Did you know that food waste costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion every single year? Almost all of us contribute to this eye-watering amount, which means that while you’re wasting food, you’re wasting money too. Have you ever stopped and actually thought about how much money you’ve wasted because you didn’t eat those leftovers or those vegies that are wilting away at the back of the fridge? Yes, we know that leftover chicken soup isn’t always so appealing the second time around, but some leftovers are definitely worth fighting for. So - get your lunch box ready and start putting more money in your hip pocket with these awesome ways to cook your leftovers.
Cooked a little too much rice? Don’t throw it away! There’s so much you can do with leftover rice. You can make rice pudding, add it to soups and casseroles, and of course, you can turn it into fried rice. In fact, you can even mix it with other leftovers to come up with a freshly cooked fried rice recipe. Do you have leftover chicken and veggies? Try this chicken fried rice recipe. Add a few drops of sesame oil before serving, and you’ll have an instant Chinese meal out of the leftovers you were planning to throw away. Just make sure that your leftover rice has been kept in the fridge overnight before using it – that’s the secret to creating the best fried rice ever!
You’ll never run out of ways to reinvent your leftover pasta. You can add a few drops of olive oil, cheese, and those veggies you haven’t yet used to make a tasty and healthy pasta salad. Or try mixing that pasta with some of those wilting veggies and any leftover meat, stir through some tomato pasta sauce, top with cheese, and pop it in the oven. Just like that you’ll have a freshly cooked pasta casserole in half the time it would take if you started from scratch. You can also turn your leftover pasta into hot and satisfying soup with the same ingredients but with the addition of some good old chicken stock. Or, if you’d like something a bit more gourmet, why not try this leftover spaghetti frittata. It’s hearty and guaranteed to satisfy the whole family.
There are many great ways to turn leftover meat into a whole new meal, and here are some that are easy and budget-friendly. You can chop the leftovers into small bite-sized bits and stuff into pita bread, along with some lettuce and tomatoes, a spread of mayonnaise and mustard, and you’ll have a delectable sandwich that can fit into your lunchbox for a busy day at work. You can also cut your leftover meat into strips and make a chef’s salad for a light and healthy meal. Make a casserole, add chopped meat in a soup, or go festive with these leftover roast beef fritters your kids will surely love. You’ll not only use up those leftovers, you’ll probably save some money because the kids won’t bug you for a burger fix from Macca’s.
You can never go wrong with leftover veggies and there are loads of ways to reuse them for other recipes. Toss them in a bowl of salad along with some leftover cold pasta, stir fry them with your leftover chicken, use them in soups or stews, season them and roast for a delicious side dish. Or go all the way with these veggie quinoa stuffed capsicums for an easy-to-make meal that’s super budget-friendly.
You’ll never have stale bread if you keep it in the freezer, but if you’ve left it out a bit too long and you find yourself tempted to throw it out, there are many things you can do to turn those slices into a brand new recipe. Try toasting them to make croutons, turn them into some yummy French toast for breakfast, make a good old fashioned bread and butter pudding, or delight that sweet tooth by using some old focaccia bread with this white chocolate tiramisu.
Go ahead and indulge without wasting money!
All it takes is a little bit of creativity to come up with amazing ways to cook your leftovers and serve them as a brand new meal. Learning to love your leftovers saves you both money and time in the long run - and the family will learn to love them too!
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