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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Making the Most of Leftovers

Leftovers…we all typically have them, and if you’re like me, you end up tossing them out because no one eats them.  So, instead of wasting food like I do and tossing good money down the garbage disposal, why not try to plan a way to use up the leftovers in other dishes?!!?
Here are a few ideas that work around here…
pasta – make a second main course that can incorporate them for another use.  I made saucy mozzarella patties (think chicken parmesan using ground beef) with a side of egg noodles.  Instead of tossing the leftover egg noodles, I made Italian meatballs and served the extra noodles with a beef gravy.  Leftover spaghetti noodles can be used to make baked spaghetti.  Just cook up a bit more ground beef and spaghetti sauce and add in the leftover spaghetti noodles with some mozzarella cheese.  We like to use leftover penne noodles to make fried eggs and noodles.  With pasta, the leftover creations are really endless.
rice – just like the pasta mentioned above, incorporate it into another dish.  I served rice alongside a chicken pot pie gravy/soup dish.  Using the leftover rice, I can ground some beef and add black beans and cheese to the rice to make homemade chimichangas or taco salad.
taco meat – when you’re tired of eating it as tacos, then toss it with some extras to make a taco salad or rice bowl, make burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, or freeze it for another use later.
baked or roasted chicken – use the leftovers to make a chicken salad.  Or, you can shred it, add some taco seasoning and make burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc.  You can also use leftover chicken in baked pasta dishes.
veggies – while we don’t typically have too many veggies leftover, there are some options.  Toss them into scrambled eggs to make an egg scramble or baked omelet.  Add them to soups and stews.  Add them into baked pasta dishes…your kids may not even know they’re in there.  Smile  Puree them and add them to spaghetti sauces, pizza sauces, etc. 
These are just a few ways to use up some of the leftovers that may be found in your fridge.  What are your ideas for using up leftovers?  I’d love to see how you get rid of those leftovers lurking in the fridge. 


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