Leftovers can either be really good or really bad. On one hand, you don’t have to cook anything to eat them. On the other hand, they can be pretty nasty if you wait too long to eat them.
Throwing away food is a hard thing to do. It’s hard on the wallet and the environment. Nobody wants to waste food.
So how do you make the most out of your leftovers? There are a few ways you can do it. You can plan to eat them, you can make them into something different, and you can emphasize versatility in your meals.
1) Plan to eat them
A lot of people struggle with finding healthy lunches that they can eat on the go while they’re at work or on the road. They get hungry at lunchtime and find themselves with no option other than buying an expensive, unhealthy lunch.
Instead of doing that, why not plan to eat your leftovers from the night before for lunch? The key to this is making food you know you’ll want to eat twice in a short amount of time. You also need to make sure it will reheat well or taste good cold. Some great options that fit these criteria are pasta, casseroles, and stews.
You should also try a leftover night. It may sound boring or unappealing, but it’ll save you not only money, but time, too. Save your leftovers for the week and have them for dinner on a night where nobody feels like cooking. Your wallet and stomach will thank you!
2) Emphasize versatile meals
When you’re planning your weekly meals, try to emphasize foods that you know can be made into a variety of things later. This will make repurposing them way easier. This method is great for people who really don’t like eating the same thing multiple times.
Things like baked meats and roasted vegetables can go a long way. The meat can be shredded, cubed, or sliced then seasoned to fit whatever flavor you are trying to go for. For example, baked chicken can be shredded, seasoned with taco seasoning, and put in a bowl with rice, beans, and leftover veggies for a quick, healthy meal that will keep you full.
Another great way to reuse leftovers is making a soup or stew. Take your proteins, leftover veggies, and add some broth, butter, seasoning, and anything else you might this would taste good. Bring it to a simmer and enjoy!
3) Make less – or freeze!
This seems like quitting, but some people just really do not like leftovers. That’s okay! Fresh food is much better than reheated. One way to combat food (and money) waste is to make less in the first place. Take any excess clutter out of your grocery lists.
If you find yourself with leftovers you think you won’t eat but could reuse in the future, put them in the freezer! Foods like pasta sauce, meat, and casseroles freeze and reheat well. Freezing them prevents them from sitting in the back of your fridge and spoiling before you can get to them.
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