That first bite of sweet corn every summer is like heaven, and there’s probably not a kernel left. As the summer wears on you’ll be looking for ways to use any leftover. Here are a few ideas.
With any leftover vegetable, think how Leftover Corn might be transformed into something marvelous. As a building block for recipes that rely on an already cooked ingredient; as a shortcut. Leftover Corn is no exception. All you need is an inspiration & maybe a recipe. Be sure to check out my post on Leftover Vegetables, too, for many ideas that work with almost any veggie you might have. A no-brainer way to deal with leftover corn? Freeze it on it’s own or in a combination with other vegetables and use to make Soups or Chowders when there is enough quantity.
I love me some Risotto – how ’bout you? It amazes me how you can take a simple ingredient like rice, add a glug of wine & a few gratings of cheese (plus a bit of this and that) and turn it into a gourmet meal – no make that a gourmet experience – because you get to drink the rest of the wine! Plus plus!
I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love me some Chicken Tortilla Soup. Or some Turkey Tortilla Soup. Or probably ANY Tortilla Soup. Just put it in front of me and I’ll eat it – no questions asked.
“No, ga-hrose! Ham Balls?” Yeah, my sister didn’t hold back when I told her I made them. Too bad she’s so far away coz I know I could convert her with these little lovelies. They’re the real, deal Iowa Ham Balls, heritage style. No soup or ketchup.
Reposted for 2016: I hope you’ve had a great Thanksgiving and if you’re like me, you’re looking at the last of the leftovers thinking you really need to do something about them, now! I already have a post, my 12 Days of Turkey, with links to some of my favorite leftover Turkey dishes, but here’s your visual companion to it plus a few more! Each one better than the original turkey, if you ask me! 🙂
I don’t know when the thought popped in my mind to remake my turkey leftovers into Pozole, but I’m glad it did. And not just any old Pozole but a Green (Verde) Pozole with Turkey. Pozole Verde de Pavo.
Pozole de Pavo Verde (Turkey Pozole) https://frugalhausfrau.com/2016/11/27/green-turkey-pozole-pozole-verde-de-pavo/
I love quaint, old expressions and this year with all the our hot, hot days I kept thinking about “Dog days of summer.” Now, being a dog lover, I always thought that meant the hot August days where it was all a dog could do but find a bit of shade and pant and try to stay cool.
Yet again, I’ve been stuck with leftover steak, people! I know many of you never have that problem; “What leftover steak?” you’d say! And others might not have an issue with a little extra steak in the fridge! But leftover steak has always stumped me just a bit – it seems to sit there and say “I’ll never be as good as the first night.” Well, that’s what I thought until recently, anyway.
Are you like me and think the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers? (Have you read my 12 Days of Turkey?) Ok Ms. Frau – always remember, its not really food, dogs, then people. The people have to come first, then the dogs, then the leftovers.
I originally posted this Chicken Pot Pie in November of 2011, one of my very first posts! Today, as I made it again, I updated with new photos. That night, I had been looking at Time’s Money Issue and became sidetracked. Pretty soon, I was clicking on one link after another; you know how that goes, right?
Chicken Pot Pie like you Wish your Grandma made! Tender, flaky crust, gorgeous vegetables and a gravy out of this world!
Since my very first taste, too many years ago to admit, I’ve been wild about Hot & Sour Soup. I think I order it whenever it’s available on a menu and it’s always exciting for me to sit at the table of a new restaurant, just waiting for their Hot & Sour Soup (which is always my first course) wondering what theirs will be like.
Can a girl have too many chicken salad recipes? According to my recipe box, probably not! Especially when one of them transitions out of the dog days of summer into crisp, cool fall as well as this one does. After all, nothing says fall to us Northerners quite like wild rice!
This is a fun little Chicken Salad recipe with a few Greek twists! Full of lean chicken, a lightened dressing and crunchy vegetables, this is a great recipe for early spring through summer. I like to serve these in a Pita, just for fun.
We had quite an Easter this year, but I kept it simple. The main course was my Sunday Roast Chicken, the lemony variation. It was a subtle prelude to the Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert, but best of all, provided the base for a pot of Chicken & Rice Soup today. It almost makes this dull, grey, Spring day feel sunny.
