Using Leftovers For A Different Dinner

While growing up, I watched my mother as she always made food for all of us. Somehow she always had enough even if extended family or friends showed up.


She would take leftover vegetables and put them in a plastic container (an empty plastic ice cream bucket works well, or even a smaller plastic container) that had a tight fitting cover. She put in anything that would go into a soup. Even tomato sauce can go in if you are making a 'kitchen sink' soup.

To this day, when I make a meal, I make more than enough for the two of us now that we are retired. I am always thinking of a way to make one meal into another.

  • We had baked ham the other day. We buy a large one, then I can also do scalloped potatoes and ham or ham and macaroni and cheese.

  • If I have scalloped potatoes left, I warm the leftovers a bit, mash them with a masher or an immersion blender and add a few things to make a wonderful bit of potato soup.

  • Warm the mac and cheese and ham and put it over hot dogs or hamburgers in a bun, Rachael Ray style.

  • When I am frying onions and peppers for sausages or some other meal, I fry enough to use some for a breakfast omelet.

  • Extra lasagna can become a wonderful soup as well. Cut it up and put it in a chicken or beef stock and add more tomatoes and more seasoning and you have an Italian soup with pasta and veggies. Use up some left over zucchini in the soup as well if you have it.

Just keep thinking of ways you can make one thing into another. If a recipe has common ingredients, you can use a leftover to help make it.

By diane szlucha from Owego, NY

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