A Lesson from Shredded Lettuce

“in abundance beyond measure”

1 Chronicles 22:3



So Monday night was Bible study.   The high school study that the Apple of my Eye teaches.  And one of the fun things about that night is that dinner is provided.  There are a few volunteers that take turns providing dinner for all of us, and last Monday it was tacos with a side of really awesome homemade refried beans.  Or, as we call them at our house:  frijoles refritos.


Anyhow, as we were cleaning up after dinner, our friend Joe, who had made dinner, said that he didn’t want any of the leftovers (tomatoes, lettuce, rice, tortillas and sour cream).  A few of the other volunteers took some of the items, and we took home the rest, including the shredded lettuce.


Two and a half pounds of shredded lettuce.  That’s a lot o’ lettuce.  {Go ahead and say that last part out loud.  You know you want to.}


I was happy to take the food home, because I really dislike wasting food.  Consequently, I have become pretty creative at using ingredients that would otherwise go bad or get thrown out.  But this was a new challenge for me.


So, Tuesday evening for dinner we had chicken enchilada casserole.  This seemed like a place where I might add fresh lettuce and tomatoes (on top, after baking) so on a whim, I decided that cooked lettuce and tomatoes might work, too.  So I sauteed a skillet-full of the lettuce, with olive oil, a little butter and some sea salt.  Then I layered it in with the tortillas, chicken and enchilada sauce.  And you know what?  It was good.  My whole family gave it a thumbs-up.


Wednesday evening I decided to make pork chops.  Pork chops, of course, go great with apples, and I often sautee the apples with shredded cabbage.  I had no cabbage, but you know what I did have?  So, I sauteed lettuce with red wine vinegar, diced apples, and a tablespoon or so of brown sugar.  It was a hit.  And frankly, it was hard to tell it wasn’t cabbage.  A bit of texture difference is all.


Thursday evening was tacos.  Easy enough, right?  We all help when it’s taco night, but this time no one had to prepare lettuce for our tacos.  Which my peeps were pretty happy about.


And Friday night we had Chinese.  Our usual is orange chicken, teriyaki chicken, fried rice and potstickers.  But we were out of potstickers, which worked out well, because I had already decided I was going to make homemade chow mein.  Again, a place where one might find cabbage.  So I sauteed onion, bok choi, julienned carrot and lettuce, and added them to cooked ramen noodles.  My wise, creative, Asian-food-loving daughter threw together a sauce, and there you have it!  Or there we had it. 


My family and I joked a little, about the week of lettuce.  But they’ve seen it from me before.  Reinventing, re-imagining, re-creating…  They are all a part of taking care of my home and my family while being a good custodian of what God has given us. 


But all week I kept thinking of a line that a friend of mine sometimes says.  “Don’t waste good.”  And my mind kept taking that line and applying it in other areas of life, but over and over I kept thinking about it in terms of how God has gifted us.  Ephesians 4 says He created some of us to be evangelists, some to be pastors, some to be teachers, etc. for the betterment and edification of the church.  And any time we’re not using those gifts, we’re wasting good.


Which is a whole lot worse than wasting shredded lettuce.



~ “to each one of us grace was given

according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ~

Ephesians 4:7

~ “complete in every good work,

to do His will,

working in you what is well pleasing in His sight” ~

Hebrews 13:21


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