Posts tagged ‘leftovers’
The only thing better than cooking a great dinner is having leftovers for the next day or week. I frequently suffer from food boredom, though, so have become quite creative in repurposing some of my recipes into new grab-and-go lunch creations. I highlighted some of my leftover makeovers last summer, and figured I’d keep up with this mini-series again this summer! Hopefully there will be more to come!
This repurposing is simple: it is basically the previous night’s dinner all re-bundled grab-and-go style. All I did was take a few spoonfuls of the leftover curried quinoa with greens, a spoonful of caramelized sweet potatoes, some chopped cucumber, and a stripe of Greek yogurt and mango butter. I rolled this all up inside of a wrap and then rolled that in foil. This lunch was surprisingly filling, thanks to the protein from the quinoa and the Greek yogurt, and helped me conquer a busy Saturday afternoon on the wards!
You know you are a med student when:
A. you ask for highlighters and notecards for Christmas
B. you get excited about going to an outside-of-school lecture on the link between diabetes and obesity
C. you view a day off as an extra reading day for your upcoming exam
D. all of the above.
Guilty as charged. Even nerds have to eat, though! Here is a glimpse into my MLK Day!
I started Jillian Michael’s “No More Trouble Zones” – but I couldn’t finish! I need lighter weights, stronger arms, or a longer attention span… or maybe this is another all of the above question ;)
My aunt had me over for dinner on Saturday, and graciously found a vegan friendly recipe for me! It was absolutely incredible the first time, so I was happy to take home some leftovers! The recipe is from her Sicilian hair dresser, and contains cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and saffron. I would love to try to recreate it for myself sometime! I had some mixed salad greens and spinach with almonds, cranberries and balsamic viniagrette on the side.
My afternoon was spent doing work with a friend at Panera. Unfortunately, not the most vegan friendly if you have a craving for something sweet, but I was satisfied with a handful of peanuts and raisins, an orange, and a bottomless mug of hot tea!
Dan was complaining about how his veggie and rice dinners are getting boring, and so I recommended this peanut sauce to him. I used to make it a lot in college, and would always share the recipe with guy friends who were new to cooking. It is easy and the ingredients are something most people always have on hand. I spiced up the basic sauce recipe a bit, and was amazed by the results. I may or may not have used a spatula to scrape up every last drop… give me peanut butter and veggies in one meal and I am a happy girl. You can be happy, too, since the recipe is below!
I needed to make cookies to bring to a friend’s house on Tuesday, which needed to be vegan friendly and use only what I had on hand. Enter these Skinny Fig Bars from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Of course taste testing was in order! I was shocked by how well these turned out. They have almost no added sugar, and are reminiscent of Fig Newtons, but have an even better texture. I used some fresh squeezed orange juice instead of lemon juice and anise extract, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly!
Question: Did you have off for MLK day?
Thai Peanut-Ginger Stir Fry
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
for stir fry:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2 large handfuls snap peas, cut in half
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to instructions
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Over medium heat, sautee onions in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the snap peas and bell peppers and sautee for 3-4 more minutes. Stir in the peanut sauce until vegetables are well coated. Serve over cooked brown rice and top each bowl with 1 tbsp chopped peanuts.
An exciting development occurred in my kitchen over the weekend: we have a new fridge! Well, a new-to-us fridge, but it has still made me so very happy! We have a door with shelves that stays shut overnight, no duct tape in sight, and no gross mold or rust. The little things in life that make you so happy… A quick shout out to my adopted family for their generous gift! My cousin read my brief complaint in a previous blog post, who told my aunt, who called to offer me the extra fridge they had in their basement! After a lot of coordinating and a few friends with a truck and brute strength, we got the fridge transferred! We learned a little bit about ourselves during the food transfer process: we seem to have a selective memory loss for mustard acquisition, since we somehow ended up with 6 bottles of yellow mustard (both of us are vegetarians and neither of us use yellow mustard, so figure that one out…) I also discovered my frozen food horde. My tendency to freeze leftovers for “too busy to cook” nights has caught up with me! I could feed a small army with the number of meals I have frozen away. Okay, maybe not an army, but definitely myself for a few weeks! To cut down the stash, I am eating whatever vegan meals I have frozen away! This is a glimpse of things I have eaten from my freezer this week, not all necessarily on a certain day. Hopefully my horde will be gone soon so I can freeze away new recipes! ;) All pictures are originals from the recipe posts, since frozen leftovers don’t make for the most photogenic of food days.
