I know some people are anti-leftovers, but I am not that way. I learned to be very creative with leftovers when my children were just starting to eat solid food. I really wanted to make my own baby food and wanted to know what was being fed to my children. I started out simply with single servings of steamed vegetables and from there became more creative as their digestive systems grew and tastes expanded.
I love Ratatouille’s. It is a very easy dish to make and one that has endless possibilities. I would make a large pot and we would enjoy it on top of polenta for a vegetarian meal and then the next night serve it along side a filet mignon. The leftovers I would puree and add a baked yam to it. The yam would naturally sweeten it so both my kids loved it. When they were toddlers I would put the ratatouille and yam puree on pasta or mix it in burgers, it was a great way for them to eat lots of vegetables without knowing it.
Another delicious way to use leftovers is to make a hash or frittata, which works wonders for hungry families for any meal. If we have leftover roasted potatoes and vegetables, i’ll chop the up, throw them in a non stick skillet with some olive oil and let them get hot. I’ll scramble some eggs and add that to the potatoes and vegetables and serve with toast and my hungry family is happy. If you have leftover meat, i’ll chop it up or spread it and add that to the hash.
When we grill, I always have my husband grill extra peppers, eggplant, red onions, asparagus, broccolini then the next day he will make a frittata with the extra grilled vegetables. The flavor and texture is always delicious with added fresh chopped herbs from our garden.
Leftovers are delicious and can always be recreated into a new meal. If I know I have a super busy week ahead or the next day is just crazy; I’ll roast double the vegetables on parchment lines sheet pans. Once done, I divide the vegetables and serve half. The other half goes into a dish to serve tomorrow with whatever is on the menu.
You can always take leftover meat and vegetables and toss with noodles to create a pasta or even buy pre made pizza dough and use it on pizza. My son loves to do this as one of his favorite pizzas is BBQ chicken. I’ll even sauté ground meat and make taco’s with the meat and vegetables or add beans and make vegetarian burritos.
You can also take a bunch of vegetables, roast them with oil, salt and pepper then puree them with some herbs and spices to make a great meat sauce or pasta sauce. These are healthy ways to not let good food get wasted.