504 Main by Holly Lefevre: Coming to Terms With Leftovers
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coming to Terms With Leftovers

Home is...
OK, let's just by start by saying
leftovers and I have not always been friends. 

Maybe it has something to do with the play on my last name...
Holly "Leftover" instead of Holly Lefevre...
{clearly I have resolved all of my elementary school issues}
Maybe it has something to do with hubby.
When I first met him he was thrifty
{he still is, he just didn't marry well}.
He never wanted to go out,
"I made stir-fry last night, let's have leftovers."
Boring...at least when you are first dating!

Worse yet, I cleaned his bachelor frig for him one day...
and leftovers had a whole new meaning.
Put it this way, Hefty and I were buddies that day,
and he ended up with all new Tupperware.
Until recently, the only leftovers I ate were cold pizza, meatloaf, or my mom's stew {which no one in my immediate family will eat}. I was fine with leftovers being a bad house guest that I could toss out in the morning.

I have changed...not completely, but I did have an epiphany...eating leftovers means I do not have to concoct a new meal every single night! Now, I love to cook {really I love to bake} but there is lots of blogging to be done and baseball to be practiced and karate to be chopped. A new meal every night is not in the cards.

Leftovers are now regular guests at our house...I have rolled out the welcome mat, wiped down the frig shelf, and bought some fancy plastic containers to accommodate their stay. My version of leftovers may not be a traditional leftover, but, for me, it counts!

Here is how I cook in my house:
*At the beginning of the week I make 5-6 chicken breasts. Some are cooked up fajita style, some are baked. I use them until we run out...in salads, in pasta, in wraps. When we run out...I start all over again.
*I'll cook two whole chickens...one is dinner that night and later chicken stock. The other becomes Sandy's Spicy Chicken Chili {which is excellent as a leftover and I do eat it for days...yum!}.
*I make loads of rice and/or pasta {we do not fear carbs at our house!}. Of course we eat it plain, in wraps, and with stir-fry.

Every few days, we end up with "a little of this" and "a little of that" left. I heat it all up, serve it on beautiful platters, make a green salad, and call it a meal. I also love to throw a bunch of my favorite things together and make new salads...One of my favorite "leftover" salads is a rice, bean, and corn salad {adapted from The Mcdougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health}.

RBC Salad 
{click HERE for a PDF version}
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed {or fresh}
2 T fresh dill, chopped {dried works too....just add it a little at a time}
1/2 cup black beans {rinsed}
1 tomato chopped

1 T Red wine vinegar
1 T water
½ to 1 T soy sauce (depends on your taste
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Let rice cool (warm rice is OK)
Add all ingredients, prepared as directed above, in one bowl
Mix dressing
Add dressing to salad and toss.
This is actually better when made a few hours {or more} ahead.

Easy-peasy! You can also substitute dill for other spices that you may prefer.

Personally I think leftovers need a new fancy name...
everything seems better with a fancy name.
Any ideas?

What's your favorite leftover?


  1. loved this post, i do something similar!! found you on Stir Fry Awesomeness blog and will stick around for a while =)

  2. What an awesome idea, Holly! I have no time for cooking on a daily basis either, yet I am always at a loss how to go about it on the days that I do cook.

  3. I am giving this recipe a try. It sound so good and healthy! Leftovers are not big in my house except for the Chicken Enchiladas I make out of leftover chicken. Otherwise, the men I live with are too picky!

  4. Mmm! This sounds yummy. I've never thought to put soy sauce in my dressing. I'm sure it's great over your salad. Thanks for posting :)

  5. Great post! And fantastic idea on how you cook for the week (large qty of chicken and use it until it's gone in a a number of recipes.) I like that! Honestly . . . my favorite leftover? Ummmm . . . CHEESECAKE! (Yeah, but why is it there is hardly cheesecake leftover? Hmmm. I have issues!) My sister has, what we call, major "FOOD SAFETY ISSUES" and will rarely do leftovers. But we DO do them in our house. Seems like our chili tastes even better the next day!

  6. I like to think of some leftovers as a challenge to create a new meal. For instance, if I have leftover spaghetti noodles, I might add a little sesame oil and shrimp to make sesame shrimp pasta. Other dishes, like stew or lasagna just get reheated and served in their original form. I hate the idea of wasting food!

