8 Easy Ways to Repurpose Leftovers – Redbook

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Stop tossing leftovers in the trash and get creative instead.
Not sure what to cook for dinner tonight? There are always leftovers. Okay, okay, leftovers may not be your favorite meal of all time, but when you want to minimize your household’s food waste, get creative and repurpose leftovers into delicious dishes with fun flavors. It is way easier than you think! Plus, you never know. Leftovers may become your new favorite meal of the week. Here are 8 easy ways to repurpose leftovers.
Do you have a bunch of random leftovers and are not sure what to do with them? Put them all together and bake up a batch of baked stuffed avocados. Some mouth-watering filling options include beans, corn, roasted potatoes, vegetables, and shredded beef, chicken, or pork. Serve with your favorite bag of tortilla chips, and you have a delicious dinner meal.
Another easy way to elevate leftovers is by making a homemade burrito, burrito bowl, or taco. Simply grab a hard or soft shell, then add any leftovers to create a culinary masterpiece. Some leftovers that are great for burritos and tacos include leftover black beans, bell peppers, cauliflower rice, ground beef, pulled pork, rice, and shredded chicken. Top with a scoop or two of homemade guacamole or salsa and voila! Dinner is served.
Not sure what to have for dinner? Back away from the phone and skip pizza delivery. Instead, make your own homemade flatbread or pizza. Simply select a base for your crust like a frozen cauliflower pizza crust or a more traditional grain-based crust. Coat with a can of marinara or tomato sauce from the pantry, then top with cheese and any lingering leftovers like peppers, greens like kale or spinach, meat, mushrooms, and onions. Someone pass me a slice!
Do you have a carton of eggs in the fridge along with some leftovers? Then you have dinner. Well, in this case, breakfast for dinner. The best part about making a handcrafted frittata or quiche is that anything goes. All you need is eggs. Whether you have asparagus, bacon, kale, onions, peas, spinach, tomatoes, or turkey, give your leftovers a brand new life with a slice (or two) of a frittata or quiche. Oh, you are so fancy!
If your kitchen cabinets are bare and you are short on clean dishes (hey, it is okay, we have all been there before) then you are in luck because all you need for this meal is one pan or skillet. Gather your leftovers, grab your pan, and toss it all together to whip up a one-skillet meal. Potatoes, protein, roasted vegetables, anything goes! Top with a fried egg for an added layer of flavor and a splash or two of Melinda’s Hot Sauce, and you have the ultimate leftover dinner meal that is downright delicious.
Craving a bowl of soup? Repurpose leftover vegetables into a delicious meal by making a batch of homemade minestrone soup. Grab a serving of vegetable stock, collect any extra leftover vegetables, then add beans, grains like pasta, or legumes you love, and create a beautiful batch of homemade minestrone soup. This well-balanced bowl of flavor is a great solution for any leftover vegetables. If you want to include even more leftovers, toast any extra slices of bread to use as a crunchy side for dipping. You can even top your soup with a handful of crispy croutons.
Leftover grains, meat, and vegetables? Then you have all of the ingredients you need for a pan of homemade stir-fry. Broccoli stems, cauliflower stalks, carrots, coriander roots, and radish leaves can all be incorporated into handcrafted stir-fries. Add any leftover proteins like beef, chicken, or fish, and serve over a bed of basmati rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. Add a drizzle of your favorite stir-fry sauce then top with a sprinkle of chia seeds or sesame seeds for an additional crunch. Practicing a plant-based lifestyle? Try adding a handful of chickpeas, quinoa, or tofu. Someone pass a pair of chopsticks!
Vegetables contain fresh flavor, even the parts you do not deem pleasant. Think of things like carrot tops, garlic and onion skins, herb stems, and fennel fronds. Reduce your food waste by collecting these unwanted veggie parts as you chop, dice, and slice. Then, place them in a freezer-safe storage container and store them in your kitchen’s freezer. Once the dish is full, place them in a pot of water and simmer on low heat to create a pot of homemade veggie broth. Use the veggie broth as a base for your other favorite recipes like homemade sauces, soups, and stews.


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