How Leftovers Can Be Eaten Again
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Published by TOP4 Team
Around the world, consumers throw away millions of tonnes of food and drink each year, at a cost of hundreds of dollars per household. Spare the environment and your pocket by following these simple ideas to banish waste and turn leftovers into tasty meals.
Leftover potatoes, pasta and rice
- Try making potato patties: mash leftover potatoes and mix them with an egg, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and a diced onion. Shape the mixture into rounds, coat in breadcrumbs and deep fry in vegetable oil.
- Purée leftover potatoes with stock and season to taste with cream or milk, herbs and/or grated cheese to make a delicious potato soup.
- Convert a whisked egg and a little cheese, leftover meat and potatoes into a delicious omelette.
- Add a can of black beans and some salsa to leftover chicken or hamburgers to create a tasty topping for tacos or a filling for burritos.
- Add leftover parmesan to breadcrumbs and use to top a fish pie for a great flavour. Parmesan can burn easily, so cover the dish with foil for the first half of the cooking time.
- Add 2 tablespoons of capers or sliced olives, a can of tuna and some diced tomatoes to leftover pasta, then season with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a light summer pasta salad.
- Potato, rice and pasta salads taste particularly good when you let the flavours blend before eating.
- Make a hearty rice dish from leftover rice, eggs, pork or chicken, onions and frozen vegetables. For an Asian touch, use sesame oil for stir-frying and season with soy sauce and/or toss in a little curry paste.
- Transform day-old rice into rice pudding: mix 2 cups (500ml) milk per 250g cooked rice and simmer gently on the hob so that the milk doesn’t burn but the mixture is heated through. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 55g sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Whisk into the rice mixture and heat through before transferring to a casserole dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃(gas mark 4) for 20 minutes.
- Whip together delicate rice pancakes by mixing leftover rice with flour, milk and eggs, and then cook like normal pancakes. Serve with cinnamon and sugar or marmalade.
- For a simple casserole, layer leftover vegetables with potatoes, pasta or rice in an ovenproof dish and pour cheese or béchamel sauce over it. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake.
- For a puréed soup, heat cubed vegetables in a little stock, purée and stir in milk for a creamy consistency. Season to taste and serve with crunchy croutons made from day-old bread.
- If rolls or bread aren’t too stale, turn them into croutons for salads or soups. Just cut them into bite-sized cubes and toast in a pan with a little olive oil or butter. Heat them until they’re crunchy and have browned slightly. Add herbs, crushed nuts or parmesan for extra flavour.
- Dip stale bread into egg whisked with milk, then fry to make French toast.
- Soften stale rolls in vegetable or beef stock before using them in meatballs or meatloaf to make the dish especially tasty.
- In summer, when tomatoes are ripe and juicy, try this novel bread salad: chop stale slices of white bread into bite-sized chunks and mix with diced tomatoes, onions, olive oil and wine vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and herbs, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Serve day-old roast chicken or turkey breast on a green salad with additions such as vegetables, chickpeas, walnuts, pine nuts, raisins, cranberries or cheese. Keep it simple – serve with a classic balsamic vinaigrette.
- Make chicken pie out of leftover chicken and vegetables. Make a thick sauce with milk, flour and butter, together with a dash of salt and pepper. Mix in diced chicken and leftover or sautéed vegetables and pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Top with ready-made pastry, sealing it to the sides. Cut a few vents in the pastry and bake until bubbly and golden brown.
- Add cooked grains to any soup.
Try to do the same when you’re dining out — no leftovers as much as possible. Consider these top restaurants in Brisbane.