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Leftovers - One of my Secrets to Success!

1/14/2013 *Sara-Marie* 2 Comments

How do you feel about leftovers?

Depending on who you talk to, people typically either hate them or love them. I'm of the kind that absolutely loves having yummy leftovers in the fridge.

Especially when you're trying to eat healthier, I find it's especially important to always have something quick and easy to eat on those busy days. Before I cut out processed foods, I would always turn to a granola bar or a microwaveable meal to get me through those times - but not anymore! So no matter how small the leftovers are, I always throw them in a glass container and refrigerate. Let me tell you, even the smallest bite of chicken or couple spoonfuls of vegetables could be the difference between you staying on track or running to the secret stash of pretzels you have at the back of the cabinet. It can be a game-changer.

I also enjoy having leftovers around because I can easily turn those leftovers into a new dish in half of the normal prepping time. That's another game-changer when you're contemplating take out because you just "don't have any time."

Plus - has anyone else realized that food tastes better the next day, anyway? Take advantage of those developed flavors! 

Today, I used some sort of leftovers for all three of my meals - which actually inspired this post!

For breakfast, I made a beautiful and delicious frittata with the leftover Roasted Vegetable Medley with Chorizo Pork Sausage from last night.

 To make the frittata, first I took out my leftovers and chopped up the chorizo into smaller, bite sized pieces:

 Then I scrambled six eggs with salt, pepper, and fresh italian parsley:

Once my cast-iron skillet was hot, I added some ghee, poured my eggs and sprinkled my chorizo and veggie leftovers:
 After the edges were starting to set, I placed the whole skillet into the oven and broiled the frittata for about 5 minutes on high. The end result was very yummy and colorful, as you already saw in the first picture above.

For lunch, I found half of a butternut squash in the fridge that I had wrapped in plastic wrap to use for another time. Well another time was today! I chopped that baby up, added a sweet potato and some onions and roasted according to this recipe. (I just omitted the carrots this time).

 To go along with my orange vegetables, I make some garlicky boneless chicken thighs on the stove top:
 Between Mark and I, we finished the chicken during lunch time but I had at least two cups left of the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes. As I do, I saved them in Pyrex and used them up during dinner!

Now, sometimes you have to be a little creative and allow yourself to step out of the culinary box when it comes to recreating meals with leftovers. The leftover veggies from earlier were seasoned with rosemary which is a strong flavor. But that didn't stop me from combining the veggies with my carne molida - Puerto Rican style ground beef. This ground beef has cilantro, onions, peppers, tomato sauce, oregano, olives, etc and at first thought - doesn't appear to go well with butternut squash and dried rosemary. But let me tell you - the combo was AMAZING.

 Oh and did I mention that I also roasted the seeds from the butternut squash for a nice salty and crunchy snack tomorrow?
 So today, utilizing the leftovers in my fridge, I created three new delicious meals in 30 minutes or less and a snack for tomorrow.  That's how leftovers save the day on a daily basis in our household!

To recap, here are my tips for using leftovers:

1.) Make sure to have leftovers - make a little extra of whatever you're making or even double the recipe.

2.) Save every morsel of leftovers - even if it doesn't seem like a lot, it will be worth it.

3.) Always have eggs handy - you can make a frittata or omelet with ANY type of leftovers

4.) Be creative - take a chance and add your leftovers to new dishes even if you're not sure the flavors will go well together. Most of the time, you'll just create a very delicious dish with complex flavors!

5.) Use glass containers to store leftovers - not only does the glass not absorb flavors like plastic does, but it also makes it easier for you to see what leftovers you have in your fridge. You're more likely to use it before it goes bad if you can quickly recognize what's in the container!

Hope this was helpful!


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  1. Love this! Such great advice. My husband and I love leftovers (the kids, not so much!), and we often say "it will be even better tomorrow!" Planning and thinking ahead a bit are the keys to enjoying really great meals and using everything you have at the same time!