Revamp your Leftovers

Looking to save money in the coming year by cooking once and eating for the week? In addition to saving on food costs, it can also reduce kitchen waste and save you time.

However, eating the same meal over and over can quickly become boring. One simple way to avoid this is by meal planning. As you plan meals for the week, envision how to use the same ingredients in multiple ways.

For instance, brown rice can be used for a stir fry, warm grain salad, and breakfast porridge. Even with clever meal planning, sometimes we still end up with more leftovers than we care to enjoy.

So before you decide to toss that last serving, try one of these simple tips.

Put an Egg on It

Frittatas and scrambles were made for leftovers. All you need are a few leftover ingredients and you can easily whip up one of these egg dishes in no time.

  • If you have: leftover vegetables, greens, eggs, cheese
  • Make: a spinach frittata, vegetable scramble, sweet potato hash

DIY Salad and Grain Bowls

Salads and grain bowls offer limitless possibilities for leftovers. Hot or cold, these quick-to-assemble meals can be made using any leftover ingredients you may have on hand. Use this formula for instant inspiration:

  • Base: whole grain or leafy greens
  • Protein: legumes, eggs, meat
  • Vegetables: any leftovers
  • Toppings: nuts, seeds, avocado
  • Dressing: pesto, vinaigrette, tahini

Blend It

Soups are an easy way to completely revamp your leftovers, both in flavor and texture. Heat the leftover vegetables and legumes with stock and fresh herbs. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.

  • If you have: leftover beans, lentils, vegetables, greens, fresh herbs
  • Make: butternut squash soup, curry lentil vegetable soup, tomato and chickpea bisque

Ready to up your leftovers game? Let’s get cooking!  

— By Bastyr dietectic intern Katherine Ratliff, reviewed by Kelly Morrow, MS, RD, CD, core faculty member in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University and a clinical supervisor at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.