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5 Ways to Revamp Your Leftovers

February 1, 2011

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Left-overs. Got you thinking, “Now what?’ Wasting food not only wastes your money but wastes valuable energy too.  Be smart, be frugal and eat up those left-overs. Let these 5 ideas revamp your perception of the ubiquitous leftover forever!

 1. Casseroles

Mix up the leftover food with some cooked pasta or rice, maybe some beans. Top with cheese and bake at 350F until the top of the casserole is browned and heated through.

2. Salads

Toss last night’s meal with some mixed greens and chopped veggies for a filling salad. If your food was saucy, you might not even need dressing. You can also heat the leftovers before tossing them with your greens. The combo of cool crisp lettuce and warm toppings can’t be beat. This is especially good with Asian noodle lo-mein or Pad Thai.  Also try this with beef or vegetarian meals as well.

3. Soup

Combine leftovers, sauce and all, with cooked rice, steamed veggies, canned beans and some broth for a quick leftovers soup. Ideas: turn chicken lo-mein into Chinese Take-Out Chicken Noodle Soup. Turn baked chicken dinner into chicken vegetable soup with  rice.  Add broth, rice, and extra veggies to leftover stews and dinner is made!

4. Purees

If you have a lot of leftover veggies, turn them into tasty nutritious purees.  Just heat the veggies with some broth (or water) if needed, then puree to create a flavorful sauce. Ideas: add purees to spaghetti sauce, mac &cheese, salad dressings, or even baked goods. Check out these recipes: Sneaky Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sweet Potato and Banana Bread with Carrots (aka Gut Scraper Bread).

5. Wraps

While a traditional burritos are  great, you can really spice things up by wrapping up leftovers from another meal along with some veggies, rice/ quinoa, and maybe a bit of cheese. Think outside the box! Thai, Chinese, or Indian leftovers are delicious wrapped in a tortilla with some shredded spinach and carrots. Leftover chicken/ beef, hummus, and spinach in a homemade whole grain tortilla makes a fast, delicious, and nutritious meal on the go.

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