DD – Creative Leftovers

Dinner Diva Early Edition

Creative Leftovers

By Leanne Ely CNC

Holidays can leave us with lots of leftovers–I hope you stuck a bunch in your freezer!

When we remember to feed our freezer and have a plan for how we’re going to use leftover food, we can recoup our losses and not waste a bit of it. If you find that you’re feeding your garbage disposal, it’s time to get creative with your leftovers. So take note!

1) Single Serving. Freeze your leftovers that night into individual single serving sized portions. Now you have a quick frozen dinner for someone later down the road.

2) Have a Plan. Before you cook your meal is the very best time to decide what exactly you will do with the leftovers. If you can prepare more now and freeze half for later, you’ll save yourself time and money in the long run.

3) Write it Out. Make sure and write what it is on the freezer baggie with a Sharpie marker (it’s the only one that won’t run). Everything looks the same once it’s frozen!

Here are a few more ideas —

  • Ham: Leftover ham can be used to cook a lot of different things — pinto beans, corn chowder, potato soup and ham salad for example. You can also slice the ham and use it in sandwiches of course, and as a side to your breakfast eggs, or you can use it in a casserole. You can also use the leftover ham in your fried rice, your nightly veggie side dishes, as a baked potato topping, and into a quiche, too.
  • Chicken or Turkey: Poultry leftovers are very versatile. You can use them in the same types of dishes as the ham, soups and stews such as dumplings, vegetable soup, white chili, and turkey salad. You can use turkey anywhere you’d use chicken, in casseroles, and dishes such as with pasta like, chicken fettuccini carbona, and both birds make excellent pot pies.
  • Veggies: Any veggies left over can be frozen and then tossed into your soups or stews. You can use them up in stir fried dishes too. Remember that pureeing them into a soup isn’t a sin; it’s a virtue (and adds extra nutrition, too!).

The important thing with leftovers is to have a plan for them and they won’t be a mere leftover anymore, but a made over!

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