5 Ways to Make Over Your Leftovers

by Kay Lynn

Baked Mediterranean casserole with rucola pesto

It seems like people are in two camps regarding leftovers.  Either you like them or you don’t.  An important factor in preference is whether you grew up eating this type of dinner.

My parents grew up in large families where there wasn’t a dime to spare.  They certainly never let food go to waste.  They continued that frugality so I thought everyone ate leftovers.

I found out from Mr. Boomer that this was not the case.  Either his mother planned the amount just right or she disguised them very well.  Probably a little of both.

Nevertheless, he’s not a fan of recycling the meal so I try to reinvent it using leftovers as the ingredients.  Here are five ways to give leftovers a makeover.

1. Sandwiches.  This is the simplest way to use leftover meats and vegetables.  I can’t tell you how many turkey sandwiches we had after Christmas dinner.

2. Casseroles. This is a yummy way to combine different ingredients and come up with a new main dish.  Put your creative cap on or search for a recipe by ingredients online.

3. Mexican. Reinvent leftover meat, fish, poultry or vegetables into tacos, quesadillas or enchiladas.  Mmm, mmm. 

4. Soups. One of my favorite things to do is throw place leftovers in broth along with seasonings for a hearty soup.  Make it heartier by adding canned, rinsed beans and extra vegetables.

5. Sauce it up. For a twist, make a sauce for meats or vegetables and serve over rice or pasta. 

Leftovers are important to my meal planning, especially now that our kids (except that hanger-on) have moved out and our favorites are family-sized.  Do you plan on leftovers?  If not, how about giving them a try.

photo credit: sonicwalker 

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