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How to Use Leftovers

If you use a little creativity, leftovers can be fun, tasty, inexpensive meal starters. By camouflaging the leftovers from meal to meal, even your pickiest eaters will have trouble recognizing the roasted chicken from dinner two nights ago in today’s pasta salad luncheon.

  • Make a leftover buffet. Plan one meal each week that uses up the assorted leftovers accumulating on the refrigerator shelves. It’s like getting a free meal every week.

    After accumulating about half a dozen containers of leftovers, reheat them in the microwave and portion out a little bit of everything onto each person’s plate. The variety of items gives it the look of a full plate after you’ve gone through a buffet line at a party. Toss some crackers, sliced cheese, and fresh cut-up veggies into the mix, and you have an easy, tasty dinner.

  • Sandwich your leftovers into savings. A favorite use for leftovers is to make sandwiches for lunch or dinner. Rolling leftover meats and veggies into a cold flour tortilla with a bit of cream cheese and a pickle is also a delicious way to add some variety to the typical sandwich presentation.

  • Stretch the bird. Chicken and turkey are dreams come true if you want to stretch one meal into several others. For a family of four, you can usually stretch at least three meals from each chicken purchase: a roast chicken dinner meal consisting of the drumsticks, thighs, and wings; a casserole, stir-fry, or skillet meal prepared with the cut breast meat roasted the night before; and a hearty, homemade chicken soup made from any leftover meat and bones.

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