  7. We have some recipes we cook with the complete intention that we'll have leftovers. We use them for lunch, though. There's another really yummy recipe for homemade marinara sauce that makes HUGE quantities. Like, enough for 4 separate dinners. Since we eat pasta once a week, I make a batch, separate them into comtainers and then just pull one out of the freezer and defrost.
    Oh, and I visited your community and posted in your forum. It looks like you still need to verify your community. It won't let me "join" it until then.

  8. They're not leftovers. They're the action-packed sequel to last night's dinner.

    Drat. Now I'm hungry!

    That would be super if you'd like to do a guest blogger post! Just write about whatever you'd like, with some info on who you are and your blog, and email it to me at lambaround@gmail.com. An archived post would be fine. I'll post it with a link to your site, which will hopefully bring some new readers your way.

  9. I love to cook. It's one of my favorite things to do. However, I too have learned that leftovers can be my friend...some of them, anyway! Some are just off-limits still!!!

    That salad looks delish, by the way. I will definitely be trying it this summer!!!

  10. Ahhhhh...sounds so goooood...I must give it a try! I'm a leftover FAN:) Come over and check out my GIVEAWAY...I think you will like it!


  11. With three hungry boys, we don't have a whole lot of leftovers in our house. My hubby usually takes what we do have for his lunch the next day. Spaghetti is one thing that I love to have leftovers of...the kiddos will eat it for days without complaining:)

  12. Good for you! I seem to be more in the, put the leftovers in the fridge and then throw them away a week later when they are growing new life.. in fact I have a blog post in draft that I have been meaning to post for a while all about this :)

  13. I don't mind leftovers, but I don't particularly like to eat the same thing 2 or 3 nights in a row. So I usually freeze our leftovers (chili, soups, quiche, etc) and then the next week, voila! A "fresh" meal without having to cook!

  14. I am a huge fan of leftovers too! Whenever we grill chicken, we do a few extra breasts so we have it for the week. I actually just ate some leftover cold chicken out of the fridge!

    That salad recipe sounds awesome. Will have to try it!

  15. What great ideas! Thank you for sharing

  16. I love finding new recipes! Thanks!

    Me and leftovers actually have a great relationship. I almost like them better than when they are first cooked (call me crazy!) However, my hubby HATES leftovers, and is just like you. Anyway, I'm trying to convince him that leftovers really aren't that bad. ;)

    Glad you gave them a chance! I love your meal plan that you do. Sounds organized, yet easy.

  17. What great ideas! I'm with you on the idea that you don't have to concoct something new every night. I'm fine with making double portions and serving the exact same thing the next night without reinventing it!

    I also do a clean-out-the-frig night once in a while and add a salad to it....how thrifty and easy on the cook!

    I've enjoyed browsing your blog! ;)

  18. My kids hate leftovers unless it's something I can disguise into another recipe! I like leftovers...means I get out of cooking for the day!

  19. I absolutely love, love, love leftovers. I don't know what I would eat for lunch most days if I didn't have leftovers.


  20. I love leftovers and agree that we could come up with a more appealing name for them. It's handy and economical plus like you I don't want to cook every night!
    I'm so going to have to try your chicken chili recipe!!!

  21. OH!GOODY! Another recipe to use up leftover rice!

  22. Your blog is just so awesome, girl! I do the same thing with chicken - it's amazing the meals you can get from extra breasts. My Chix Chili recipe is in my new book, too.
    Thanks for linking up again today on RE! Yay - fun!


  23. Did you love him before you cleaned the fridge? Tell me you already loved him. A meatloaf sandwich, with the melty kind of cheese on toasted bread is leftover heaven. My John calls it Eat It Agains
    As in you mean I gotta Eat It Again.

  24. LMAO at Bumpkin ^^^

    No fancy name for leftovers here, but I think I may have to come up with one.

    Queen of leftovers here!! I grilled chicken Sunday for supper. Some was ate yesterday with our soup & then was the main ingredient to the Creamy Chicken Pasta I made tonight.

    I've used sloppy joes in Spaghetti or meatloaf as square "meatballs". Roast is made up into BBQ beef.

    The RBC Salad sounds super yummy, but would be a no go in my house unless I wanted to eat it all myself!

