Category: Make Your Own


I didn’t actually get a picture of this one, but instead put pictures of two previously posted “Empty the Fridge Chowders”  Making a chowder or chili is one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers.

4-5 c. leftover meat and starch (I had about 4 or 5 cups of some delicious boneless lemon pepper chicken thighs and brown rice and black beans that weren’t getting eaten fast enough.  I chopped the chicken up into smaller pieces)

1 bag Dole Chopped salad (I save the salad toppings and dressings from the chopped salad for future use).  Broccoli slaw would also work well as the fresh add-in.

 

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Combine the leftovers with the greens from the Chopped salad, and place in crock pot.

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Add in:

1 jar salsa (I used Muir Glen organic that was on sale)

3 Tbsp. bacon jam

1 Tbsp. dehydrated minced onion

2 C. chicken broth

Any leftover meat and starch will do.  I sometime even freeze leftovers I know will work well in a chowder or chili.  Make sure you label them, though.  They are often unrecognizable when you look at them in a container in the freezer.

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To the chicken, rice, bean, and chop salad mixture, I then added salsa, bacon jam, dehydrated minced onion, and chicken broth.

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Cook on low in the crock pot for 8 hours.

Optional toppings:  Shredded cheese, nuts, sour cream, crushed chips, etc.

Optional add-ins:  Any leftover veggies or starches.

 

 

Naan Pizza

Stonefire Naan Bread – I used whole wheat bought on sale (can be frozen for future use)

Sauce of Choice (I had leftover from spaghetti night that I froze for future use)

Italian bread crumbs (to thicken the sauce)

Meat of Choice (I cooked Italian sausage and froze it when it was on sale)

Pesto (to stretch what turned out to be not quite enough leftover sauce!)

Peppers (chopped and frozen when on sale)

Shredded cheese (Italian six cheese – you guessed it – bought on sale – also freezes well)

Naan pizza is a great way to use up leftovers!  It’s also a great way to throw together stuff that you can easily keep in the freezer.  Quick weeknights were made for dinners like this!

  1.  Spray large sheet pan with coconut oil.
  2. Place naan bread on pan and spray tops with coconut oil. Obviously olive oil spray would also work well.  I didn’t have any on hand.
  3. Separate leftover sauce over all of the breads to make sure you have enough.  My sauce was a little watery, so I mixed in some Italian style bread crumbs to thicken it.  I’m glad I did this, because I realized I was a little short, and added a little pesto to each before spreading.  I then took some of the fat from the sausage that came out while it was defrosting and shook it in the pesto jar and spread that around the edge of each of the breads.
  4. Grind up sausage in chopper until crumbly, or cut it by hand if you like bigger pieces.
  5. Spread sausage evenly over all the breads.
  6. Top with defrosted peppers – or any other veggies you have on hand!  I can’t wait to try this with broccoli, cauliflower, beets, mushrooms, whatever!
  7. Sprinkle cheese evenly over toppings.
  8. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!  I’m running to the store while the naan is still on sale and stocking my freezer for future experiments.

 

 

 

3 lb. ground turkey

1 package Chop Salad (any kind – keep the dressing and toppings for another time)

1 package frozen seasoning vegetables (onions, peppers, celery, and parsley)

1 can black beans

1 can white corn

2 pouches Frontera Lime Cilantro sauce – this is our favorite Rick Bayess sauce – all natural ingredients you can pronounce!

2 pouches Minute Multi-grain medley (uncooked)

Optional toppings:  Lettuce, tomato, avocado, red pepper, shredded cheese, black bean dip, etc.!

Brown meat.  Add veggies chop salad and seasoning and cook until softened.  Add sauce and cook in the crock pot 6-8 hours on low.  About 30 minutes before serving, turn crock pot to high and add in multi-grain.  It will absorb the extra liquid.  Heat tortillas and let everyone make their own burritos!

I had some leftover London Broil and wanted to make something different.  I shredded it up and made quesadilla with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cheese.  Yummy!!

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2-3 c. shredded beef

1 large onion, roughly chopped

1/2 each green, red, yellow, and orange peppers, chopped

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. butter

2 c. Mexican shredded cheese

Flour tortillas (I used fajita style)

Saute onion, peppers, and mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper to taste in olive oil until softened.

Add garlic and butter.  Cook about 1 minute.

Add in beef and toss until heated through.

Keep warm over low heat.

Heat tortillas in oven or microwave.

Heat large saute pan over medium high heat.

Place one tortilla in pan and heat for one minute.  Flip.

Top cheese and then with meat and veggie mixture.  Sprinkle with  a little more cheese, and top with another tortilla.  Heat for about a minute, and carefully flip over to brown the second side.

Cut with pizza cutter and serve with lots of greens!

 

potstickers

1 lb. sausage

1 Tbsp. oil to cook veggies

1 package cole slaw mix

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 Tbsp. finely minced ginger

1 package wonton wrappers

1 small bowl water (to seal potstickers)

Cook veggies in oil and salt to soften and remove excess moisture.  Transfer to plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess moisture and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil and egg.  Add in uncooked sausage, ginger, and softened veggies.  Using your hands, combine until well blended.

On a dry clean surface, lay out a couple of wrappers.  Work quickly so they don’t dry up.  Keep unused wrappers under a damp paper towel.

Spoon filling into the center of each wrap.  Dip finger in water and moisten the edge of the wrap to seal, forming a half moon shape.  Place on baking sheet lined with parchment pinched side up.  Gently press to flatten bottom.  Keep covered with plastic wrap while forming the rest.

