One of the greatest ways to tighten the food budget is to take advantage of leftovers. Leftovers can be great, particularly if they are presented in a new way or utilized to create an all-new meal. A perfect example was the other night I made corn on the cob but inadvertently made too much. So I had an extra cob and no one in my family really wanted to eat a day old cob. So I made a grilled chicken salad with corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and greens - it was great! The key is to take a look at the leftovers and find creative ways to make new dishes - this will not only minimize your effort but help substantially reduce your grocery budget.
Here are some great ideas for what to do with leftovers:
Grilled or Roasted Chicken, Steak or Pork: Use leftovers for soups, stir fry’s, fried rice, toppings for salads, enchiladas, tacos, tostados
Cooked vegetables: Depending on the vegetable, these can be used in soups and salads with good success.
Leftover taco meat: Great for omelet’s or scrambled eggs or to top baked potatoes.
BBQ chicken, pork or beef: Great for bun-less sandwiches – use a crisp leaf of iceberg lettuce and fill with bbq meat, also good on baked potatoes.
Sauces: Most non-cream-based sauces, freeze very well. I usually make extra sauce whenever possible and then freeze them. This way when I’m in a rush and need to make a quick pasta dish or am looking for a quick sauce to throw over grilled chicken breasts I can pop out a delicious pre-made sauce, warm it quickly and look like the hero at the dinner table!
You may or may not have thought of the above ideas before, but the point is to start looking at your leftovers in a new light. With a little creativity you’d be amazed at what delicious dishes result from utilizing your leftovers.
- Chef Jessica