Freeze. