Sunday, November 27, 2016

Later, LeftOvers!!

My family hates leftovers. How can something so delicious from a day ago now seem repulsive? Heaven forbid they have to reheat...oh the horror! (ha-ha!)

So my new strategy is to reinvent leftovers. Others figured this out years ago, but it is relatively new to our home.  I got tired of throwing out food!

There are so many creative chefs out there who have great re-created recipes. They whip up masterpieces as if they attended culinary school!  They may have. I however, did not. I cook to taste and loosely follow recipes. I rarely have a dish taste the exact same twice.

But as a working mom (school principal) with a college student, junior high student, and an incredibly hard-working hubby, my recipes have to be flavorful and quick. My thoughts are: What can I prep and have ready in less than an hour? How can I not waste leftovers that my family won't eat? How can I disguise leftovers and recreate them in a way that they are nearly unrecognizable?

So I scour the Internet, and even reference those cooking books gathering dust in my pantry, and found a few that are winners!  I get a lot of inspiration as well from cooking shows. I watch for spices used, food combinations, and tricks that help it all taste terrific.

Here are a couple of my latest re-created leftover recipes that are quick, delicious, and a hit with the family. Hope your family enjoys them as much as mine do!

Too-Many-Mashed-Potatoes Shepard's Pie
  • Any amount of leftover mashed potatoes (2+ cups is best) 
  • 1 lb. ground meat (turkey or beef) 
  • 1 cup diced carrots 
  • 1 cup diced celery 
  • 1 cup diced onion 
  • Light Olive Oil 
  • Salt, Pepper Herbs de Provence 
  • Unsalted Butter 
  1. Saute the carrots, celery, onion in Light Olive Oil until onions translucent
  2. Brown ground meat 
  3. Add salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence to meat to taste 
  4. Mix the sauteed carrots, celery, onion with the ground meat 
  5. Spread in the bottom of a glass casserole dish 
  6. Spread mashed potatoes over the meat/veggie mix 
  7. Add pats of unsalted butter every 4 inches down the center 
  8. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes uncovered 
 Hearty and warm on a cold winter night!

Maximize-the-Meat Empanadas
  • Leftover taco-meat (ground turkey or beef) 
  • 2 cans of layered flaky biscuits 
  • Baking flour 
  •  Shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 diced onion 
  • Olive Oil 
  • 4 beaten egg whites 
  1. Saute the 1/2 diced onion in olive oil until translucent 
  2. Using baking flour and a rolling pin, roll out each biscuit until thin 
  3. Mix sauteed onion with leftover taco-meat 
  4. On a non-stick baking sheet, lay out flattened biscuits 
  5. Add approximately 1 table spoon of the meat mix to one side of the biscuit
  6. Sprinkle shredded cheddar on the meat 
  7. Fold over the biscuit and press seams firmly to seal 
  8. Brush beaten egg whites over the top of each biscuit 
  9. Bake at 375 for ~20 minutes (option to also follow the recommended baking time on the can of biscuits) 
This is a true family FAV!!

Got a great favorite leftover recipe? Please share or link in the comments below!

As I find new ones, I will happily share here.

Be Blessed & Happy cooking!

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