When it comes to leftovers, it may sometimes be tempting to eat everything straight out of tupperware and in front of the fridge when you get home from work, but we think you should step away from the cold, bland food and get a little creative.
This is especially necessary if you live with others who absolutely abhor leftovers and refuse to eat them. A great example of those who exhibit these tendencies are kids, so if you’ve got those running around this is for you. I know growing up at least I was totally against the idea of eating leftovers. However, I was also a brat. Luckily adulthood has shown me that we can’t always be so lucky to have mom make you a piping hot home-cooked meal.
Now that you can cook (at least put things in an oven and call it “cooking”), there’s nothing stopping you from making yesterday’s food, today’s treasure.
Here are some ideas that are totally possible to make using leftovers. This saves food, money and your time.
Got day old or stale bread lying around? You can totally turn it into sweet or savory bread pudding. It’s a fairly easy oven recipe and great for dinner or dessert. For dinner, add in root vegetables to stay in season – like mushrooms and rutabaga – and for dessert, feel free to not add in raisins (yuck, sorry) and add chocolate instead. YASS!
Leftover rice? Rice balls are delicious and trendy (ever heard of Arancini Bros.?). You can also add in whatever spices you would like as well use different types of rice and ingredients. You can turn anything into a rice ball, essentially.
While there will always be the classic pot pie, who’s to stop you from taking your own modern approach to it? Add in leftover casseroles, proteins, beans, stews, encase it in a crust and call it a day.
What is a casserole really besides a multi-ingredient, irregular lasagna? Add in some cheeses and veggies to whatever you have in the fridge and you’ve got something you can pop in the oven and call a casserole. People serve casseroles at dinner, you know.
Croquettes are a similar concept to rice balls, but can be made with anything from mashed potatoes to leftover tuna. All you need to do is fry round discs of random ingredients that happen to stick together.
If there is one thing I’ve learned is that you can turn anything into a taco. Heck, you can be out of tortillas, use a leaf of romaine instead and you can still call it a taco! However, that is best left to people who want to be healthy. Also, yuck.
A melt is easy and portable which makes it the most common leftover route. It’s also great to take to work the next day. All you need to do is butter some bread, add in your filling, spread your spreads, top with cheese and either grill or bake. Cheese is essential.
No, we’re not talking Pop Tarts. A Tart is composed of a crust and made into something either sweet or savory depending on the toppings. There are apple and fruit tarts that you can make using potentially whatever you have in the fridge as well as cheese tarts and “anything but the kitchen sink” tarts. This will make even your leftover salads look uber fancy.
Soup Or Stew
When in doubt, stick it in a crockpot and make a soup or stew. Just make sure the ingredients you’re throwing in there go together first! While I wouldn’t throw in a quiche, leftover beans, meats, veggies, rice, noodles, potatoes, etc. are all viable options.
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