12 Months of Leftovers
Who says your leftovers have to sit in the fridge and spoil? Using your leftovers is an easy way to divert waste from local landfills and protect our planet. Not to mention, it’s a great way to save money. Every year, a typical household sends over $1000 in wasted food to local landfills – just imagine what you could do with that extra cash. Use these handy recipes and tips to reduce your waste, save your money and protect our planet.
No Need to Start from Scratch
Spiced French Toast
Just because it’s a little dry around the edges doesn’t mean you have to send that bread to the compost. Give your leftover hot cross buns new life – all it takes is 10 minutes and a little love!
- 4 tbsp soft butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 100mL milk
- 2 hot cross buns, split in half (4 slices)
- Maple syrup, to serve
Step One: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and 1 tsp cinnamon, then set to the side. Mix remaining cinnamon with 3 tbsp butter. Using this mixture, sandwich 2 pieces of hot cross bun together. Repeat with remaining slices.
Step Two: On medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan until foaming. Before frying, dip buns in egg mix, allowing to soak for a few seconds. Fry buns until golden on both sides (1-2 min/side), pressing down on them with a spatula while cooking. Serve immediately, drizzled with maple syrup.
Note: You can use frozen yogurt or ice cream on top.
Grilled Ham, Egg & Spiced Oven Chips
How do you make leftover supper even better? By turning it into breakfast! Grab a couple potatoes, some eggs and spices, et voila –a perfect lazy morning brunch!
2 large baking potatoes
4 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 thick slices ham
tomato ketchup, to serve (optional)
Heat oven to 200C. Cut the leftover potatoes into chunky chips, place in a pan of salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer until softened slightly (5 min), then drain and leave to steam-dry for a few mins.
Now pour 3 tbsp of oil into a shallow baking tray and place in the oven to heat for 5 mins. Meanwhile, toss the chips with the paprika, cayenne pepper and some salt. Carefully tip the chips into the hot oil and return the tray to the oven to cook for 40 mins, tossing them halfway through cooking.
Ten mins before the chips are ready, heat a large griddle pan. Grab the leftover ham and fry for 3 minutes a side until they are hot and have griddle lines. Transfer to a plate to keep warm. In a small frying pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the eggs to your liking. Top each slice of ham with an egg and serve with the oven chips, and ketchup if you like. Voila!
Leftover Shepherds Pie
Sunday supper still taking up space in the refrigerator? Use up those leftovers with this quick and heartwarming shepherds pie!
2-3 cups leftover beef, lamb or moose
½ cup leftover gravy/stock
¾ cup leftover potatoes
½ cup cheese, grated
2 tbsp breadcrumb, with mixed herbs
Heat oven to 200C. Carve all leftover meat off the bone, roughly chop and place in an ovenproof dish, or 2 individual pie dishes. Pour over some gravy, or if there’s none left, a bit of stock to moisten. Crumble the leftover potatoes over, then scatter with cheese and any leftover herb crumbs. Bake in the oven for 30 mins until golden on top and bubbling around the edge. If you’ve got any greens leftover, then quickly stir-fry to reheat and serve alongside.
Leftover Spaghetti Lasagna
This is a great way to turn any leftover pasta into a brand new dish! With just a handful of ingredients, wow your guests with this simple reimagining of what’s just sitting in the fridge.
16oz (approx. one box) leftover spaghetti noodles
4 cups leftover spaghetti sauce
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
½ cup fat-free sour cream
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 200C and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
Transfer spaghetti noodles to a large bowl and toss with spaghetti sauce until well combined.
Mix cottage cheese and sour cream in a bowl. Spread half the spaghetti with sauce into the prepared baking dish. Now spread the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti.
Place the remaining spaghetti and sauce in an even layer over the cottage cheese mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and the cheese is browned, 30 to 40 minutes.
Matt Evely – Frittata
Looking to freshen up the leftovers from last night’s BBQ? Matthew Everly is a graduate of the Culinary Management program at Humber College and is Executive Chef at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland and Conference Centre – here’s what he has to say!
Frittata is one of my favourite dishes to make using leftover BBQ ingredients. Sausages, peppers and asparagus are especially good, but you can use any meat or vegetable. After chopping the grilled meats and vegetables, using an oven-safe frying pan, sauté together in extra virgin olive oil. Add whisked eggs and top off with cheese. I especially like to use pecorino, but any cheese will suffice. Place frying pan in the oven and bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes or until set and voilà: a delicious, nutritious meal made in only minutes! – Matt Evely
Almond Chicken Salad
Don’t feel like cooking? Not a problem – you’ve already done that part! Get ahead of the game with this versatile and delicious salad made from leftovers! Quick and easy to prepare, it goes perfect with greens or on your favourite wrap – and will give you healthy, filling lunches all week!
