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Love for Leftovers

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I’ve recently come across a few people who don’t like leftovers.  I absolutely cannot understand it.  I practically survive on leftovers.  Not only do they save time and money, some leftovers taste better than they did the day before!

Crock-Pot Leftovers

Thai Peanut Chicken and Greens Bowl
Thai Peanut Chicken and Greens Bowl

Crock-Pot recipes are pretty much designed for leftovers.  You can make a huge pot on Sunday and have it all week.

Simple dishes like pulled chicken can be used in a variety of ways – on tortillas, on salads, on buns.  Even unique dishes, such as this Thai Peanut Chicken can be surprisingly versatile.  I ended up having it with noodles, on brown rice, in a taco, and on nachos!

And then there are Crock-Pot dishes such as chili and soups that straight up taste better a day or two later.  As the dish sits, the ingredients combine and create so much flavor.

If you can’t finish your Crock-Pot dish within a few days, you can even save the leftovers in the freezer for later!

Restaurant Leftovers

If you’ve ever tried dieting, I’m sure you’ve heard the trick about boxing half your meal before you start eating.  I don’t usually go as far as asking for the box up front, but I rarely end up eating my whole meal at restaurants.  I’m a small girl and the portions are just so big these days!  If you have a little self-control, the oversized portions can be a blessing though.  You can basically get two meals for the price of one!

Cheeky's Chicken Fajitas
Cheeky’s Chicken Fajitas

You don’t have to save exactly half of everything either.  Oftentimes, I’ll enjoy all the fresh vegetables in a dish while I’m at the restaurant and save half the protein for later.  I can then add the protein to some mixed greens and my salad is ready to go for lunch the next day.

While I love leftovers regardless, it is always nice to add

something fresh to them.  Mixing leftovers with greens into a salad is easy, but it’s not the only option.  The other day I had leftover fajitas from Cheeky’s and I added some fresh avocado to them when I got home.

Homemade Leftovers

Leftovers don’t have to come from a Crock-Pot or a restaurant.  Most nights, I’ll make four servings for dinner.  This gives my hungry SO an extra portion that night and me an extra portion for lunch the next day.

Kale and Shrimp Salad
Kale and Shrimp Salad

One of my recent favorite leftover salads was one I made on a day that I was trying to clean out my fridge before going out of town for a week.   I had made Skinnytaste’s Sheet Pan Shrimp with Broccolini and Tomatoes a few nights before and didn’t want to let that shrimp go to waste. I chopped up the shrimp and broccolini, placed it on top of my remaining baby kale, added in leftover cauliflower rice, sprinkled on a little feta cheese, drizzled on my last sliver of lemon, and tossed it all up.  It was surprisingly delicious and I was able to use up multiple leftovers!

Your leftovers may not always magically pair together like they did for my Kale and Shrimp Salad.  But that doesn’t mean your leftovers have to spoil.  Think about if there’s a side dish you could buy or make to enhance the leftovers you have.  The other night we had an awkward amount of chicken teriyaki stir fry leftover.  It wouldn’t have filled both of us, but we didn’t want it to go to waste.  We decided to order a sushi roll to complete our meal.

 

What are your favorite leftovers? Share in the comments!

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