The old maxim about shopping in the closet before heading for the mall applies to leftovers. A wise consumer can shop in the fridge when planning meals. Is there an easy way to fix great leftovers for dinner?
Save Leftovers for Another Meal
The secret to using leftovers is clear labeling. Use see-through plastic containers but don’t microwave that type of soft plastic due to safety issues. Many items are easily recognized in clear plastic containers so they won’t need marking.
Most people have a permanent marker somewhere around the house. Store it in the kitchen and use to identify leftovers when they are in containers which can’t be seen through. When the same container is used again, mark a line through the first label and re-label the item. Most containers can be used many times before running out of label space. (Usually by then the container is about ready for the trash or recycling as it has been re-used many times.)
Another hint for storage is to put new leftovers toward the back. Therefore, the leftovers toward the front will always be the oldest and be used first. Cooks also have to know when to throw food away. If leftovers have been in the fridge for a week, they usually should be tossed. This can be easily added to the label by putting M for Monday, Tu for Tuesday, etc. since it’s hard to find space for a complete date on the labeled container.
Microwaves as a First Choice for Using Leftovers
Some leftovers taste great by putting them on a plate and microwaving.
Adding a sauce can perk them up a bit. Try:
- salad dressing
They can be served with a salad or dessert. By serving leftovers in a slightly different way, they take on a new life.
Using Great Leftovers as Ingredients in Fixing a New Meal
A cook can saute leftover cooked rice in oil and:
- Add a few eggs and cheese if desired
- Serve with ketchup, picante or other sauce.
- If you have an onion, celery, carrot or bell or other peppers, they can be added as you saute the rice.
If some of this delicious meal is left, add mayo and serve as a snack or salad.
Use leftover cooked potato halves or smaller pieces:
- Put in a casserole dish
- Layer with whatever cooked meat is in the fridge
- Top with BBQ sauce or cheese or cheese soup with very little water added so it’s more like a sauce than a soup
- Bake for around 20 minutes at a medium oven of about 350 degrees.
That gives the cook just enough time to whip up a dessert or salad so the meal will be quite special.
Using Leftover Poultry or Other Meat from the Fridge or Freezer:
- Chop and then add to cooked rice, potatoes, or noodles.
- Mix with tomato or other soup with very little water added to make a sauce rather than a soup.
This approach gives the meat a completely different flavor than it had in the original meal, thus there is no hint that it was made with leftovers.
The next time you stare at the fridge full of leftovers, include Srevotfel in the menu. (That’s leftovers spelled backwards.) Srevotfel can be as special as any meal you’ve ever made. You can reheat in the microwave, use the leftovers as ingredients in a new and different meal, and use leftover poultry or other meat for a fine supper. In this economy it may save your budget. One big tip is to make sure you store your leftovers appropriately. We love using Food Storage Containers to keep food safe.
Save money, eat well, and find new life for your great leftovers. Do you have any tips for great leftovers?