Category: Using up leftovers


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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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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This is how I feel about not getting a picture of tonight’s dinner because it was such a success and I still wanted to share the recipe.  The sweetie in the picture is my youngest grandson who has just been told by his mom that he can’t put the bathroom rug in his mouth!  Calling it a fusion dish is a stretch.  The only non traditional ingredient is the pad thai noodles.

2 packs Kame pad thai rice noodles – the soft wide kind

2-3 cups shredded leftover chicken

1 jar Fresh Market alfredo sauce

1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly

Salt

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. pesto sauce

2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. tuscan seasoning – with red pepper flakes if you like a little heat!

When I put chicken alfredo on the menu plan for tonight, I originally planned to use some spaghetti my cousin had given me recently.  (She’s dieting and avoiding pasta).  When I looked more closely, though, the pasta was ginger, citrus!  Not exactly what I would want in alfredo.  The only other noodles I had on hand were the pad thai rice noodles.

The pad thai rice noodles are best cooked in oil in a skillet.

Cook onions in olive oil with a little salt and some of the tuscan seasoning until they were softened and translucent.  Add butter and pesto, and continue to cook until nicely browned.  Add in chicken and noodles, stirring until well blended.  Pour alfredo sauce over it all and heat through.

Before serving, sprinkle with remaining tuscan seasoning and parmesan.

My son, Austin, said this was the best alfredo ever!  Easy add ins:  peppers, mushrooms, spinach.  YUM!

 

 

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Fresh Market had a sale on some interesting looking artisan salad mixes from Canterbury Naturals.  I bought the orzo cucumber one and it was yummy.  It’s a little higher in sodium than I like (370 mg  per 1/2 cup serving) so I will make my own from scratch next time!

1 Package Canterbury Naturals Orzo Cucumber Salad Mix (it contains whole wheat orzo, garlic, carrots, onion, bell pepper, and celery and a yummy dressing mix)

2 cucumbers, cubed

8 campari tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

2 Tbsp. Panera Tangerine Honey Dressing (too sweet by itself, but nice mixed with the dressing in the salad mix)

Cook orzo veggie mixture for 10 minutes, drain and rinse well.

Prepare dressing pursuant to directions on the package (you add olive oil and water).  Add in tangerine dressing.

Gently fold in tomatoes, cucumber, and garbanzo beans.

Everyone had seconds and some even thirds!  I can’t wait to try this from scratch!

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