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Monday, December 12, 2011

Get Creative with Leftovers for a Quick Meal

Instead of letting leftovers grow green fuzz, it's fun to repurpose them into a quick meal. Not only is it efficient, but it's economical, too. And you may be able to disguise leftovers into something new for those who object to leftovers.

Last week I had some leftover bruschetta from our Christmas party, and some leftover rice from a previous meal. So I defrosted some tilapia and cooked it in a non-stick skillet with the bruschetta and heated up the rice in the microwave. With some grapes, it made a complete, very tasty and quick five-minute meal. 

Whenever I cook rice, I always cook extra. Even if I don't use it in the next few days, I'll freeze it and defrost it in the microwave when I need it, saving time. Fried rice is another meal option, too.

Of course, a big pot of soup is a wonderful catch-all. It's a great meal the day before grocery shopping - a nice way to get rid of all those little bits of veggies and leftovers. Spice it boldly with pepper or some red pepper flakes to give it a zing!

We had a ham steak recently, and I put the bone and some leftover ham in split pea soup later in the week and made a butternut and ham bisque another time.

Leftover pasta goes nicely in stir fries. Or mix it with Italian dressing, your choice of veggies, meat, and cheese, and it's a pasta salad for dinner tomorrow night! I'm not too fond of pasta in soups, though, as it gets soggy if it's cooked very long.

When I cook London broil, I cook twice what we need and it morphs into a stir fry or fajitas on another day.

I always feel such a satisfaction when I can turn my leftovers into a tasty second meal, and especially so if it's a quick one. What about you?

More on leftovers:

Cook It Once, Serve It Twice

Piggy-Back Dinners

Three Steps to Planning Dinner