What do you do when a meal is finished? Most of us wash the dishes and wrap up the leftovers, but what happens to the leftover portions not eaten? Do they get consumed later or do they sit in the refrigerator until they start to smell and you finally throw them out? If you tend to do the latter, how about saving some time and money by learning how to use those leftovers in new ways to surprise your family at dinner time.
Some people like leftovers and some do not. Still then, many will eat them one day out, but quickly get tired of eating the same thing over and over. Here’s a way to fix the problem if you or someone in your family is the same way. Let’s start with an example.
You prepare a roasted pork loin and rice for dinner one night. The family wants something else for dinner the following night so the pork loin gets pushed to the back of the refrigerator. Normally, that’s where it will stay until you clean out the fridge, right? Not anymore. Let’s do something to keep that pork loin from going to waste.
Eating leftovers the way they were originally served, is probably what’s turning family members off from wanting it again the next night. Your family doesn’t have to eat the pork loin as is. So, chop that pork loin up into bite size pieces.
Now you’re probably thinking, ok that’s great, but what do I do with it now? In a large skillet or wok, stir fry the leftover rice with a bag of frozen veggies, an egg, and some of the chopped pork loin to make pork fried rice. Add a little soy sauce and you’ve got a whole new dinner for your hungry family.
This is just one way that leftovers can be turned into a new dish with a new flavor. The same can also be done using chicken, seafood, or beef. Let’s take a look at beef.
If you have hamburgers left from dinner, chop them up until they resemble ground beef again. The meat can be combined with chili powder and taco sauce to make beef tacos. Or, add some beans, chopped peppers and tomatoes, and sauce to create a pot of chili. If you have the imagination, there are an unlimited number of possibilities of what you can do with meats and side dishes from a previous night’s dinner.
Using a little leftover magic can make one meal last for two, three, or even four more days. But, you don’t have to eat it all in the same week. Fix a new meal with the leftovers and freeze it until you are ready to have that particular meat again. On that day, dinner will already be made, all you’ll need to do is heat it up. Yes, it really can be just that simple.
Your family will be amazed at your ability to transform any meal into a new creation they will enjoy. Besides that, you will save money on your grocery bill and won’t be throwing it away in the trash can as spoiled leftovers. Try these and similar ideas to expand your family’s palate.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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