Thursday, August 11, 2016

Leftover Makeover

How does your family feel about leftovers? Do they cringe at the thought of two day old meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Or do you have a happy dance to celebrate an easy lunch that heats up at work during the week?

One Skillet Spaghetti - 3 cups low sodium broth, 3 cups pasta sauce, 12 oz. dry pasta, and 1 pound of cooked ground meat. Simmer until the pasta is tender and sprinkle with freshly grated cheese. Dinner is done in 20 minutes or less with minimal clean-up!

I LOVE leftovers and often purposely make too much of certain foods to ensure I have leftovers to use later that week or to freeze.  It saves me money by buying foods in bulk that I expect to use within a certain timeframe.  We eat out less if we have quick meals available, again saving money. I also save time in doing dishes - if I can handwash one large greasy skillet just once for several meals, I feel like a rockstar!
As a follow-up to my previous post about doing our best to not waste food, here are some suggestions for using up a few typical leftover items:
Chili - By design, I always make far more chili for our family than what we are going to eat at a meal.  Chili can be reused in so many ways and it freezes beautifully! Serve leftover chili on baked potatoes, cooked spaghetti, salad greens, and over hot dogs. Leftover chili also makes a fantastic burrito filling for an easy weeknight meal. Fill single serving freezer containers for simple lunches – just add crackers or a peanut butter sandwich and you’ve got a quick meal that doesn’t require a drive-thru!
Cornbread – I usually make cornbread along with chili, but many times I have leftover cornbread along with the chili. Eating it the next day as just cornbread is often a pretty dry experience. Instead, I add mine to a plate of eggs and salsa, use it as stuffing or breadcrumbs, make it a cold salad with corn and black beans, or even use it in a breakfast casserole in place of sandwich bread!

Mashed potatoes – Unless you are a fan of leftover Thanksgiving dinner, you might want to have a few other ideas to use up mashed potatoes. Look up recipes for potato pancakes, use them up in bread machine recipes, or I have even seen mashed potatoes spread over pizza crust as the “sauce”!

Want more great leftover ideas? Head on over to my FREE Facebook Group Real Food, Real Life and check out the guide in the files section.