How Do You Fix Your Leftover Food?

marilyn_sueFebruary 6, 2013

How do you fix your leftover foods, do you just heat them up and use them as intended or do you make them into something else? I usually bring home my fries as there are most of the time a lot of them. I put them in a ziplock bag and the next day cube what I want of them and brown them in a skillet and then scramble in an egg for my breakfast. You can also add peppers and onions or whatever you like. Leftover homemade mashed potatoes can become potato patties or potato salad. Leftover cookies or cake can be crumbled and layered with pudding, nuts, fruits and whipped topping for a really good dessert. Anyone else have different ways to use your leftovers?


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Great ideas! I guess we will be purchasing a micro/convection oven when the kitchen is ready for it. Will not have to heat up the big oven for leftovers or small items such as snacks.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:52AM
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That's exactly what I do, remake them. My most typical one? Leftover veggies, and sometimes meat, become the base for spagehtti. But yes, almost always totally different than they started out. Except desserts, I just gobble them down so quickly, there are no leftovers!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:56AM
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I call them 'planned' leftovers. It's sort of a challenge to me to try to always have leftovers come to the table differently than the first time around.

Leftover Roast Beef or roast chicken--becomes BBQ sandwiches; leftover BBQ comes back as a topping for a baked potato

Leftover Creamed dried beef may show up as a casserole with either potatoes or macaroni

Leftover Spaghetti becomes Spaghetti Pie, leftover sauce can turn into pita or French Bread Pizza.

Leftover raw veg become a stir-fry or fried rice the next evening (we always have stir-fry after a party, to use up the leftover veg from the veg and dip). Or sometimes I do an "Italian" stir-fry--fresh veg, quickly fried, with Italian seasoning for a fresh sauce for pasta.

Leftover little bits of veg go into a container in the freezer--when it's full, it's time for vegetable soup.

Leftover turkey--hot turkey sandwiches or turkey salad, or turkey pie

Leftover ham--ham impossible pie; ham salad, omelettes.

Restaurant leftovers? if I bring home a bit of steak, that often goes into some sort of stir-fry, or is added to pasta sauce, and is often enough for us for dinner the next night.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Most of my leftovers are not used or go to feed the birds! I know that sounds terrible but my Dad will not eat leftovers. He hates them and my husband is not fond of them either. There are a very few that they will is leftover mashed potatoes if I make them into little cakes and saute them in butter. No problem either with leftover desserts...they get eaten pretty quickly but other than that it's useless...Well I can freeze homemade chili and they will eat that but that's about it! Sad isn't it?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Joann--have you ever tried my method? Using the leftovers as an ingredient in something different (see my post above). Bet if you're creative about it, they won't even know they're eating leftovers. If you have to, freeze the leftovers, then make something different with them a week or two later.

To me, it's just such a shame to waste food. And sometimes, the leftovers are better than the original food, anyway.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Some things I recreate, others are just reheated. We don't mind leftovers. If we liked it the first time, we like it the second time, too. I often let a day go in between before re-presenting them.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:00AM
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Last night I made Chicken Divan Casserole which I had seen on TV (Rachael Ray). It's basically cubed chicken and vegetables in a cream and cheese sauce with pastry on top, like a big pot pie. I saved the leftovers and mixed them with my dog's food this morning. She really enjoyed them and I now have nothing left to "save". My sister and SIL both have beautiful clean homes with neat refrigerators. I asked both how they do it. They feed their leftovers to their pets or the birds outside, and toss the rest. I call it "The Margi C. Clean-Home Method". My DH thinks it's sinful to waste food but he hates eating re-heated leftovers.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:14AM
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We eat most leftovers just as they were to start~~~not much goes to waste here. Some meals are planned with leftovers in mind, if I am going to be gone then DH is taken care of. My kids all cook bigger so they have leftovers to take for their lunches at work for a couple of days.

Marilyn, I like your french fry leftover idea~~~most places do give you too many to eat in one meal, now I know what to do with them~~Thanks;)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:17PM
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I have a question for those of you who form left over mashed potatoes into little patties and fry them in butter. I love them, but how do you keep them from falling apart in the frying pan?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:04PM
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One of my favorite much of the time I am busy doing other more fun things and choose to use something that I have already prepared...The secret to leftovers is to bring them to the table in another form...Truthfully neither of us have a problem eating leftovers exactly as they were prepared but often I cook enough meat or whatever that we would not enjoy it beyond the second I am also very creative...

For instance, last night we had chicken enchiladas...made with leftover one guessed at all.....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:39PM
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My potato patties get an egg mixed in them and some flour. I also put flour on the outside.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:12PM
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I just shape leftover mashed potatoes into 'cakes', dredge in flour, then put into a VERY hot skillet with a little oil and a bit of butter (that raises the smoking temp of the butter). The trick is to let the first side cook until brown, then flip with your pancake turner. You can't mess with them while they cook, or they will fall apart.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:17PM
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I don't eat leftovers. Thankfully, hubby loves them (and hates to waste food).

