Who of us hasn’t peered into the refrigerator and discovered an overlooked and forgotten half eaten apple, an almost empty can of tomato paste or a container filled with last week’s leftover food?
Unlike the pros of the restaurant world who literally use everything in their pantries, most people just don’t know what to do with leftovers. Before you let all that perfectly good food go to waste, take a page out of the cookbook and check out these delicious and nutritious leftover meal ideas.
Bread Crumbs, Croutons and… Beer!
If there’s one thing that goes stale at incredible speed it’s bread. Even if you manage to eat an entire loaf in just 3-4 days you’re probably still left with knobby ends.
Here are three things you can do with old bread:
- Bread Crumbs are an incredibly effective way to turn any vegetable, fish, chicken or meat into a crispy meal even your kids won’t be able to resist. To make bread crumbs, chop bread into crumbs or put it into a food processor until reaching an even crumb size. Spread the fresh breadcrumbs out thinly onto a baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes until golden.
- Croutons go great with a caesar salad or a tomato soup. To make croutons, dice your leftover bread into the desired size chunks, toss with oil and seasoning and bake until crispy.
- Beer. That’s right, beer. The idea comes from UK-based brewery, Toast Ale, which collects waste bread and uses it to brew an award-winning range of beers. If you’re a beer lover looking to pick up a new hobby, try out the recipes available on their website.
Snacks and Dips
Nothing goes better with an icy cold beer than a hot tortilla chip with a fancy, spicy bean dip.
Any beans will do. Simply reheat, smash, and spread across the bottom of a shallow bowl or dish and set aside. Quarter some cherry tomatoes, slice cucumbers and radish (any salad veggies would work), squeeze a lime and season with salt and pepper. Spice it up with a dash of chili powder and hot smoked paprika. Finish up with a dollop of sour cream and a few shots of your favorite hot sauce.
Tacos and wraps are also great snacks that everyone loves. Leftover rice and beans, ground beef and even avocado with brown spots all taste great when served in corn or wheat tortilla.
In case you didn’t know, leftover chicken bones make a rich broth. Just cover the bones in water, simmer for 2 hours and strain. Lightly saute some small diced onions, carrots and celery, or any vegetable you have, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add some pasta or matzah balls and voilà, you’ve just made two family meals. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon and handful of picked herbs and plenty of salt to taste.
Another way to go is to use the steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables that you served as a side dish yesterday to make a hearty vegetable soup today. Puree the vegetables with 3 or 4 cups of broth using a blender. Warm it in a pot, season to taste and serve with those delicious croutons you made earlier.
Healthy Breakfast Smoothie
Smoothies are the perfect way to turn ugly fruits into nutritious, yummy drinks. Best of all, you can use whatever you have, ripe or not, and it will still come out delicious.
You’ll need milk, yogurt or orange juice and whatever fruit you have at hand – half a banana, a few apple slices, a handful of dates. Throw in some superfoods like chia seeds or goji berries and you’re all set to meet the day.
Restaurant Supplies at Wholesale Prices
Whether you’re eating a fresh salad or yesterday’s stir-fried vegetables, fresh and tasty ingredients are the key to a good meal. With the Cheetah app, you can enjoy quality restaurant supplies at wholesale prices, delivered to a contactless pickup location of your choice. So next time you’re facing a fridge filled with nothing but a few scraps and half-empty containers, don’t run off to order a pizza. Get creative with the ingredients at hand and make yourself a healthy and delicious meal!