Love Those Leftovers
Underwhelmed by leftovers? We save them because we’re sure they’ll be appealing tomorrow, or we don’t want to waste food, or we worked so hard to make that lovely dinner. But it’s easy to overlook them in favor of a fresh start, to store them incorrectly or simply toss them because they sat too long. With a little bit of thought and creativity, leftovers can become a great meal option that’s both delicious, full of variety and easy on the wallet.
Here are 5 quick and tasty ideas for using up your leftovers:
1. WRAP IT IN A TORTILLA.
With some zesty salsa, almost any leftover meat goes well in a tortilla—ground turkey, beef, pork, chicken…even shrimp! Simply reheat the meat with a little liquid, warm up the tortillas and assemble with your favorite toppings.
2. VEG OUT AN OMELET.
3. WAKE UP YOUR BREAKFAST.
Almost any type of older, or even stale, bread can be used for French toast, including zucchini or banana bread. (In fact, many cooks think fresh bread is too soft.) And for an awesome egg bake, simply cube crusty bread for the base layer. Check out these French toast recipes for more ideas.
4. DRESS UP DIY SALADS.
Cube leftover chicken or turkey, grab the leftover garbanzo or cannellini beans, and set out leafy greens and cut veggies, like carrots or shredded beets. Provide condiments like croutons, dressing, seeds and cheese, and let everyone assemble their own salad.
5. TOSS WITH PASTA.
Crumble your leftover cooked ground beef (hamburgers or meat loaf work well) and heat it up in a marinara or other tasty sauce. Add veggies and toss with noodles for a simple, quick meal. Or swap out the pasta for rice, quinoa or another grain.
BEFORE RESUING, ENSURE SAFE STORAGE
Safety matters when storing leftovers, safety precautions are crucial to your digestive happiness. In general:
• Leftovers shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator for longer than about 4 days, especially if the meal contains meat.
• Most foods can keep for several months in the freezer, which is handy for large amounts.
• No matter where you store them, keeping leftovers in sturdy, airtight containers from Snapware’s Total Solution™ line will keep them fresh as long as possible.
During cleanup, it’s tempting to quickly spoon leftovers into a dish, cover it and call it good, but there are a few foods that need special storage attention:
• Leftover pasta and sauce in separate containers will keep the pasta’s texture intact.
• Give your starchy veggie and seasoned meat two different storage containers to retain the meat’s flavor.
• Certain fruits need a little citric acid to keep them fresh once sliced. Try lime juice for avocados and lemon for apples.
Repurposing leftovers into a tasty meal is a great time-saver—and can be as satisfying as that killer deal you scored at the mall. We all love to get more bang for our buck! However, we do admit that casseroles usually can’t be turned into anything but a casserole. The consolation…they usually taste better the next day!
What’s the most creative or unusual (but tasty) way you’ve used your leftovers?