First of all, no need for congratulations; I’m not pregnant! If I were, I’d have ice-cream with this. 🙂 I’ll admit, though, this is a decidedly different combination of ingredients, perhaps a bit odd, and it might just cause cravings! Flavorful corned beef, tart sauerkraut, sweet pickle and a touch of cheese all tucked into a crispy, tender pan-fried dumpling. See, nothing is sacred any longer…
Reuben Potstickers with Cheesy Sriracha Dipping Sauce
If you’ve thought a Souffle was a fancy dish, the bastion of a master chef, think again. I was charmed by this simple recipe from my Grandmother’s 1917 cook book. Not as tall or high rising as a fancy souffle, this is a simple, country souffle and is absolutely delicious. No stress and worry free, a souffle like this is right at home at breakfast, brunch or as a simple side.
Empanadas have long been a favorite indulgence, whether made with a traditional filling to some crazy wild combination, they’re just fun to eat! From the flavorful filling to the crispy, flaky pastry, they practically shout party! These Chipotle Pulled Pork Empanadas are no exception.
I was introduced to Posole Rojo or Pozole Pork Hominy Stew in Denver when one of my co-workers bought it to nearly every “food day.” Those in the “know” snuck away to the buffet table before lunch before it was all gone. Now, I’d like to introduce you! Succulent pork and hominy swimming in a rich, garlicky, chile-based broth; the taste is reminiscent of tamales.
A friend and neighbor told me about this very special dish – her favorite at a Mexican restaurant. I knew I could do better. I have a recipe for my fave Chicken Enchilada with Ranchero Sauce, but this Enchilada dish is different. A fresh, tangy Ranchero Sauce over a Three Cheese Enchilada with Braised Pork on the side.
Three Cheese Enchiladas Rancheros with Braised Pork
One of my favorite chicken salads (and I have several, just follow the tag chicken salad at the bottom of the page) is this one with dried cherries & pecans. Served over a salad in the winter, it’s festive; the dark cherries pop against the green, and it’s always fantastic in a sandwich.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Today’s Black Friday here in the US, a day when stores heavily discount prices in their attempt to kick off the shopping season for the Christmas holiday. Of course, many of us work, many of us shop, but many of us skip it all and enjoy time with their family!
This Chipotle Chicken Chowder has become a favorite of mine, which is a bit of a shame since someone in my family (no names mentioned to protect the guilty) won’t touch soup. And they’re missing out (and making me miss out) on having Chipotle Chicken Chowder in a regular rotation!
Leftovers are the most expensive food in your house. You’ve used money & time to buy, transform, prepare and cook them!
Bear with me, please, as this post is updated. It used to be basically one long list, so this post is going through a complete transformation. Vegetables by type are getting their own pages, so right now this post is a little crazy!! Beans are next and tomatoes coming soon.
This post contains general information for all leftover vegetables, but vegetables by type either have or will eventually have their own pages. See the links at the bottom of the page.
Start to think about how any leftovers might be transformed into something marvelous. As a building block for recipes that rely on an already cooked ingredient; as a shortcut. All you need is inspiration & maybe a recipe.
Think of the recipes you’ll use as “guides” not something set in stone, especially as the amounts of your leftovers might not exactly match an amount in a recipe. Once you have a leftover ingredient to start with, scale recipes up or down, substitute and make do.
Asparagus Frittata -but just about any leftover vegetables can go in a frittata
If you haven’t used a whole vegetable, wrap in plastic and store in the door of the fridge where you’ll see it and remember to use it. Think of leftover vegetables whenever a recipe already calls for cooked vegetables and use them as a shortcut.
Always keep Food Safety in mind when cooking or dealing with any leftovers.
1. egg dishes:
Add to your frittatas, omelets scrambled eggs. Lot’s of veggies can be added to egg dishes, and leftovers will save you time sautéing them up in the morning.
Reheat leftover vegetables in soups or make a soup from them. Save veggies on their own or in a combination of flavors that go well together. Just add to a Ziploc bag and freeze and keep adding until you have enough.
Since most casseroles start with precooked vegetables, it’s a no-brainer to use your leftover veggies in one.
4. cheese it:
Transform lackluster leftovers with a simple cheese sauce.
5. cream it:
Reheat with cream or a white sauce to revive those leftover vegetables for a second meal.
So many veggies are great on top of a pizza, and leftover ones, already cooked, are even better.
Pickle them and use them as a side or an appetizer or a condiment. Think Asian, Mexican, or traditional American Pickles.
Add to your green smoothies like my Big, Fat Green Smoothie, or use with a combination of fruit for a more palatable option.
9. respice and reheat:
Sprinkle generously with your favorite spice mixtures and reheat with a little butter.
Add to potatoes or sweet potatoes and fry up a marvelous hash, or just make hash on its own.
Stuff vegetables with vegetables! Toss them into the mix for Stuffed Peppers or other Stuffed Vegetables.
12. bubble & squeak:
Fry everything in a saucepan. Or fry, add mashed potatoes and mix together. Try add grated cheese, form into cakes, dust with flour and pan-fried till golden. These little cakes freeze well.
I gave you a lot of general ideas for inspiration, above, but you’ve got to find your way when dealing with a specific type of leftover vegetable. Here are a few ways to make those shine!
Scroll towards the bottom of the page to see links for leftover Cruciferous, Asparagus, Root Vegetables, Corn and leftover Cruidite Platters, which now have their own pages.
Summer Bean Salad – since the beans are cooked, this is ideal for leftover beans.
Fresh beans go fast in the fridge! If you’re afraid you won’t get to them in time, do a quick blanch in boiling water, shock them in cold water and trim them when you’re ready to use them. Those brownish spots? It’s called rust and it’s harmless but it multiplies quickly. Here are a few ideas to use up any leftovers:
1. three bean salad:
Make three bean salad or use the same method for any bean salad. It’s not set in stone that you’ll need all three beans and that dressing is great! You can always count on AllRecipes for solid recipes that have been tested many times.
2. pickle them:
Hot pickled Beans are great – just cut down the recipe and guesstimate to make a small batch you don’t have to can. Same goes for Dilly Beans.
3. take out style:
When you reheat, saute them. Use this recipe to transform those beans into marvelous Take Out Style Beans. Saute them quickly so they don’t turn to mush.
4. salad nicoise:
Of course, you’ll want to make Salad Nicoise, right? Such a classic. Here’s a recipe from Melissa d’Arabian.
Make quick refrigerator pickles. Just do a search, but basically just boil 1 cup of vinegar with 1 to 2 cups of sugar and pour over cucumbers, let sit at least 2 hours – these will keep for weeks in the fridge.
2. add cream:
It’s a thing. Add a little cream or sour cream, maybe a touch of vinegar. Add some celery seed, caraway or dill if you’d like. A touch of sugar never hurt.
It doesn’t take a lot of cucumber to make Tzatziki and it’s marvelous as a dip for veggies or a spread in all kinds of sandwiches.
Cut into large slices and top with goat’s cheese, maybe mixed with your favorite herbs, or other cheese.
So simple, I’m afraid to mention it, but toss in your favorite salad, add to Panzanella, like this Updated Panzanella, use in Asian Salads, there’s hardly an end!
I love this Cream of Spring Vegetable Soup, with the quaint name of “Potage” and already cooked, leftover peas would be ideal. If the peas have been flavored or cooked with herbs, that’s just going to lend a little extra flavor.
Smash them up, add a few herbs: basil, mint, etc. or a combination and serve over pasta or on toasts for a kind of pea pesto.
Peas are often added to creamed dishes like Chicken a la King or Chicken Pot Pie. Don’t do this if your peas are already well cooked, or they just won’t taste fresh with the additional cooking.
5. toss in creamy pasta:
Pretty much a no-brainer. Add peas to creamy alfredo type pasta dishes, just at the end to cook through. They’ll add a little texture, color and a healthy aspect.
1. roast & freeze:
Assuming the peppers you’re dealing with are raw, any pepper can be roasted under the broiler or over a flame or on a grill, steamed in a covered bowl, peeled and frozen in useful sizes.
Any pepper, hot or mild can be made into a pepper jelly. Scale down a recipe if you’d like. It doesn’t take many peppers to make and if yo make a small batch, just refrigerate instead of canning it.
