Friday, November 5, 2010

Five Ways to Refresh Leftovers

Today is Friday. My culinary ambitions tend to wan towards the end of the week (my husband does a lot of the cooking on weekends) and I'm always happy when I have enough leftovers on Friday to suffice as dinner. The problem is that I'm not a big fan of leftovers. My husband and kids have no problem eating leftovers, but I just can't really get in to them. I have found that if I "refresh" the leftovers, however, I enjoy eating them.

1. Make a fun bread: I don't usually have the time to make anything other than our "normal" bread for dinner. But when we have leftovers, I have time to try my hand out some fancy options. For me, fresh bread makes any meal wonderful! My kids love garlic knots or bread sticks made out of pizza dough. I really love this Green Olive and Rosemary Focaccia. Garlic bread is another option that I often skip on busy weeknights (just mix up butter, olive, minced garlic and oregano; spread on bread loaf or slices and bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees). Homemade pretzels would be really fun, too! You could also make biscuits or cornbread or muffins.

2. Make an appetizer: I love appetizers! But I never have the time to make anything except cut up veggies and dip for meals. With leftovers for our main course, though, I have lots of time to make Crock Pot Spinach Dip or this Jalapeno Popper Dip -- both recipes are on my "to make" list! A cheese ball or simple cheese and crackers add a nice new touch to a leftover dinner. Potato skins are another appetizer that is too time consuming for dinner, but are perfect for leftovers.

3. Make a "fancy" salad: We often eat tossed salads with our meals which consist of shredded lettuce, carrots, cucumber and dressing. It's just an easy way to get some raw veggies in to our diets. But I LOVE to make nice big salads. Leftovers allow me the time to make one! This Greek Spinach Orzo Salad is amazing. You could also reuse some leftover steak to make a steak salad and leftover chicken can be added to pretty much any salad, but I really love it on Caesar salad. Taco salad is another leftover favorite -- I toss all kinds of stuff in to it!

4.Re-purpose and Reuse: Leftover meats can be reused many, many ways. Pot pies are great for leftover meats and veggies. Put anything in to pie dough and it's good! Just cut up pie dough in to small rounds, stuff with leftovers, and bake. Stir fries or fried rice are perfect for leftovers. Throw in whatever veggies or meat you have, add some soy sauce and a little brown sugar if you like, and you have a brand-new dinner. Omelets make nice, hearty dinners (if you like breakfast for dinner) and you can stuff all kinds of leftovers in them.

5. Just freeze it: When all else fails, I just throw the leftovers in the freezer for later. Sometimes a good idea will hit me later on. I tend to freeze when I have either way too much (I'm tired of it) or way too little (just not enough to do anything with it) leftover. Somehow the leftovers aren't so bad a month later when I re-use them for something else.

How do you like to use up leftovers?

0 Thoughts From Others:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin