To Love Leftovers, To Hate Leftovers

I actually hate leftovers... well, unless you count cold pizza. Cold pizza for breakfast is up there on the top of my favorite foods. I only know a handful of individuals who actually enjoy leftovers more than they do regular meals (aka my brother-in-law, Scott). Let's face it, we all have leftovers and I would guestimate that 75% of the time they get thrown out the few weeks later that we discover them in the far, dark corners of the fridge.


I would rather scrub the bathroom from top to bottom than clean out old leftovers... talk about GAG city. Plus, now-a-days everyone is about saving money and time. It seems that these leftovers should be put to good use. Tonight, I have become investigative detective Amber and I am hunting for ways to use the "blah" leftovers and turn them into a fresh, new meal that anyone would love to sit down and fork into!

*Leftover meat and vegetables can be thrown into any type of noodles. Throw in a can of tomato sauce, spice it up with seasonings, and top with shredded cheese, and you've covered all of the food groups!

*Leftover mashed potatos can be formed into patties and fried!! Scramble up a few eggs and you have instant breakfast for dinner!

*Leftover spaghetti noodles can be used in Spaghetti Frittata! Here is this recipe. I'm actually thinking about trying this one non-leftover night!

  • 4 cups cooked spaghetti
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tomato, diced (optional)
  1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm. Drain and refresh with cold water.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the onions to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Wipe out the pan.
  3. Whisk together eggs, egg whites and milk in a large bowl. Stir in the onions, Parmesan, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti.
  4. Spray the pan well with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and distribute evenly in the pan. Cook until the underside is golden, moving the pan around on the burner to ensure even cooking, about 6 minutes. Invert a large platter over the skillet, grasp the platter and skillet with oven mitts and carefully turn over. Lift off the skillet and spray it again with nonstick cooking spray. Slide the frittata back into the skillet and cook until the bottom is golden. Slide the frittata onto a platter. Garnish with tomatoes if using. Makes 6 servings.
*Leftover chicken, beef or tofu can be used in fajitas or soups! Or even freeze the leftover pieces to be used to season your dishes at a later time, when cooking one piece of meat is just inconvenient!

*Leftover baked potatos can be used to make home fries! Just slice and dice and throw them in a skillet to brown with your favorite seasonings and bacon bits!

*Leftover pastas, soups, and even entire meals can be frozen. Put what you would normally eat in a Glad container and stick a label on it. Now you have your own $2.50 meal to take to work or eat when you're too lazy to cook!

*Use leftover grilled chicken to make chicken and rice OR chicken and dumplings! Those two entrees are meals in themselves!! Who ever said chicken was BORING?

What are some of the ways you spice up your leftovers in order to get them in your bellys instead of the trash bin? Let me know your ideas!!