Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Do You Do With Leftovers?

We all have that problem, don’t we? There are always leftovers, no matter how well we try to plan meals. But with the cost of food these days we just can’t throw them out! I try to be creative and disguise them as much as possible, but sometimes it just can’t be done. Here are a few ideas:

Mashed Potatoes:

1) Add egg, flour and chopped onion and mix till stiff. Form into patties and fry in butter – potato pancakes!

2) Do the same thing as above, but roll into balls then in panko or dry bread crumbs and bake until light brown. Spraying with cooking spray will help the browning process.

3) Make shepherd’s pie and top with mashed potatoes. Top with cheese and bake.

4) Stir chopped onion, garlic and sour cream into the potatoes and put in casserole sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until hot. Top with cheese if desired.

5) You can freeze them if needed. They will thaw out a bit watery, though, and will thicken a bit when heated.

Roast Chicken:

1) Make chicken noodle soup. You’ll need chicken broth, carrots, celery, onions, seasonings such as poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley and, of course, noodles. Shred or chop the chicken and add when veggies are tender.

2) Make chicken and dumplings or chicken and noodles. Either one is delicious!

3) Make chicken salad. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Mix with finely chopped onion, sweet relish (drain it a bit), finely chopped celery. Stir in mayonnaise and season as desired.

4) There are tons of good chicken casseroles! To prepare leftover chicken for these, chop it and wrap in 1-cup portions, then freeze. Recipes will usually call for 2 or 3 cups, so it will be measured out and ready to go.


1) Meatloaf melts are one of our favorite sandwiches. Heat the meatloaf on a pan in the oven, put cheese on top and let melt a couple of minutes. Place on toasted buns and add mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Yum!

2) Crumble meatloaf and mix with cooked rice, tomato sauce, shredded cheese. Fill blanched green peppers and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until hot and peppers are tender.


1) Cut up and put in baked beans or scrambled eggs.

2) Slice in half lengthwise, fry in a little butter and make a sandwich.

Pot Roast:

1) Shred, mix with barbecue sauce or au jus for sandwiches.

2) Cut up and put in vegetable soup.

Pork Chops, Ribs:

1) Shred for sandwiches.

2) Slice thinly for fajitas.

Vegetables: Keep a freezer container filled with leftover vegetables for soup.

Bread: Make crumbs for casserole toppings.

Cereal: Crumble unsweetened cereals for casserole toppings and sweetened cereals for dessert toppings.

These are just a few ideas for using up those leftovers – I’m sure you all have your own ways of preserving them and saving money.
"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing
but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
Calvin Trillin 
Today is Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night – if your garden has given you more zucchini than you can handle, be sure to share some!

Tomorrow is Rice Pudding Day. Do you love it? Give this a try: Prepare a package of  vanilla pudding mix as directed on the box and stir in some leftover cooked rice. Add a little vanilla and/or cinnamon if desired. Quick rice pudding! To make it even more creamy, stir in some whipped topping.

Kool Aid Days start tomorrow (the 9th through 11th). They are always held the second weekend of August.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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