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Does anyone do as my mother used to do with leftover roasts -- grind them up to make hash? (That makes me remember the metallic smell of that iron, clamp-on meat grinder.) Add a little onion, seasoning, and some diced potatoes, and you have hash to brown in an iron skillet.

Rarely do we eat leftovers in the same form as they were originally served. They go 'into' something else. I've put leftover chicken or beef into a frozen prepared meal like Bertolli Dinner for Two. Leftover hamburger can 'beef up' a can of soup at lunch. However, I wouldn't 'use up' anything for the sake of 'not wasting' it -- especially any empty calories we don't need.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Many time we have either 1 or 2 pieces of chichen/steak left. I put them in a ziplock back to the freezer. Then will take them out, cut them up, and mix with pastas, cut up baked potatoes,or rice along with onions,and seasonings, noodles, then for moisture either Alfrado sauces or mexican tomatoe salsa.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Funny you posted this. A few weeks ago the store had whole chickens for 99 cents a pound so we got two of them. Yesterday, I put one in the crockpot (without any liquid added). We had it carved last night and this morning I cut all the rest of it up and now I have 3 bags of diced chicken in the freezer, marked so I know what I want to use them for. One is for chicken salad and has dark and white meat. Another is for chicken and wild rice soup (2 meals plus a lunch) and the third for chicken and noodles, which will be at least two meals, maybe more.

So as I figured it, the meat I use in each meal will cost about 35 cents per serving. I just love saving money and hate wasting food.

Plus I have all that lovely broth and also made extra by putting all the bones, skin and scraps in a pot to make more broth.

We have no problem having the same meal two nights in a row. Harry's the easiest person in the world to cook for.

I like your idea for the fries, too, Sue. In restaurants I've asked them not to give me so many fries, but they come premeasured. I usually just leave them, but I'll bring them home from now on. Bet there's a lot of things to do with them--like make them like Wendy's chili cheese fries!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Most of my leftovers get reheated as is/was in the microwave.

Sometimes I'll add some burger to a bowl of soup, along with veggies, maybe milk, etc.

Son took me out to dinner for my birthday ... I had panzeroti. Way too much for the original sitting, so I took some home, ate on it three days later. But couldn't finish it, even then, so had a third try on the next evening (trouble was, then, somewhat too much crust, too little filling down in the back corner).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:31PM
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We bought abig ham because it was only a $1 pound. Since there is only Jim and I we have a lot left over. I know a lot of people make soup with the ham Bone, but I have never done that.We cut it up and froze a couple of bags. Tonight I am making Shingin Noodle for my husband. It is one of his favorites from his Mother. I would like to know the recipe for Ham Impossible Pie.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:36PM
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SandieFl--I'm sorry, I don't have it at hand, right this second, but if you google "Impossible Ham Salad Pie" you should find it--it's one of those super easy Bisquick recipes. I use broccoli instead of peas, and I add a bit of sauteed onion.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Most of our leftovers end up as "Fourth Meal" for my two sons :) Maybe one day I'll actually get to enjoy some!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:48PM
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When my sons were still in school and living at home, I would come home with leftovers from lunch out with friends, and they never made it into the refrigerator. Someone always ate them up immediately.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:18PM
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It really depends on what the leftovers happen to be. I like meatloaf (the way I make it) so I generally make it larger than needed to save energy because I can get several meals out of it. Same with a turkey breast or a number of other things. If I happen to get tired of it I can put it into a hotdish, spaghetti, soup, chili or any number of other things. Planned leftovers but there's alternatives available. Some things I don't like in the way of leftovers are mashed potatoes and scalloped potatoes. Not sure why. Just don't like them reheated.

I have a cousin who claims to never eat leftovers though I've seen him eat leftovers all the time. And I laughed the hardest at him eating TV dinners so often at the cabin when he had to cook for himself. What are TV dinners? LEFTOVERS!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I plan to have leftovers each time I cook. We'll eat it the same way as the first night. Like someone said, I liked it the first time, I'll like it again. I normally make double the chicken breasts or pork chops etc., so I only have to cook a large meal every second day or so.

If the meal is something simple like baked or grilled chicken it's easy to cut them up for fajitas or enchiladas. Leftover hamburger or veggies get thrown in soup or omlettes.

My DH is great with eating leftovers once, but after that he get tired of it unless it's a favorite like lasagna or something. I hate to waste food, so I've eaten a few "Creative" meals! Some good, some not, oh well! Our birds get the stale bread crusts, or odd pancake (which they seem to love!)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:46PM
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I like feeding the birds, but if you have a food processor you can tear stale bread up and pulse it a few times for homemade bread crumbs. Takes such a little amount of time. They're great for meatballs or meatloaf or breading fish, chops, etc. I just stick them in a zip-loc bag and keep them in the freezer.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:25PM
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