I love to cook and eat well, but sometimes I come home to a fridge with nothing but leftovers. I used to throw away food that hung around for awhile, but I changed my habits because trashing leftovers is wasteful and expensive. Now I give my leftovers a makeover, using these tricks to eat like a queen.
If you have leftover…
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, make rice pudding. If instead you want something savory, try fried rice or adding it to meatloaf or meatballs. If the rice has spent some time in the fridge and is dry, add a little bit of water and microwave. Turn leftover cooked rice into a dinner recipe for Paraiba by topping with meat, cheese, and any veggies you have on hand.
Heat leftover pasta in a pan with a tablespoon of butter or margarine and add Parmesan cheese. If the pasta has marinara sauce warm it up and add veggies for an impromptu, but hearty ratatouille. To make sure the sauce doesn’t burn, add in a tablespoon or more of water. As it heats up, the water will burn off.
To save time and money, make a large batch of beans and then freeze in small quantities for quick and easy meals in minutes. Try making chili, bean soup, or burritos. Beans are extremely versatile!
If your bread is getting stale, consider letting it dry out even more to make croutons. Another option is to make bread crumbs for chicken Parmesan, eggplant Parmesan, meatloaf, or mac n cheese. Stale cereal can also be used to make breadcrumbs.
Steak, Chicken or Ham
This is one of the most versatile leftovers. Steak and chicken can be sliced thin and tossed with veggies for a quick stir-fry or fajitas. Chicken can be added to soups pastas, soups and salads. Ham can be used in a spit pea soup or in sandwiches. All three go well in burritos!
Need help finding a frugal recipe? How about a website where you can enter one ingredient and it gives you recipe suggestions. Bargain Babe wrote about LeftOverChef.com in a previous post and has shared her frugal recipes and other kitchen money savers.
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