Reinventing Leftovers Reduces Food Waste

Cooking multiple meals a day, seven days a week can leave a person tired and out of ideas for a tasty homemade meal. One fun way to reignite your enthusiasm is to challenge yourself to create a new dish with what you’ve got on hand without heading to the store for groceries. Cooking with leftovers not only reduces the cost of trips to the grocery store, but just as importantly, helps to eliminate food waste. Here are three ideas for reinventing with leftovers:

  • The one-pan stir fry.

A great way to repurpose leftover vegetables is to stir fry them with whatever protein or grain you’ve got on hand. A stir fry is quick and easy to make because it requires simply one pan, a mix of ingredients, and whatever flavoring you like. Try an Asian stir fry with leftover vegetables, meat, ginger, and soy sauce, or an Indian-style approach with leftover vegetables, rice, and potatoes seasoned with curry powder. Let the ingredients you’ve got on hand guide you and don’t be afraid to try a fun substitution.

  • The repurposed breakfast.

Breakfast is the perfect time to throw leftover veggies and meat from last night’s dinner into an omelet or fried with some potatoes. Go for a veggie omelet including leftover spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms, or a classic ham and swiss using leftover meat and cheese. Leftover potatoes, roasted peppers, sauteed onions topped with a little cheese also makes for a satisfying dish to start your day. 

  • Get creative.

Depending on the selection of leftovers available in your fridge, the possibilities are endless. There are even websites, such as BigOven, where you can enter the leftovers or ingredients you already have, and it will recommend a new recipe for you to try. Add new seasonings, toppings, or sides, and watch your leftovers become a new, delicious meal.