Fast ways to make over leftovers
These eight ingredients give suppers a second act - and stretch your dollars even further.
The possibilities for these Latin staples are endless. Roll up a combo of yesterday's roasted chicken, a scoop of cooked rice, and some canned black beans to make burritos; for beef fajitas, cut up leftover pot roast, and mix it with sauteed peppers and onions. And for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink nachos, make homemade chips by microwaving flour or corn tortillas and cut each tortilla into six pieces; arrange in single layer between dry paper towels and cook on HIGH for one minute.
2. Ready-Made Pizza Crusts
Keep them in your freezer, and create original pizzas with everything from roast turkey to extra ground beef from that family-size package. Or toss together bread salad with a baked, cubed crust, roasted veggies and a dash of dressing.
Soup comes together in a flash with chicken or vegetable broth plus last night's rice pilaf and frozen veggies. Or throw together a quick "risotto" using one cup raw rice, four cups broth and leftover vegetables.
These amazingly versatile protein packets can turn any entree extras into a dazzling frittata, omelet or quiche. Scramble a few with some cooked rice and second-act shrimp, and you don't have to leave home for Chinese takeout.
Transform yesterday's chicken into a tasty salad with a head of romaine, sliced apple, some toasted nuts and a drizzle of your favorite dressing. Keep the greens fresh by wrapping them in a damp paper towel and storing in an open plastic bag in the fridge.
6. Canned Tomatoes
Nothing comes in more handy at mealtime. Think red rice or gumbo, or revamp day-old pasta with a quick tomato sauce.
7. Ramen Noodles
Perfect for a busy weeknight, these squares of noodles cook up in mere minutes, and you can use as much or as little of the flavoring packet as you like. For a savory soup, add thin slices of leftover cooked pork along with a handful each of snow peas and shredded carrot. You can also cook the noodles separately, then saute with the veggies for a simple lo mein.
8. All-Purpose Baking Mix
Everybody loves breakfast for dinner - whip up some pancakes or waffles to go with all of your supper leftovers. Likewise, those bits of meat and vegetables can become a simple stew by simmering with a can of cream of mushroom soup and dropping in dumplings.
Cooked foods should not be left out for more than two hours, so refrigerate promptly. The temperature of reheated leftovers should reach at least 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer to kill bacteria.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally published: Fast Ways to Make Over Leftovers