Making the Most of Leftovers
Have you ever prepared a delicious meal, and then when the meal is over, you look around and notice that you have a ton of leftovers? It happens to everyone. But what do you do with them?
There’s a quote that says, “Happiness is enough leftovers in the frig so that you don’t need to cook.” So be happy that you have them – and then put them to work. After all, there’s no need to waste such a delicious meal!
- Use Them for Lunches: This is an obvious choice, but you might be surprised by how many people don’t eat their leftovers for lunch. Sure, you may not want them the next day, but leftovers will last a few days in the refrigerator. One suggestion to make sure you use them for lunch is to pack them up as a mini-meal as soon as dinner is over. Here are a few containers which work great for packing leftovers:
- Freeze Them: Not in the mood for leftovers? Then freeze them! Portion them out for meals and find some space in your freezer so you can enjoy them at a future time. Enjoying a great meal down the road is the way to go.
- Repurpose Them: When it comes to leftovers, a little creativity can certainly help! Instead of just reheating your fabulous meal, think about what you can do to repurpose it. Not sure what to do with them – here are a few ideas to help!
- Soups: You can easily pick up some broth or stock at the supermarket and add your leftovers to it to create a whole new dish. Vegetables and proteins work great and feel free to add your already cooked pasta in at the end.
- Stir Frys: A stir fry can be created with just about anything – making it perfect for leftovers. Add a little vegetable oil to your wok and add in your leftovers. You can always add a few additional veggies and your favorite Asian sauces. Cook up some rice for a complete meal.
- Broths and Stocks: If you have some plain vegetables and meats, and even some bones, you can create a broth or stock for future meals. They freeze well, too.
- Burritos: Pick up some burrito-sized wraps at the grocery store and stuff it full of leftovers for a meal you can take on the go!
- Quesadillas: If you’ve got cheese and flour tortillas, you could create a quesadilla for lunch or dinner that utilizes your leftovers. Don’t get stuck thinking you have to have Mexican flavors for a quesadilla!
- Omelets: Who said dinner leftovers can only be used for dinner? Omelets are good anytime – breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Steak and egg omelet with some leftover vegetables for breakfast, anyone?
- Calzones – Grab your favorite pizza dough and stuff it with your leftovers! Yum!
- Pasta Dishes – Cook off your favorite pasta and add your leftovers to it for a hearty meal.
- Quiches – A quiche is a blank canvas – which works well for leftovers. Just add your leftovers into your egg mixture and bake.
- Pot Pies – Store-bought pie crust works well for making pot pies. You can add your leftovers with a bit of gravy and make something tasty!
- Salads – Add leftovers to a salad for a meal.
- Meal Exchange: Once per week, have a lunchtime meal exchange at work. You can bring in your leftovers for someone else to enjoy, while you partake in what they’ve prepared.
Don’t let leftovers sit in the refrigerator or end up in the trash. Make the most of them by putting some of these simple ideas into practice.