One thing I’m always trying to do is to use up or re-purpose items that we already have. I don’t like to see anything to go waste, especially food. One way I do that is to find new ways or recipes when preparing meals instead of re-heating leftovers. Sure, roast is great the second night, but why not make a roast beef sandwich instead? Little tweaks can make a ho-hum leftover meal into something a little more memorable.

Here are a few things I do to revamp leftovers:

  • Turn roasted vegetables into a delicious stew by adding vegetable stock and any leftover meat (ham, chicken, venison, etc.). Add spices and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn apples that are getting ready to go bad into a simple apple pie with a crumb topping and crust.
  • Have left over crumb topping? Bake banana bread with brown bananas and top with the leftover crumbles.
  • Add leftover mashed potatoes to a soup to make a natural thickener.
  • With extra beans, add them to chili, make an enchilada casserole, mash them and use them on homemade nachos. 
  • One night a week try making a vegetable soup using any leftover veggies in your refrigerator (before they go bad) or even try your hand at a vegetable stock (to use later).
  • Before bread goes bad, dry it out (or toast it). Pulverize it in a food processor and use them for bread crumbs.
  • With leftover cornbread, I crumble it up and add some spices to it. I’ll coat chicken pieces with an egg/milk bath and then bread them with the cornbread. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  • Too many baked potatoes? Make baked potato soup.
  • If you use organic potatoes, save the skins from the baked potatoes (if you make baked potato soup), spritz them with oil and lightly salt. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. They make great “scoops” for the potato soup.
  • With extra tomato sauce, I add it to soups, pour over Chicken Parmesan, make mini pizzas on bread slices or make tomato soup for lunch.
  • Use the crushed nuts at the bottom of a mixed nuts container as an ice cream topping. 
  • Use cookie crumbs at the bottom of the bag for ice cream toppings, too. 
  • Don’t throw out the leafy tops of celery or the green stems of an onion. Chop these up and add them to soups, stews or freeze them to make vegetable stock at a later date.