Lose those Leftovers

June 11, 2011 at 10:35 am 6 comments

I have a love/hate relationship with leftovers. On days when I don’t have time to cook, open the fridge as I am famished after a long day of class or work, and find forgotten leftovers from a few days ago, I am totally in love with them. However, I am not such a fan when I totally forget about them and then food goes to waste, or when I have so many that I feel guilty cooking a new meal. My biggest problem, especially when cooking for one, is that I get bored with eating the same thing day-in and day-out. Therefore, being creative with my leftovers has been key for my leftover enjoyment!

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Take, for example, the frittata I had made earlier in the week. The frittata, cut in 8 pieces, could have served anywhere from 4-8 pieces depending on what you serve it with and how hungry everyone is. Because of the bigger earlier meal and the veggies on the side, my family only managed to make it through half of it. Therefore, we had a few frittata pieces left in the fridge this week. For two breakfasts, I reheated the frittata with a slice of cheese on top – eggs for breakfast isn’t too creative, but then I wouldn’t have the same dinner two times in a row this way. For the last piece of frittata, I broke it into pieces and threw it on a sandwich thin with some leftover caramelized onions that I had made for the pizza and some black bean hummus. That made a fantastic picnic lunch at the beach yesterday. Protein packed to keep me full, and easy to eat without any seagull attacks. Three ways, and three meals, to eat a frittata!

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Another trick I have found is using leftovers to make my own freezer meals. Especially during exam times at school, I barely have enough time for all of my work let alone grocery shopping and cooking as well. (Don’t even talk to me about laundry during these weeks!) However, I don’t want to sacrifice healthy eating, so I love being able to reach into my freezer and pull out my own homemade frozen meals. When doing this, it is important to freeze away single servings, or else you have to thaw the entire portion and eat it within the same few days. (It is not advisable to continue to thaw and re-freeze food). Some recipes are more amenable to this than others, but experiment with some of your favorite family-sized meals to see which ones are best when saved for later.

Question: How do you use up leftovers? Do you repurpose them, or eat the meal as you originally serve it?

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  June 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Great tips. I don’t do freezer meals, because my freezer is just packed. But my wife is always taking leftovers to work for lunch. I think her coworkers often ask, well OK they do, what I’ve made now. That’s all fine and good unless it’s something SHE made.

    Reply
  • 2. Lose those Leftovers « homemadeadventure  |  June 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    […] More: Lose those Leftovers « homemadeadventure […]

    Reply
  • 3. Lose those Leftovers – Part 2 « homemadeadventure  |  June 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

    […] salad, vegan, vegetarian Remember those rice and beans from last week? And remember my issues with leftover boredom? Well here is a completely different spin on those leftovers! My mom and I were in the mood for a […]

    Reply
  • […] I did not stick to the traditional route for this salad, which is literally just a mix of these veggies, but decided to add a little of my own flare. I added some chickpeas for protein, a little onion, garlic, Balsamic vinegar, basil and olive oil for flavor. The result: amazing. Maybe I was starving for my morning run, or maybe it was exactly what my body was craving, but this was the best salad I have ever eaten. Of course, the fresh mozzarella I topped mine with didn’t hurt! Even better, the flavors will come together even more as it sits in my fridge and waits to be used as leftovers. Maybe I will add a bit of pasta or cous cous to it next time to avoid leftover boredom… […]

    Reply
  • 5. WIAW Leftover Edition « homemadeadventure  |  September 21, 2011 at 6:44 am

    […] and then have my own, homemade TV dinners when life gets hectic. Another way I have found to avoid leftover boredom is to reinvent them. Keep reading for some of my leftover […]

    Reply
  • 6. Lose those Leftovers – Part 3 « homemadeadventure  |  June 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    […] 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 […]

    Reply

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