Leftover Magic

18 Thu, 2010 § 2 Comments

Leftovers are gross.

This is what I thought growing up.  Next-day-food was either mushy or stale, bland or overwhelming.  Then my family was introduced to leftover spaghetti & garlic bread sandwiches…& they were even better than the original dish.  Maybe leftovers weren’t so bad after all.

The trick is to transform them.

These days — though I love a freshly prepared meal — I’ve not only come around to but really enjoy finishing off leftovers.

I have found myself making large batches of favorites for lunches throughout the week, prepping dinners like casseroles, stuffed peppers [that end up missing ;)] & other dishes in advance & revamping leftover meals.

Several dishes hold really well — some even get better — over a few days: soups, chili, baked pasta, bean burgers, grains, etc.

It’s convenient to make large batches & reinvent leftovers; & it often makes healthy eating easier because you are left with fewer excuses to just eat out or make lunch from a box.

But it can’t get boring, so think outside the box & play around with a few of these suggestions for using up leftovers without feeling like you’re eating leftovers:

Bake a dish you normally wouldn’t bake…like leftover ravioli filling tossed with rice or quinoa.

Crumble bean burgers over salads…or top your salads with casserole mixings…or stuff your mixings into a wrap.

Use soup as the base for pasta sauce…or casserole…or use pasta sauce to make crazy enchilada sauce.

When you’re really desperate to use something up, sometimes a little magic happens.

I turned a leftover 7Layer Guacamole Bean Dip from Friday’s game night into a tasty lunch that was completely different than its original appetizer vibe.

7[un]Layered Bean Dip Casserole

1 large or 2 small servings

  • ~1.5 C leftover 7Layer dip
  • ~1 C cooked Harvest Grain Blend [a mix of various rices, quinoa, etc that I picked up from the bulk section at Whole Foods.]
  • 2T toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1T vegan “parmesan”, plus extra to sprinkle over top

Combine all ingredients.

Scoop into a ramekin or small oven-safe bowl.

Sprinkle with “parmesan”.

Bake at 350*F for ~15 minutes, or until heated through.

7Layer Guacamole Bean Dip

Spread & layer, in order, in an 8×8 dish.

  • 1 can [Annie’s] refried beans
  • 2.5 avocados mashed with juice of 1 lime
  • ~16oz [-1/4C] plain Greek yogurt, blended with taco seasoning packet*
  • 1, 2.5oz can diced green chiles, drained
  • 2, 2.5oz cans sliced black olives, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 C Daiya cheese

*You can make your own taco seasoning using chili, cumin, onion powder, paprika, cayenne & salt.


What do you do with leftovers?

Tagged: , ,

§ 2 Responses to Leftover Magic

  • Natalie says:

    I used to be exactly the same…I hated leftovers! As an adult I have come to appreciate them very much. I I have no idea what to do, I make soup…just add some veggie stock to anything and it tastes pretty darn good.

    I’ve been craving a 7-layer type dip, I think I need to try out your recipe…SOON 🙂

  • I love leftovers, both transformed and as leftovers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Leftover Magic at ARoadMoreBalanced.


%d bloggers like this: