Category: Using up leftovers


Baked Chicken Quesadilla

I was on my way home from the funeral of a dear friend and decided to do some therapy grocery shopping.  Tortillas were buy one get one free, and I had some leftover chicken, rice, vegetable, bean soup in the fridge.  My son, Donnie, has been asking for Quesadillas.  It was meant to be.

1 package soft flour tortillas

2-3 c. leftover chicken soup (liquid drained out)

1 package shredded Mexican cheese

Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Olives, etc. for garnish.

Cover two baking sheets with foil and spray with coconut oil.

Lay out as many tortillas as fit on the baking sheets (I had three each).

Place leftover soup, minus the liquid,  into a food process and pulse until the consistency of tuna salad.

Layer chicken on each of the tortillas.

Top with cheese.

Place another tortilla on top like a lid.

Spray tops with coconut oil.

Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until golden, rotating halfway through.

These were a huge hit, and easy and quick to make.  No wasted leftovers either!!

 

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2 Immaculate pie crusts

12 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

4 oz. diced pancetta

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 apples diced

6 oz. brie, diced

1 c. shredded cheese (I used fontina)

Pre-bake pie crusts until slightly golden at 400F.  Lower temperature to 325F.

Whisk together eggs and sour cream.

Cook pancetta until crispy, adding in onions to carmelize toward the end.

Place brie and apple in one pie crust.

Place pancetta and onion in the other.

Top both with shredded cheese.

Pour egg mixture equally into both.

Bake for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

What I love about quiche is I can use up whatever is in the fridge.  Any veggie, any cheese , any meat, equals Yumm.

Serve with fruit or a salad – you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

I cooked a bunch of chicken the other night that I had marinated in Frontera Key Lime Shrimp Taco Sauce (Frontera is Rick Bayless’ brand – the best!) along with yellow rice and black beans.  Less folks for dinner, so a boatload of leftovers – enter meal two – Burritos!

Burrito and Salad

4 c. leftover chicken breasts – baked in Frontera Key Lime Shrimp Taco sauce for 45 minutes at 350 F

frontera key lime shrimp sauce

3 c. cooked leftover yellow rice

1 c. leftover black beans

2 c. Mexican shredded cheese

20 flour tortillas

Oil for brushing

2 prepared large baking sheets – covered in foil and sprayed with coconut oil.

Preheat oven to 350F

1.  Put leftover cubed chicken in food processor and process until finely shredded.  Add a little salsa, if too dry.

2.  Mix chicken, rice, beans, and cheese using your hands like you’re making a meatloaf.

Leftover chicken and rice for burritos

3.  Place 1/2 to 3/4 c. mixture onto each tortilla, and fold envelope style.

4.  Place on prepared baking sheets.

5.  Brush with oil.

6.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until golden.

So good, the kids said to make the same meal over again specifically to have leftovers to recreate the burritos!!

I served the burritos with salad.

I kept the lettuce and watercress separate from the tomatoes and cucumbers and let everyone assemble their own salads, to save salad stuff for tonight’s dinner consisting of chicken marinated and cooked in papaya poppy seed dressing, cooked at 350F for 40-45 minutes.  Another yummy, healthy dinner.

Papaya Poppy Chicken

 

 

I made a huge batch of spinach dip for a party and had some leftover.  I experimented and came up with this delish dish!

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4 c. leftover spinach dip

24 frozen chicken tenders

1 c. sharp cheddar cheese

Heat spinach dip so it is spreadable.  Spread into bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.

Place chicken tenders in a single layer in spinach dip.

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

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Cover with foil and cook at 350F for 30 minutes.

I served this with risotto.  Everyone loved it!

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.

 

 

 

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1 package wild garlic noodles – love these!

1 jar alfredo sauce

4 c. leftover cooked chicken

3 c. broccoli florets

1 green pepper, chopped

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

1 c. shredded colby jack cheese

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Saute broccoli, mushrooms, and green pepper until softened, but not mushy.  Add in chicken.

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Meanwhile, cook garlic noodles.

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Combine noodles, chicken and veggies, and alfredo sauce.  Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.

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Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until golden.

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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!

 

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8 eggs

3 Tbsp. sour cream

1 can golden mushroom soup (or other cream soup – leftover homemade is ideal)

1 package fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles

2 cups leftover roasted potatoes

1 onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. shredded cheese

Combine eggs and sour cream.  Soft scramble in a skillet sprayed with olive oil or coconut spray.  Mix in soup.  Set aside.

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Heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Cook onions until softened.  Add potatoes and increase the heat to create crisp brown edges.

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Spray crockpot with spray or wipe down with oil.

Pour half of egg/soup mixture into crockpot.

Layer sausage crumbles next.

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Layer potatoes and onions next.

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Layer remaining egg/soup mixture next.

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Top with cheese.

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Cook on low for 30 minutes.  Reduce to “keep warm” setting.  Everyone can eat at their leisure as they get up.  I keep spreading the remaining casserole around in the crock pot to keep it from getting dried out at an edge from a spoon.

 

 

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Florida is an interesting place to live during hurricane season.  Anytime one heads our way, folks clear the shelves in the local stores of water, canned goods, bread, etc.  The threat of at the very least losing power makes the thought of what’s in the fridge and freezer going bad!  I feel so fortunate that we dodged the bullet this time.  When I see reports of the devastation, I know just how lucky we are that it skirted by us.

My daughter and son in law made a huge batch of taco meat and rice in case they had guests (since their house is inland and has hurricane shutters).  I was blessed with the leftovers, and we had a fantastic dinner thanks to them.

4 cups leftover taco meat

4 cups leftover cooked rice

1 jar salsa

1 can of black beans

1 package (20) fajita style flour tortillas

Shredded Cheese

Tomatoes

Shredded Lettuce

Diced Onion

I added salsa to the taco meat and heated it up.

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I added black beans to the rice and heated it up.

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Meanwhile, I put the tortillas on a large baking sheet in a 200F oven to heat.

Toppings included cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and onion.  We were missing sour cream and avocado, but the tacos were so yummy, we didn’t miss them.

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The kids all voted for tacos more often!

 

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