So, you’re staring at a plate of leftovers from the night before last and you’re trying to decide whether you should throw them out or try to put them to good use. Even when money isn’t a concern, wasting perfectly good food just doesn’t feel right, but neither does forcing yourself to eat leftovers. Should you give it to the dog? Or perhaps the classic and common route – just put the lid back on and shove it toward the back of the fridge so you can tell yourself that you’ll do something with it later, only to eventually throw it out to make room for new groceries. To keep your perfectly good leftovers from meeting the same fate, consider the following four universal methods of converting leftover food into deliciousness:
1. Throw in Some Special Homemade Sauce
You can heat just about anything up in a pan and throw some sauce on it for a quick flavor revival and re-purposing works almost every time. Of course, sauce selection is important, but more important is the kind of sauces you’re choosing from, to begin with. Premade store-bought sauces can be good, but homemade sauces made to your liking are always going to be better. Start with the basics, like an easy BBQ sauce recipe, and once you have all the main staples, you can branch out to making fancier DIY sauces.
2. Make a Stew, Soup, or Broth
Stews and soups don’t have to look fancy to be delicious, and they have a way of letting you combine different kinds of leftovers into savory dishes. Suppose you have two kinds of leftovers in your fridge – the remnants of turkey and then a meatloaf dish from last night. There is no rule that says you can’t make a “meatloaf and turkey soup,” even though you might not have ever heard of it. Creating your own interesting soups is a good way to incorporate leftovers into your own unique culinary inventions. If you have some left, you can even repurpose the soup itself to have a dish that has literally been reincarnated twice!
3. Make a Sandwich Out of It
It’s amazing how two slices of bread, some sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a few other ingredients can turn just about anything into a filling and satisfying meal. Leftover fish dish? Make a sandwich out of it. Three-day-old mac and cheese? Reheat, add butter to remoisten, throw on grilled bread and call it a “mac and cheese sandwich.” The possibilities here are literally endless and they always seem to work out, as long as you don’t get too crazy with the ingredient mixing. Thanksgiving leftovers are especially good for making excellent sandwiches.
4. Opt for the Oven or Stovetop Instead of the Microwave
While the microwave provides a quick route that can be tempting, there’s no doubt that having some patience and heating up leftovers in the oven or on the stove produces more delicious results.
Give Left Over Ingredients a Chance
Throwing out leftovers or feeding them to a pet can seem like the easiest course of action when you’re comparing it to a freshly cooked meal in your mind, but there’s no reason why leftovers can’t be every bit as delicious when done right.
Image credit: Alpha – https://flic.kr/p/49x9EG