I have at least 4 frozen bananas, and a bunch of frozen blueberries, so I decided to make smoothies the last few mornings! I based my smooth off of Angela’s classic green monster, the only change being a handful of blueberries and a bit of agave. Warning: the blueberries make the smoothie a weird black color, but it tastes even better! Though I am normally not a smoothie person because I like to chew my breakfast, this is very filling, and is a good way to get some extra green stuff in your day with the hidden spinach.
I made these Curried Potatoes and Peas a while back, and broke out the frozen leftovers for lunch! Enjoyed with a piece of flatbread, this made for an excellent lunch during a busy day at school! Plus, it made for a very easy morning, since I just had to grab the container from my freezer and go!
I made Thai Carrot Soup during our cold snap in October, and froze more than half of the recipe away. There are at least 4 containers in my freezer, so I needed to make a dent in it! Good thing it is thickened with coconut milk, so it is friendly to my vegan challenge this month!
Question: Are you a food hoarder? What one item do you always have in your fridge/freezer/pantry?
There is nothing more fun than re-purposing leftovers. Sure, the meal or dish was probably great the first time around. And the second. But something is lost by the third, fourth, or even fifth time around… I have said before, but cooking and eating for one can often lead to food ruts and leftover boredom. Not one to waste food, I have become quite inventive with repurposing my leftovers! My latest creation: Cranberry French Toast. French toast is best when made with slightly crusty, day old bread, so I took the opportunity and used up some baguette leftover from dinner with friends over the weekend. With the addition of some Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, both in the French toast mixture and added on top to serve, and suddenly I had myself a tasty breakfast! Use up the rest of your holiday cranberries and make this festive French toast, adapting it to whatever bread you happen to have on hand.
Cranberry French Toast
1/2 french baguette, in 6-7 1 to 1 1/2 – inch slices
1/8 cup milk of your choice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cranberry sauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Cranberry sauce, honey, and cinnamon to serve
Whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla, cranberry sauce, and cinnamon. Dip the bread in the mixture and allow to soak for 2 minutes on each side, or until the egg mixture is well absorbed. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side of the bread, until lightly crisped. Top each slice with a spoonful of cranberry sauce, a drizzle of honey, and a dash of cinnamon.
Thanksgiving may be old news, but I am still enjoying the leftovers from our meal on Friday! (Yes, we postponed Thanksgiving…) I tried to help my parents out by not leaving them with too much, so I took a few (read: 10) Tupperwares of goodies back with me on Monday. Good thing I did because I have been running with school pretty much ever since! Here is a glimpse into my day! Be sure to head back over to Peas and Crayons to check out Jenn’s fun food and find a new blog friend or two!
I am more than halfway through my oatmeal project! Everything can be added to oatmeal, I swear! This bowl was simple: flax seed, cinnamon, homemade cranberry sauce and almond butter. Just the right amount of sweetness for the morning.
Inspired by Mama Pea’s latest post about Shepherd’s Pie, I made my own leftovers version. I spooned some mashed potatoes into a ramekin, layered in some green beans, and topped it off with cornbread stuffing. After I microwaved it, I flipped it all back onto a plate and enjoyed a layered Thanksgiving lunch!
Afternoon Snack: 4:30
I had my second consecutive day of being in the hospital today, but I am starting to get the hang of it! I finally remembered all of my diagnostic equipment (thanks to my new bag!) and was able to tote along sufficient mid-afternoon fuel. I had a handful of almonds and dried cranberries, transported neatly in a repurposed cinnamon jar, and a pear from home, and enjoyed a few chocolate covered almonds and peanut M&Ms from my classmates.
I was about to chew my arm off after yoga, and the walk home from the bus has never felt so long. Good thing dinner was simple! A mixed green salad topped with roasted root veggies leftover from Thanksgiving, a few walnuts, Balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Enjoyed with a leftover roll covered in TJ’s artichoke tapenade, and followed by another roll for sopping up the rest of the dressing! And water, lotsa water. Nothing makes your crave water like a good hot yoga class!
Study Snack: 9:30pm
My roommate had a lot of work to do as well, so she made us a quick batch of lightly salted, air-popped popcorn to keep us productive! I love popcorn, and love being caught up on work even more!