3. honey glaze:
Finely dice, saute for a minute in a little butter, then add honey. Brush over cornbread or savory muffins. See my Famous Dave’s Cornbread for a recipe to riff off.
4. make a spread:
Don’t waste the little bits around the stem when you’re prepping. Finely dice and mix with a little cream cheese for a sandwich or bagel spread.
5. add to a salad or bowl:
Any cooked peppers can easily be added to a salad or a bowl! Maybe with some brown rice or quinoa and this Lemon Yogurt Dressing?
1. salads & bowls:
Add to salads and salad bowls. Think of mixed with greens, brown rice or quinoa, drizzled with a lemon yogurt, balsamic or tahini dressing.
If your squashes are cooked, puree and serve again.
3. add to soups:
Squash can be added to soups, pureed or in chunks.
4. baked goods:
Back in the day, it was trendy to use applesauce in baked goods to replace some of the eggs, oil, and dairy. Squash can be used the same way.
Squash is just excellent in pies, any hard squash, not just pumpkin. Substitute pureed squash for the same amount of pumpkin.
Always the no-brainer when dealing with pumpkin. If you’ve used pumpkin for something else, though and have leftover, think about pie (I have several on the blog) but flan, cheesecake or these Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits also come to mind.
Pumpkin, just like squash can be added to soups, pureed or in chunks.
I love pumpkin pancakes but haven’t developed or found my perfect recipe, yet. If you try one you love, let me know!
Add pumpkin to your morning oatmeal, along with pumpkin pie spice.
Don’t forget to roast the seeds.
1. air dry:
Almost any fresh herb that isn’t fleshy can be dried in small quantities. Don’t let them wilt and throw them away! Just spread them on a plate, let air dry and put in Ziploc or jars. Label. For larger quantities, loosely tie and hang.
Freeze chopped herbs in water and toss in soups or stocks. This goes for certain soft, not woody, stems, too, which carry have the same flavor as the herbs. Use an ice-cube tray for this.
3. freeze in oil:
Freeze either plain or chop leftover herbs with a garlic clove, then freeze in ice-cube trays covered with olive oil. This is easy, mess-free option for when you’re ready to cook anything with herbs and garlic.
4. flavored oils:
Save your herbs or scraps to blend with olive oil for a finishing oil for toasted breads, soups, steaks, or you name it. Use your judgment as to what will taste good. Basil and chives come to mind, immediately, and this Cilantro Lime Oil is excellent and gives you a place to start.
5. green sauces:
Make pesto, chimichurri, chermoula, or other sauces from your veggie tops and leftover herbs. Heck, toss some greens in there if you’re so inclined.
Fruit & Veg waste goes in Spa Water
vegetable parings & potential waste
When buying fresh vegetables, there’s going to be more waste than when buying canned or frozen. You’ve paid for it, so here are a few ways to turn potential waste into a positive.
Keep in a bag in the fridge any carrot tops and peelings, celery pieces, onion skins and other bits of vegetables (use your judgment as to how well something will keep or how it will taste) add to your stock or broth when making. Alternatively, put in a container in the freezer.
2. vegetable stock:
A traditional stock is great but think about Vegetable Stock, too. Just about anything goes. Here’s a recipe from The Kitchn.
Put tough outer greens from kale, chard or beet tops in an oven on low to dehydrate them. Then puree and you’ve got a homemade vitamin-packed powder to add to your morning green smoothie. Some people EAT these and claim to like them, btw.
Save all kinds of vegetable pieces and parts and use in your morning Green Smoothies. Think “nutrient-packed” items like asparagus & broccoli stems. Leave out seeds.
5. spa water:
Make Spa Water with certain vegetable/fruit parings: Tomato, Bell Pepper, and Cucumber are wonderful. Others maybe not so much. Use your judgment.
6. use cooking liquid:
Save the nutrient-rich water you cook vegetables in and use it in your soups, sauces and gravies or smoothies. The same goes for liquids in cans if they aren’t overly salty.
I’m always looking for new ideas – what are your favorite ways to use your leftover vegetables & herbs?
leftover vegetables by type
Slowly but surely, I’m updating this page and making new pages for leftover vegetables by type. There’s just so many different kinds, and this page has gotten long!