5 Ways To Reinvent Leftovers
Personally, I love leftovers but I also understand they are not everyone's cup of tea. It can get boring to eating the same thing over and over again, but by pitching your amazing food is a terrible waste of effort and money. If leftovers have you feeling a bit "blah" about meal time, find a new way to jazz them up and reinvent them! Here are some of my my favorite ways to give leftovers new life!
I actually did this for breakfast this morning. I had some leftover roasted veggies from dinner that needed a new purpose, so into a frittata they went with a handful of kale to bulk them up a bit! Frittatas are silly easy to make, are great for any meal and can be a wonderful way to reinvent all kinds of leftovers!
Meats and veggies are wonderful in frittatas and I've even used up leftover tomato sauce by putting it on top of a frittata and making it a pizza!
Here is a basic frittata recipe that you can add to as your leftover situation allows:
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking fat
- pepper to taste
- whatever goodies you want to throw in that sucker!
- Turn your oven to broil and place your oven rack on the second to the highest setting (it should sit about 6-8 inches away from the top)
- Whisk together salt pepper and eggs in a medium bowl
- Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add your cooking fat to the skillet. Once fat is warm, add your fillings. Cook for a few minutes to warm or until cooked through (if you are using raw veggies or meat).
- Pour eggs evenly over the filling in the hot skillet.
- Let cook for a few minutes (no stirring) or until the edges of the frittata look dry but the eggs are still wet.
- Move skillet to hot oven and cook on broil for 4-5 minutes. The frittata should be slightly golden brown on the top .
- Remove from oven and enjoy warm.
Okay, well not all leftovers will work in a smoothie but many things that might be headed to the compost pile otherwise are great additions to smoothies. Those cut up veggies that came home in your kids lunch box (again), the leftover chia pudding from breakfast, the coconut water from a can of coconut milk. All of those are things that are wonderful in a smoothie and the list doesn't stop there! As long as it doesn't have any savory seasoning and can easily be puréed in a blender (and is, you know, food) consider adding it to your next smoothie!
As long as you have some broth or stock on hand, your leftovers can be turned into a lovely soup! Veggies (raw or roasted), meats, rice and even leftover pasta or tomato sauce can find a new home in a pot of soup! In college, when everyone was wildly broke (including myself) we'd make "Stone soup." No recipe, we just would all bring whatever we had on hand and throw it into the pot for dinner one night a week or so. The soup was always different and always delicious!
Stir-fries are a lot like soups where you can dump a whole lot of randomness into the skillet and end up with something delicious, new and amazing every time. Throw leftover veggies (raw or roasted), meats, and even rice and pastas into the skillet. Warm everything up with a little avocado oil in the pan or sprinkle some coconut aminos over the whole thing for a fresh new flavor. Heck, if you're feeling fancy, whip up a quick teriyaki sauce to throw on the whole kit and caboodle. There is no wrong way to stir-fry.
5. If all else fails, freeze it!
If none of the above works for you and you really can't stand eating your leftovers one more day...freeze it! Save it for a busy day or another time when it sounds appetizing again! You'll love yourself on that day and won't have to force yourself to eat something today that you really didn't want.
Leftovers are an awesome opportunity to cook less, waste less, and save more money and time. All it takes is a little creativity and a slight sense of adventure to see the possibility in what you have on hand. Chances are, you'll impress yourself with what you create and decide you don't need food bloggers like me to tell you how to make amazing easy meal! And to be honest....I kind of hope it does. Now go, reinvent and be creative with those leftover brussels sprouts and that shredded chicken! They are dying to be made into something delicious.