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Lowdown on Leftovers

Cooking tips for the caring cook.

Lowdown on Leftovers


Leftovers can be just as good - heck, sometimes better even better - than a just-cooked meal with these tips.

What to do with those leftovers...

  • Spaghetti noodles: For an interesting side dish, stir-fry leftover spaghetti noodles until golden, then add uncooked scrambled eggs. Cook until eggs are firm.
  • Leftover sausage and vegetables make a quick and tasty meal when stirred into prepared macaroni and cheese.
  • Mix leftover crushed pineapple with applesauce for quick, refreshing salads.
  • Chop leftover cooked meat and use it in salads, soups, stir-fries, dumplings, omelet fillings, stuffed peppers or acorn squash, meatloaf, pasta sauce, tacos or burritos. Or simply slice and use it for sandwiches, or combine with a sauce and serve over rice.
  • Crumble leftover rolls that have hardened and use them as a topping for casseroles. Store the crumbs in separate airtight freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months.
  • Leftover sandwiches can be brushed with butter and cooked in a shallow pan.
  • Use leftover beans to make refried beans. Heat a little oil over medium heat; add beans. Cook beans until heated through, then mash with a fork.
  • Leftover Pie Dough - Extra pie dough? Cover it with some parmesan and gruyere cheese and you'll bake a delicious appetizer -- at the very same meal with your pie as dessert.
  • Money Saving Meal Mates: Add a simple salad of greens to a pasta meal. Toss in some leftover cooked or raw vegetables to make the salad unique.
  • Leftover vegetables, mushrooms, and trimmings can be added to stocks for additional flavorings.
  • Leftover casseroles, lasagna, etc. that are sealed in plastic containers will keep several days in the refrigerator or can be frozen. Take the leftovers from the fridge and transfer them to a baking dish. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Then bake with the cover on for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees until heated through. The cover is important because it prevents the dish from drying out. Place frozen leftovers in the oven without thawing.
  • Healthy sandwich. Toss leftover grilled vegetables with Italian salad dressing and serve on thick slices of bread for a tasty sandwich.
  • Save leftover canned tomato paste. Place level tablespoons-full on a foil or plastic-wrap lined pan. Freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen paste to a self-sealing freezer bag. Kabel and date. The frozen paste can be added directly to hot sauces, soups and stews.

Left the Leftovers in the Fridge Too Long?

Freshen the Fridge. Remove refrigerator odors with ease. Dab lemon juice on a cotton ball or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours. Make sure to toss out the malodorous items that might be causing the bad smell.

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