I need some more creative ways to use leftover meals. We are a small family and so we often have quite a bit to finish off, and obviously if I just serve the same meal over and over it becomes quite a penance to try to finish it off. Creative (or not-so-creative) ideas, ladies?
I think it depends on what it is really.
For a left over chicken I throw the entire naked carcass in a freezer bag and save it to make soup later.
Left over spaghetti will get some extra sauce and pasta mixed in, then bake it with cheese so it’s different than the first time around.
Left over beef, like from a roast or even steaks, I will cut up into itty bitty dice, with some potatoes cut the same, and fry in olive oil with a TON of onions and garlic, and make breakfast hash. Pork works well for this also.
Left over baked potatoes can be sliced and fried, or cubed and fried.
Left over pasta or rice can go into a soup, along with left over veggies.
What are the things you have the most difficulty dealing with? That might help us answer your question better.
Most of our leftovers get nicely packaged, sit in the fridge for a week because no one likes leftovers, and then get thrown out.
DH will tolerate the same meal about twice a month, so when I make something, I freeze the leftovers and pull them out a couple of weeks later, stick them into the same pan I cooked in the first time, and never tell him that it’s the food from two weeks ago!
Well, I throw a lot of stuff into soups too. But that gets old. I like your idea about turning the spaghetti into a casserole, and the breakfast hash. I might have to try that. I have also done stir-fries with leftover meat and veggies. I don’t know. I make so many different things that I can’t think of just a few that are particularly troubling. It’s a constant struggle.
They get eaten. Usually lunch the next day. If that is what we have, that’s what we eat. We actively discourage pickiness in our house.
Last night’s leftovers are my lunch the next day
I tend to cook lots so there will be leftovers, thinking of how to re-use for a second meal.
Fried Rice is a great way to use leftover meat/veg.
Just about any leftover meat can be minced in the food processor and turned into BBQ or Sloppy Joes, used as pizza topping, made into nachos.
Pot Pies or Shepard’s Pie is another good way to use leftover meat.
Of course - omlettes.
Um, what we can’t eat in a couple of days goes to my grateful pit bull/German Shepard mix, Maisey.
Sorry, just not much of a leftover person. I’m trying to finish off the remants of 8 pizzas we bought for my oldest daughter’s birthday party right now.:eek:
We eat them. In Louisiana they become the next gumbo or jambalya fixin real quick.
Can I suggest cutting portion down while fixin so you don’t have so much leftover.
Leftovers become my lunch.
DS does not mind eating leftovers. DH on the other hand
Brian, freeze the pizza, bring out after a few weeks and put in the oven… tastes fine, almost same as fresh baked.
We recently had a BBQ picnic party for DS’s birthday and had leftover burgers, last year, I froze the leftovers. However this year we took the leftovers ( buns and BBQed meat ) to St Francis table, they were grateful, since they feed the homeless.
Did that. But it’s so hard to leave pizza in the freezer. Mmmmm, pizza.
I’ve had pizza every meal since supper on Saturday.
Leftovers??? What are those??? Oh wait…before I had teenagers I think I had those… I better go check the fridge, I bet they are still there…
Seriously… I feed the teens with them but my dad had a cool way of dealing with leftovers:
On Saturday morning after breakfast dad would go through the fridge and slice and dice the leftovers… then he would make a quiche for lunch from the leftovers. It was really cool because we couldn’t go out until chores were done on Saturdays so we were all home for lunch except mom cause she worked. As we did our chores we would peek to see what he was adding… then when it went into the oven we just sniffed it until lunch time.
Here’s a what-to-do-with-leftovers anecdote:
We buy chicken at the store and have baked chicken with potatoes and canned vegetables one night, and store the “leftover” cooked chicken in the freezer. Later we thaw the chicken and make casserole with it.
Try to buy meat or fish that you can use in two recipies, freezing the leftovers between subsequent meals. That way only the meat is “leftover” instead of the whole meal. Perhaps that’ll be more appatizing to picky eaters.
DH eats most of our leftovers as his lunch at work throughout the week. He likes my cooking, and never complains. Once, I asked him if he minded eating the same things a couple times so close together, and he said that since I am such a good cook, why would he mind? :blushing: He has told me many times of people following the smell when he is microwaving, and asking what he has, then acting jealous when he tells them it’s his wife’s cooking!
I also eat them for lunch, and feed them to whatever kids are home with me at the time. But usually, we only have enough left for DH to take them.
I try to make sure they get used quickly, because after about a week, they just don’t look as good, and I start not to trust that they are still safe to eat. I can usually trust the “nose test,” but after more than a week, I usually will throw them out. Though I do get behind, and then my husband will find something in the fridge that has been there way too long, and claim that it has gained intelligence, a social structure, and the fundaments of naturalistic religion! That’s usually my notice that I need to clean out the fridge!
Same here… leftovers are my lunch fodder… It gets a little old, but it’s cheaper than $7 a day for “fast food”, and usually there’s not enough time to leave the job and go get something.
What I tend to do is cook and freeze/refrigerate a lot on the weekends - maybe get three or four different things going at once. That way it’s easy to mix, match and switch’em around without getting bored.