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Kitchen Basics: How to Use Leftovers

We’ve all been there. I know I have. I seem to have a problem cooking for two (or, let’s be honest, however many I’m cooking for) and we always end up with leftovers.

Good. I don’t mind.

There’s something so satisfying about making yesterday’s dinner into a totally new creation.

Are you with me? Or are you squinching up your nose in disgust?

Let me convince you with a few ideas for what to do with some of the meals you might be preparing right now, with our in season produce.

Did you make the Roasted Asparagus with Almonds and Crispy Bacon that I posted not too long ago? (If you didn’t, please take a quick break and do that, so you can enjoy it as much as I did. You back? Ok, good.) You’ve probably also made some Roasted Radishes and Crispy Potatoes?

So now dinner’s over and they’re sitting in your freezer, turning into a solid brick of unrecognizable something, waiting for inspiration to hit.

Right?

Well, do you have eggs? Milk? Cheese maybe? Salt and pepper? Of course you have salt and pepper…. This is gon’ be easy. We’re making a frittata.

You could add more veggies. You could chop up some fresh veggies too, sauté them for a few minutes first, then the softness will be on par with the already cooked ones. Same deal with the Massaged Kale Salad that you have leftover (you’ve tried this, right?!). Basically, we’re making a Spring Frittata. Don’t forget the spring herbs are bursting with flavor right now, so add them liberally to the frittata, before you pop it into the oven and when you’re serving.

If you’re not in the mood for a frittata, that’s cool. You could take all of the same containers of leftovers and toss them with some vegetable stock and make a soup. Add the herbs too. Done. There’s dinner. (Or toss the asparagus and radishes with some pasta or rice, chop up some leftover chicken and you’ve got a great one dish dinner.)

Next, let’s talk about those Radish and Feta Toasts that I made a while ago. I hope that you took my advice and served the leftovers wrapped up in a tortilla (or a pita, hello!). I think I ate this two days in a row. I couldn’t get enough.

Maybe you made some Summer Chili, but don’t want to eat it the exact same way a second or third time. I mean, I’m almost always in the mood for chili, especially if there’s cornbread. Buuuut then one day I plomped the chili onto some Crispy Potatoes (also leftovers – re-heat in the toaster oven in tin foil until hot) and magic happened (uh, not for real, but it seemed like magic). It became Crispy Potatoes with Chili and Cheese.

Also, this Summer Chili, one of my all-time favorites. So good so good soooo gooooood.

You could also use the leftover chili on some of these Twice Baked Potatoes – mix it in, or just add it after they’re baked. You could also chop up the leftover potatoes and add some veggie stock and make soup.

My answer to leftovers is almost always to make soup. But, I’ve branched out for your sake. Do you like soup as much as I do? You don’t have to answer that.

There are enough meals here to feed you for a week.

You might have leftovers of your reinvented meals… it happens.

Happy Eating!

Author Rachel Oberg

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