4 cups leftover cooked chicken (cubed)
1-1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup chopped celery
¾ cup sliced green onions
3 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
½ cup Miracle Whip
¼ cup sour cream
1 tbsp prepared mustard
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp paprika
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine leftover chicken, grapes, celery, onions and eggs. In another bowl, combine the next nine ingredients; stir until smooth.
2. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently. Stir in almonds and serve immediately, or refrigerate and add the almonds just before serving. Garnish with kiwi if desired.
Roasted Broccoli Stems
“I hate the sight of broccoli stems in the garbage! Before you toss yours out, try this delicious recipe! Roasted Broccoli Stems with Broccoli and Almond Pesto (2 servings as an appetizer)
Stems of two heads of broccoli
2 cups fresh basil
100g broccoli florets
80g grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic
125 ml extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of chili flakes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
First, trim the rough edges of the stems and cut them into four equal pieces lengthwise. Toss them in some olive oil and salt & pepper on a baking tray and bake at 375°F for 13-15 min, until slightly browned and softened.
While the stems are baking, place the florets, basil, almonds, garlic and parmesan in a food processor and process on pulse until roughly chopped and homogeneous. Add the juice of half of the lemon, and with the food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil. Then add the salt, pepper and chili flakes and taste to see any additional salt or lemon is needed.
Once the stems are roasted, place four on each plate and drizzle with pesto. Add parmesan, cracked pepper, crushed almonds, and basil as desired, and voilà: you’re would-be garbage is now a delicious meal! Enjoy!” – Chris Mercer
Got some potatoes and salt fish left over from last night’s dinner? Two words: FISH CAKES!
1 1⁄2 lb leftover salt cod 6 leftover potatoes
1⁄4 cup butter
1 small chopped onion
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp savoury
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
They’re a staple of NL cuisine, and for good reason: They’re so tasty, and so easy. To make your own, flake apart your leftover salt cod from last night’s dinner and mash it together with the leftover potatoes. Next, throw a 1⁄4cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, toss in 1 small chopped onion and cook until soft. Then, add it to the mashed cod and potatoes, along with 1 beaten egg, 2 tbsp of savoury and 1⁄2 teaspoon of black pepper. Once it’s all together, cut the mixture in to cakes, roll the cakes in flour, fry them in canola oil or freeze them and enjoy for another day!
Fried hash – the best thing since turkey dinner! We love a holiday feed, but we especially love what comes after it. Fried hash is a staple in households across NL, and you won’t ﬁnd a much easier meal to make. Simply toss all your leftover veggies – potato, cabbage, carrot, turnip, the works – into a large frying pan with any leftover meat you may have.
Cook over medium heat until warmed through, and enjoy!
Jiggs Dinner Soup
Fresh herbs can be expensive here in Newfoundland & Labrador. Plus, people often have trouble using them up. To avoid waste, I chop my herbs up, throw them in a zip loc container and put them straight in the freezer. This works for all herbs!
I use a lot of garlic, but if I am making something small, I often find myself with a large chunk left over, and I dare not let it dry out! So I just mince the whole clove, pop it into a little jar, give a good heavy sprinkle of salt, and cover it with any oil you have on hand. Then, stick it in the fridge and use it up anytime in the next week!
My all-time favourite recipe for leftovers is Jiggs Dinner Soup! To make it, put a litre of your “pot liquor” in the fridge on Sunday. On Monday, take all the leftover veg and salt beef, a 1/2 cup of any meat you cooked, and put it all in a big pot. Add the “pot liquor” you saved from Sunday, and mix it together using a hand blender (or a countertop blender if it isn’t hot). Once pureed, add water until you get your desired consistency. Then, enjoy!” – Lori McCarthy
Shredded Chicken Tacos
Is Sunday supper still sitting in the fridge? Turn that leftover chicken and those unused salad veggies into delicious shredded tacos. Just dice some veggies, shred the chicken and cheese, and serve guacamole, sour cream and/or pico de gallo on the side and let the family spice up their tacos to perfection!
Tips & Tricks
Create Leftovers Purposefully
When you’re planning meals, plan with leftovers in mind – it’s a real time saver, and a great way to cut costs. If you prepare vegetables ahead of time, you’ll have the starting point for a soup or pasta dish later in the week. Anticipate using leftover roast chicken and vegetables in soups and sandwiches; extra rice can be frozen and used later. And once you start noticing the benefits to your budget, you’ll be finding all sorts of ways to cut costs and reduce waste!
Keeping it Versatile
Lots of ingredients can be used together to make entirely new dishes. Keep a rotating cast of veggies, grains and meats in your diet and you’ll never be short of new, fun ways to spice up your leftover life!