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You know those times when you seem to have a lot of bits and bobs of leftovers in the fridge, but nothing is quite enough to feed the family? And you’re exhausted so cooking just feels like a hassle?
Yea, me too.
But fear not! I have ideas (poses with arms flexed like Popeye)!
If you’ve read any of my posts on shopping or cooking, such as 8 Ways To Eat Super Healthy Food On A Budget: Part 1, 8 Ways To Eat Super Healthy Food On A Budget: Part 2, or 5 Kitchen Staples You’re Buying That You Should Be Making, you may have realized by now that I’m a big fan of no-food-shall-go-to-waste. It’s only fitting then, that I would have some tips to share about fun ways to use leftovers. Here’s a few of the things that we do in our home:
1-) Panini night
My all time favorite way to use up leftovers in the fridge is to stuff it between a couple slices of bread, butter it, and grill that baby! It’s fun for the whole family to get involved and everyone can get creative. And don’t worry if you don’t have a panini maker, you can simply toast your sandwich in a hot pan. And if you really want to go all out, toast the sandwich in the pan then transfer the sandwich to the oven on a baking sheet at 325° F for a few minutes to let the cheese of your choosing get nice and goopy. I can feel my stomach growling now!
If you’ve never had breakfast for dinner, you’re missing out! Eggs are a great blank slate for leftover veggies, potatoes, or even meat. Let everyone beat their own eggs and pick out their fixin’s, and then anyone old enough can participate in a contest on who can make the best looking omelet without breaking it (the little grasshoppers who are too young to use the stove can be cheerleaders for their favorite “team”).
You can literally put anything in an omelet: potatoes (roasted, hashed, french fried), vegetables (raw, roasted, marinated), cheese (any and all), meat, herbs, spices….the list goes on and on! In fact, I made Ted a taco omelet for dinner once because we had leftover taco meat but no tortillas…he loved it! You never know if you’ll like it until you try it!
Pizza is such a classic. If you buy a big pre-made crust, you can let each person take a section and make it their own with the leftovers. Alternatively, if you can find individual crusts everyone can have their own pizza! Yum!
If you don’t eat gluten, some grocery stores offer gluten free pizza dough mixes. You can also find gluten free pre-made pizza crusts at thrive market.
Sometimes just putting leftovers on a cracker and calling it appetizer night is all you need to make a reasonable and fun meal. Divide up the leftovers into little appetizer portions this way and put them all out family style. This is a particularly good way to prepare food without cooking if your family likes to watch football (or other sport) on Sundays (or other days). Just set out the appetizers and let everyone dig in while they cheer on their favorite team!
Well, my stomach is growling now after all that food talk! If you’re hungry too I hope you got some meal inspiration!
How have you creatively used leftovers to make a meal? I’d love to hear your creative solutions!