Friday, October 8, 2010

Leftovers: waste not, want not

You make a great meal for dinner, and then have tons leftover the next day.  If you like leftovers, you can have this meal again the next day for lunch, or even for dinner again.  If you don't like leftovers then the food gets thrown out which is such a waste.
Leftovers are the gift that keeps on giving.  Reusing and conserving is very eco-friendly as nothing goes to waste.    Here's a few ideas for what to do with leftovers that you wouldn't really think of using again.

This is one of the more versatile foods to turn into leftovers, by far.  If you roast a whole chicken, you can take the leftover carcass and put it in a pot with water and veggies and make your own chicken stock.  I usually make a chicken tortilla soup with this stock and the leftover meat.  Delicious.  If you make any other kind of chicken, you can cut it up and use it in quesadillas, chicken pasta, or chicken salad sandwich.

This another very useful leftover.  If you get a loaf of french bread, ciabatta, challah, or any other bakery bread, you can cut the leftovers in cubes to make croutons.  Day old bread is perfect for french toast or bread pudding.  And even older bread is great for making your own breadcrumbs.  Also, you can top a toasted piece on your french onion soup.  Mmmmm!

I get the packs of pork tenderloin that come with 2 in it, and after making a roast with it for dinner, I cube it and make pork fried rice for dinner the next night.  Just add some veggies like carrots, zucchini, and green onions and it's a very filling meal.  Another meal you can make of leftover pork is a Cuban panini, with peppers, mayo, and sundried tomatoes.

Don't throw out the bananas that are getting spotty or black!  These are perfect for moist banana bread.  Add some chocolate chips in it and the kids won't even know they're eating something healthy.

Use this leftover in stir-fry, fried rice, or in your kids mac n cheese.  Or you can make a delicious broccoli and cheese soup.

After this vegetable has been made, it's great to add in lasagna (just mix in with the ricotta cheese and layer as usual).  You could also mix it with artichokes and parmesan cheese for a quick dip.

Halloween is just around the corner and there are always bags and bags left at my house, which starts the 6 month binge of eating candy for holidays every month until Easter.  If you don't want it just sitting in your house all that time, how about chopping up the candy and adding it to cookies, frosting, or even a milkshake.  Candy canes are especially great to mix your hot chocolate for a minty treat.

The holidays are coming sooner than I'd like, but one guarantee is leftover turkey.  There are a million and one recipes for leftover turkey.  My favorite is turkey tetrazzini or turkey panini's.

Make a sausage roll up for breakfast the next day by wrapping the pancake around a sausage link.  Better than McD's.

Flake the salmon to make salmon cakes by mixing it with eggs and breadcrumbs from your day old loaf of bread. :)

Slice thin the next day and top on a salad, or add bell peppers and onions to make fajitas.

Hope these ideas will give your leftovers a second life and keep them out of the trash can.  Bon appetit!

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