  25. Do you eat shrimp? if you do than I have a stir fry for you it's going to be on my post for friday it involves honey-

  26. I have to say Holly, I like your style of cooking, that is great! We eat a lot of chicken too!

  27. I was a total leftover snob...until I started cooking myself! After working so hard to plan, shop, and actually make it, it almost hurts to just have it for one meal! haha! I love the idea of cooking a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week...I think I could handle that! :)

  28. I was so CRINGING when you said you decided to clean out his fridge... I remember college boys. That is never a good idea. More mold than the lab!

    When we first started dating Dave decided to "cook" for me. It was at his college apartment and let's just say I don't think the smell of burnt chicken ever really left that place.

  29. u a funny chickie & i LOVE a laugh :)

    & i say we are having 'deuxième fois' for dinner
    [which is french for second time lol]

    waving at you,
    tracey-leigh :P


  30. I am going to have to try that out. It sounds so good!


  31. I just had to laugh about your cleaning up his fridge. LOL

    I always say that sometimes the leftovers are better than the original.

  32. Yum, that salad sounds great!!! And I'm so all about the leftovers. I eat mine constantly and always make sure to use them for when I need a lunch or a dinner- I never let them go to waste (or if they do, I get upset!). My Sister on the other hand just never eats leftovers and I never got why :)

  33. I'm not a big leftovers fan but my husband loves them and takes whatever we have to work for lunch the next day...whew! I love how you do it!

  34. I do love the versatility of leftover chicken and need to make a better effort. We are good about leftovers in general, but I mostly make big casseroles, etc...but I admit sometimes I get sick of something (like too much chicken in various forms in a week). I need to get over myself!

  35. I grew up eating leftovers and have always believed in them. It has taken years and sometimes my husband still won't eat them. I swear the food taste better the next day. Yummy!

    That food looks delicious!

  36. This salad sounds really yummy, I'm going to have to try it!
    Thanks for visiting my blog, come back anytime!

  37. All i have to say is YUM!

  38. Hi Holly, What a great post. I love the whole idea of using up what you have. I have a friend who does once a month cooking. She also insists on using up all the leftovers. She says that it saves them a lot of money each month, she doesn't have to think about what to cook, and she has stopped going to the store every other day for those extra ingredients needed for dinner.

  39. My favorite leftovers are meatloaf and cold pizza. We aren't too good at using up leftovers around here. Everyone is very picky. Sometimes I do what I call Planned Overs. I will bake ham and use half for soup or quiche the next day. (for example)

  40. Oh, that soup looks yummylicious.

    Problem in my house: the dad doesn't like leftovers, so the kids don't either.

    I happen to love them.

  41. Hi Holly,
    Glad to see you're participating in NFF. Since we're already bloggy friends/followers, I shall just tell you (again) that I LOVE your blog! Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

  42. RE created..not leftovers, LOL!

  43. I will have to try that rice salad. It sounds yummy!

  44. I love having leftovers in my fridge. It's always a challenge to come up with something new and exciting. Sometimes, we are just boring and eat it as originally prepared, but either way, it makes life easier!

  45. I am frugal, to say the least. I hate throwing food out, yet I hate eating leftovers. If it can't be repurposed into something else, it goes with hubby for lunch. Luckily, he doesn't mind leftovers.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!

  46. My youngest daughter never has like leftovers. Now me...I love them. I will have to try this!!

  47. I have finally learned to love left overs!! thanks for the good recipes.

    Come see me at www.zen-mama.com

  48. I love making soup with leftovers...all the little veggies you didn't use, whatever meat you have, an onion, some garlic...YUM!
    Also...have you ever seen what Paula Deen can do with leftovers. Probably why she's one of my favorite people ever.

  49. I am not much of a left over type of gal. But reading your ideas makes me rethink them. I never thought to cook 2 chickens at once and save one for another night. Do you precook the rice ahead of time and put it in the fridge?

  50. Thanks for this Holly! I don't normally like leftovers but I sure need to try this out! Have a wonderful day!
    Take care

  51. Thanks for this Holly! I don't normally like leftovers but I sure need to try this out! Have a wonderful day!
    Take care

  52. Thanks for this Holly! I don't normally like leftovers but I sure need to try this out! Have a wonderful day!
    Take care

  53. I came to terms with my love for stir-fry :) and wrote a post about it. I mentioned you!



  54. Hi - love your site and the recipes look good. Stopped by from SITS. Thanks! :) Lo


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