A Fun, New Way to Use Those Leftovers

Wouldn’t it be great if leftover night were the most anticipated meal on your weekly menu? Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Our boys only have to hear the word leftovers before they’re suddenly certain they can do without dinner. For some reason, simply warming up the same thing we had the night before last just doesn’t appeal to them.

Our boys are far from alone. When it comes to leftovers, here are a few things many of us don’t appreciate:

  • Leftovers are unavoidable. (You can’t always make the exact amount of servings you’ll need.)
  • Leftovers are super convenient. (Starting from scratch every night is time consuming.)
  • Leftovers are scrumptious! (Many dishes taste better the next day.)

While disdaining leftovers seems cuckoo to me these days, I have a vague recollection of not liking them as a child. So, rather than calling a spade a spade and listing leftover night on our posted menu, my hubby and I take a less direct approach and repurpose them instead. For example, Monday’s leftover roast chicken might become Wednesday’s chicken tacos. Sometimes this fools them, sometimes it doesn’t.

But I think our latest brainstorming session for how to repurpose our leftovers holds a lot of promise for successfully pulling the proverbial wool over our kids’ eyes. (We all know it’s necessary every once in a while.) And all it requires is…a baked potato.

I’ve always been a big fan of the good ol’ baked potato. So satisfying with a simple pat of butter and some salt and pepper. Throw on some shredded cheese, maybe a little sour cream, and my mouth is watering before I get the first bite to my mouth.

One day, I thought to myself: What if I piled on some of that BBQ from last night on top of this potato? So I did—and it was delicious. Suddenly, I was looking at this nutritionally sound root veggie as the perfect base for whatever might be queued up in the fridge. Now we simply put “stuffed potato night” on the menu, and no one suspects a thing. At least for a while, anyway.

Trust me. If you’ve been thinking of the potato strictly as an uncomplicated side dish thus far, it’s time to expand your horizon. The potato is up to the challenge, and it definitely deserves a bigger role on your plate. Consider the spud as a fun, new way to use up almost any of the leftovers in your refrigerator. And change it up with a sweet potato (or is it a yam?) every once in a while too.

What are some of the fun ways you use up the leftovers hanging out in your fridge?

Photo from iStock/photokitchen

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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1 thoughts on “A Fun, New Way to Use Those Leftovers

  1. Nick Armstrong says:

    I purposefully cook “family style” almost every time to make sure we have leftovers that can be repurposed. It’s mandatory with two kids!

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