Getting Creative with Leftovers
Leftovers. Just the mention of the word sends many a home cook screaming into the night. However, with a little ingenuity, creativity, and some pantry magic, leftovers could just become the undisputed king of the food world.
Over the years, the word “leftovers” has gotten a bad reputation. However, sometimes this reputation was deserved. We can all vividly recall “nuking” 3-day old pizza or wondering if we should eat the macaroni and cheese that has turned a shade of green that does not normally appear anywhere in nature.
The times, they are a-changing
Thankfully with the “foodie” revolution of the 1990s, we have internet and print bloggers and chefs ready to make our leftovers into four-star eats. The addition of pasta, beans or sautéed/grilled vegetables can transform yesterday’s takeout dinner into today’s rotisserie chicken salad recipe.
In order to avoid the dreaded leftover situation, every home cook should have a few pantry, cupboard and refrigerator staples on hand. Having these at your fingertips truly can make you the master of your romaine-I know, I know, but this is a food article.
Pantry-rice, pasta, quinoa or other grains can enhance any protein. Adding different colors/textures turns yesterday’s pot roast into today’s beef and rice medley
Cupboard-canned veggies/fruit, pasta sauce or a simple gravy mix packet may make the pickiest eater sit up and take notice. Create Polynesian pork roast with some au jus gravy and canned pineapple added to last night’s fare.
Refrigerator-fresh veggies, eggs, or cream can help you unleash your inner culinary ninja. Leftover chicken or ham added to eggs, cream and chopped vegetables can produce an omelet worthy of getting out the “good” dishes.
Never fear, there is an endless array of leftover tips, tricks, and recipes available to every home cook everywhere. Internet, print (yes, they do still print magazines), podcasts, and network TV provide every level of home cook with enough culinary ammunition to keep any in-law at bay.
Check out the following just to get you started.
3 Creative ways to use leftovers
Here are a few recipe ideas to point you in the right direction.
Rotisserie chicken salad recipe -tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and few walnuts turn your go-to rotisserie chicken into a health and budget-conscious second act.
Pasta primavera recipe-last night’s side dish or the end of the seasoned squash added to red lentil pasta just might earn you clean plates all around. Maybe even, gasp, someone, asking for it again!
Vegetable frittata recipe-now you can empty the heavy cream container, finish the carton of eggs, repurpose yesterday’s grilled veggies and top with remnants of the shredded cheese bag. The best part is that is a one-pan meal that can be finished in the oven and served family-style.
Remember, these are merely suggestions. You are only limited by your imagination or what’s leftover in your refrigerator. Bon Appetite!