Use a large skillet with lid.  Over medium high, add 3 Tbsp. oil.  Arrange pot stickers fitting them tightly in the pan until bottoms are golden brown.  Add ½ c. water and cover with lid and cook 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove lid and cook 2 minutes more until most of the water is gone.

I prepared a pan lined with parchment and covered with plastic wrap to keep the potstickers moist until I cooked them.

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Mix sausage, cooked veggies, salt, soy sauce, oil, egg, and ginger.

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I worked using a paper plate and damp paper towels to keep the unused wrappers moist.

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I laid them out on damp paper towels working three at a time.

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They look more like ravioli because the wrappers were the small ones (by mistake).

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I had leftover filling, so I made meatballs and baked them.  Yummmmm.

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2 Tbsp. walnut oil

1 large sweet onion,  coarsely chopped

1 C. coarsely chopped sweet peppers

8  chicken cutlets

1/3 c. super chunky peanut butter

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sweet thai chili sauce

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1/2 C. water

Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, chili sauce, and water in sauce pan.  Heat until peanut butter melts.

Place chicken cutlets in baking dish.

Brush with walnut oil and a little of the peanut sauce.

Bake 350F for about 20 minutes (until internal temperature is 165F).

Meanwhile, boil water for noodles (I used whole wheat angel hair pasta)

Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven.  Add onions and peppers.  Cook over medium low heat until softened.

Add peanut butter sauce to cooked onions and peppers.  Chop cooked cutlets into bite sized pieces and add in.  Heat through over low heat.  Add more liquid if needed.

When noodles are done, drain, reserving a little pasta water just in case, and top with chicken, peanut sauce and veggies.

This was a huge hit.  Those who love hot foods added some red pepper flakes.

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1 lb. hot Italian sausage

1 package Simply Potatoes Steakhouse Seasoned Diced Potatoes

1 c. coarsely chopped peppers (I used  mini sweet red, yellow, and orange)

1 package broccoli slaw

1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. olive oil or other flavorful oil (I used walnut oil)

Remove casing, cut into little pieces, and brown sausage.  Add in fresh veggies and oil.  Cover and cook over medium low until veggies are slightly softened (about 15 minutes).  Add canned tomatoes and simmer about 15-30 minutes more over low.

I didn’t add seasoning, because the sausage and potatoes were seasoned.

Easy add ins:  squash, mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, any veggie! A great way to use up leftovers!  This could also be cooked in the crock pot, but I would still brown the sausage first to give it a nice crust.

I served this with quinoa and green lentils cooked in the rice cooker.

This got rave reviews!!

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Mahalo.com calls for steaming wings first for about 10 minutes, but I was late getting started and decided to forego that step.

8 lb. fresh chicken wings

1/8 C. Cajun Seasoning

1/8 C.  oil (I used a nut oil mix I had on hand)

After steaming wings for 10 minutes, place them on jelly roll pans sprayed with coconut oil, sprinkle with Cajun or other seasoning (such as garam marala, Tuscan, Herbs de Provence, Garlic Powder and Parmesian, etc. etc.  in a 425 F oven for about 20 minutes.  Turn and cook for 20 more.

Remove from oven, toss in a brown paper bag to absorb oil/chicken fat,  and serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

No need to fry wings ever again.  They are amazing and delicious baked.  We had them with barbecue sauce,  balsamic glaze. honey mustard, and ranch, to dip in.

You can easily make these up to a day ahead, and heat them with sauce brushed on them.

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This was one of those meals that smelled so delicious, and everyone was sooooo hungry, we didn’t get a picture of the food plated.

I love love love this Little Big Meal deal.  Amazing products!  I got extra lean sirloin, key lime cilantro taco sauce (Rick Bayless’ brand), white corn tortillas, sour cream, Mexican mix cheese, guacamole, and the roasted corn and black bean salad.

First I put some rice in the rice cooker, to make to go farther.  I chopped a small sweet onion.

Brown the meat and onions chopping up finely.   Add sauce and simmer until rice is done cooking.

Meanwhile, heat the tortillas on a baking sheet 3-5 minutes at 300 F.

Add cooked rice to the meat mixture.

I laid it out like a taco bar.  So yummy.  The tortillas were the best I’ve had.  It tasted like someone just made them.  The sauce is amazing.  Everyone loved the roasted corn and black bean salad (which is a little on the sweet/pickled side).

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This is such a hit, my next two Thursdays are set!

 

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I was making some soup – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leek, Potato to be exact – and I wanted to have sandwiches with it.  I remembered some frozen empanada dough I’d bought a while back, and decided to use some of the ground pork I’d bought and frozen to make empanadas.

1 pack frozen empanada dough (I used El Sambrador brand)

1 lb. ground pork

1/2 c. finely diced onions

2 Tbsp. garlic pepper seasoning

1/4 c. barbecue sauce

Cook seasoning, pork and onions until cooked through.

Pulse in food processor with barbecue sauce until no large lumps remain.

Lay out empanada dough.  Top with filling.  Seal with water. Press seam with fork.

Place on baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

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Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Everyone really loved these and I should have made more!

The texture of the dough was flaky and tender.  I will buy these again.  I can’t wait to try them with other stuffings.  This would be a great way to repurpose leftovers!  I’m going to try the Chicken Anelli I posted from il Mulino’s restaurant recently.  They use pizza dough, but I think the empanada dough will be perfect.

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