Reduce, Reuse….Leftovers?

Wasted food=wasted energy!  Fun ways to reuse those leftovers after a meal…

When it comes to leftovers, they either are an amazing lunch the next day or they sit in my fridge until they become moldy & I eventually have to throw them away.  If you are nodding in agreement to this, here are some fun ways I’ve discovered to give those leftovers from the night before a little jazz and appeal!

Note: I’m talking about leftovers from the serving dishes- I don’t recommend you reuse what was leftover on your plate, unless you are just cooking for one!

Casseroles

Casseroles are probably the easiest way to reuse leftovers.  Oh the possibilities!  Add leftover veggies to rice or pasta, add some breadcrumbs or cheese on the top, pop it into the oven & voila, you have dinner for half the price!

Stir Fry or pasta dishes

This is much like the idea of a casserole- add your leftover veggies and/or meat to rice or pasta, mix it with some stir fry sauce or pasta sauce & serve!  Leftover eggs work great in Asian stir fries and also is a key ingredient in pad thai!

Soup & Stew

Making soups and stews work with pretty much any dish.  Make pea soup with your leftover meat bone, add some broth & canned tomatoes to your leftover pasta dish or add some chicken/veggie broth to leftover veggies & throw in some protein.

Sauce

I love using my leftover veggies and protein in tomato sauce!  Leftover taco fixings make a yummy tomato sauce with a little kick, veggies add a little substance & make the pasta dish a little more of a full meal that doesn’t require side dishes!

**I’ll be posting some more leftover ideas for Thanksgiving items/dishes in the next couple weeks!**

Not so fast…cooking leftovers or veggies/fruit that is just past it’s prime are great ingredients, too!

Meat bones– make great broths & gravy

Broccoli stalks- I actually love broccoli stalks & mix them w/the florets, but if you aren’t into that, you can also make a cream sauce to put over the stalks or add them to a stir fry!

Chopped onion or peppers- keep them in the freezer for the next time you make tacos or pasta sauce!

Pumpkin or squash seeds- if you are making pumpkin pie or roasted squash, don’t throw those seeds away- wash them, put them on a pan w/some sea salt and bake them until golden brown for a tasty snack!

Tomatoes– those tomatoes you had hoped to use for a salad go bad already?  Don’t throw them away- toss them into a sauce!

Bananas- (zucchini, too) makes yummy bread that you can enjoy in the morning as a tasty start to your day!  Bananas that have browned are also yummy in a smoothie or try freezing it and then eating banana slices with ice cream!

Apples- browned or soft apples are great boiled and made into apple sauce- add some cinnamon & mmmm!

More ideas: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/50-ways-to-never-waste-food-again.html

 

Composting…a great way to feel okay about throwing away food that’s gone bad or can’t be reused!

I am buying a compost bin for myself for Christmas, which will make me feel a little better about chucking undesired leftovers.  I used to compost back when I lived Mass & it was actually a lot of fun.  I suggest that anyone who can compost- do it!  Many local garden supply stores and towns have compost dumping stations, if you don’t have a garden to use the soil.  I’ll do a post on composting in the near future, which should answer any lingering questions you may have on composting.

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1 Comment

Filed under Recipes: Main Dishes

One response to “Reduce, Reuse….Leftovers?

  1. Pingback: Five Lovely Leftover Ideas | Baby Freebies, Shopping Deals, & Family Money Saving Tips | Playpennies.com

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