We do a lot of re-purposing of leftovers in our household. There are just two of us, but we often times cook as though there were 4-6 of us! Ever thought of throwing leftover meatloaf into a soup? We’ve done it! Peach salsa over baked potatoes for dinner? Delicious! But, that doesn’t mean it turns out great every time. There are definitely those days (or weeks) when I just wish that casserole would go away already.
Creating a list of my top 5 ingredients to never be without has been key in ensuring I can always make something out of (nearly) nothing.
- The humble egg – the most versatile protein, in my opinion. Scrambled, fried, poached, in a quiche or frittata, as a sauce for pasta carbonara, a quick addition to a fried rice. You just can’t beat it! (Well, actually you can, and it’s delicious).
- Your favorite rice or grain – brown rice and quinoa are our current faves – add leftover meats or veggies for a cold salad, or heat through with a scrambled egg for fried rice – healthy, delicious and filling!
- Hot sauce – again, pick your favorite – it’s the perfect remedy for getting rid of that “refrigerated” taste that sometimes takes over your leftovers!
- Honey – several varieties – use it to transform your boring morning yogurt to a delicious parfait with granola and fruit, brew your own tea from hibiscus leaves and add just the perfect amount of sweetness, and use it to replace sugar wherever you can.
- Lemons – or lemon juice if you don’t make it to the market weekly – whenever a sauce or marinade is missing something, it’s usually lemon juice! It’s a great addition to broths as well – turn chicken noodle soup into the Greek version by adding lemon juice!
There are days like today, when we had pan seared salmon with chimichurri, and spaetzle with mushroom sauce, for lunch…then there are days when we have a granola bar for lunch…but I have found that one supermarket cheat in particular, has saved us on more than one occasion, and that is the Rotisserie Chicken! I find that having the already cooked chicken lends itself nicely to enchiladas, wraps and salads of various types, not to mention just eating it by itself! Throw the carcass in a pot of water with carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, onion and spices to create homemade chicken stock for later use!