Question: Are you still enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers?
There is currently a battle of will going on at my house. Jen and Marie vs. the cold, cold apartment. The apartment is winning, but we refuse to give up… yet. We could turn the heat on, but it just seems so soon for that! Boston obviously missed that memo – we saw our first few snow flakes this evening! Instead of admitting defeat, we are covering our windows with the insulating plastic wrap, wrapping ourselves in blankets, drinking copious amounts of tea, and finding every excuse to stand near the stove or oven for long periods of time…
This Thai Carrot Soup is that excuse. Serve it with some homemade bread or dinner rolls, and you have two of your bases covered! I planned on making this recipe from Frugal Feeding to use up some of the huge carrots I got in my Boston Organics box. I quickly realized that I didn’t have all of the ingredients, and wasn’t willing to step into the freezing rain (and for anyone unfamiliar with New England, this doesn’t mean cold rain, it literally means frozen rain drops) to go to the store. I improvised a bit, but the soup was still tasty! Some changes I made: I substituted lemon juice for the lemon grass, chili flakes for the red chilis, and left out the cilantro. I added some toasted coconut to the top, which ended up balancing out the kick to the soup in the absence of the cilantro. Spicy and warming – the perfect cure for a cold apartment.
Even better – soup makes a perfect “frozen dinner,” essential for busy nights when you are starving and don’t have time to pull together a proper meal! Having frozen leftovers on hand has helped me avoid the typical student pizza deliveries or sad pasta dinners that plague many of my busy friends. Soups and chilis tend to freeze well, but rice has not given me as much luck.
Question: What are you cooking to stay warm as the weather begins to chill? What leftovers have you successfully, or unsuccessfully, turned into frozen meals?
Time for another What I Ate Wednesday! Finding a healthy balance keeps getting harder as school keeps picking up. We have three exams before Thanksgiving (one is tomorrow!) and I have several other deadlines approaching for clinical shadowing, student groups, and volunteer commitments. Just taking one day at a time though, and trying to eat well for energy for my long days! Monday was not a good energy day. I was hungry almost all day despite eating normal meals, found myself reaching for coffee more often than usual, and was sluggish for much of the day. After putting together this post and comparing the two days, I realized why! Protein! Monday’s meals were significantly lacking in protein, and therefore I got hungry pretty quickly between meals. I sure made up for that on Tuesday!
My friend sent me a Facebook message describing a delicious breakfast porridge made with leftover quinoa. She simply let it soak in milk, added sliced apples and cinnamon, and enjoyed a wonderful fall breakfast. I chose to add pumpkin to mine instead, and the results were fantastic! I used 1/2 cup quinoa leftover from cooking, soaked in 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup pumpkin with a dash of cinnamon overnight (or 2 nights in my case). In the morning, I re-heated it and served it with cinnamon and raisins for a great, filling breakfast. This kept me full through a long exam review session and a morning meeting or two!
Lunch and snacks: 12pm
I snacked on the clementine during my first meeting, and then finally got a real lunch break. I enjoyed leftover cranberry quinoa, with this portion being pretty heavy on the delicata squash! Didn’t plan too well to have quinoa two meals in a row, but again I was full and happy from this lunch! I enjoyed the apple for dessert, and saved my clementine for a mid-afternoon pick me up between scheduled clinical classes.
Panera is often my study spot of choice because of their free WiFi and bottomless cups of coffee. (Lesser known fact: I worked at Panera through my senior year and for the summer before medical school, and will always have a special spot in my heart for this place!) I have bought enough cups of coffee this year to get a free bowl of soup with my rewards card, so dinner was on Panera tonight! I love the black bean soup and enjoyed it with a piece of baguette for dipping. Told you my day was protein packed!
I must admit that I wasn’t hungry for dessert, but was craving something when I finally made it home from my long day. I made this in a similar way to my sugar-free apple crisp. I used up some leftover canned peaches sprinkled with cinnamon for the base, and then mixed some oats, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and walnuts with the sweet peach juice. I let it all bake and enjoyed a single serve peach crisp in just a half hour! Followed by a handful or three of honey roasted peanuts and a lot more studying, I think I sure made up for my previous day’s protein deficit!
Question: What was the “theme” of your meals today?