

Combined with a contemplative practice while cooking and eating, you have a meal that you can feel good about eating in more ways than one.

Would love to hear about how have you reinvented leftovers or FOODCYCLED, so please share!

©2012 by Elizabette Andrade. All Rights Reserved.


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