Planned Leftovers

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When you open the refrigerator door after a holiday meal do you think to yourself, “What am I going to do with all these leftovers?” Or do you see this as a culinary opportunity to make the next week a breeze to prepare meals? If not, perhaps I can change your perspective.

Turkey: Any recipe that calls for cooked chicken can be redone with cooked turkey. Casseroles, paninis, salads, pot pie and soup are all good ways to use the leftover meat. You can always wrap it up and freeze it to use later.

Deviled eggs: Skip trying to save them without getting mushed and just do it yourself with a fork. Have egg salad sandwiches for lunch the next couple days.

Mashed taters: Add cheese for a new flavor, or use to make shepherds pie.

Cranberry sauce: Use as a glaze for pork chops or a pork loin.

Olives: Toss into a salad, pizza, olive cheese bread or pasta dish.

Rolls: Make sliders, freeze for later use (just be sure to double bag), homemade croutons or hot open faced sandwich.

Veggies: Toss into a pot pie, veggie soup  or a shepherds pie. Even bean green casserole can work in shepherds pie depending on the recipe.

Gravy: Shepherds pie, pot pie or hot open faced sandwiches.

Egg Nog: If the container is unopened it will free, or use it up to make pancakes.

Appetizers: Depending on what they are, they might freeze and keep for a few weeks. Crudites can be chopped for veggie soup, pot pie, shepherds pie, casseroles, egg rolls or just left in the fridge for healthy snacking.

Yams: Use the leftovers for sweet potato pie or mix into a pancake batter.

Stuffing: We like to put it in sandwiches or use instead of bread crumbs on a casserole.

The same principle applies to all leftovers throughout the year. Think ahead to the next couple nights and how you can minimize the mess and effort. Planned leftovers make the week’s menu easy and simple.

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About keepingiteasyandsimple

I have been married for 20 years and have 3 children. My oldest is 20 and currently in the National Guard. My daughters are 15 and 11 and involved in everything. I believe life is difficult enough, that we can find ways to make the everyday just a little easier and perhaps even more simple. I love to cook, shop and make things with the kids.

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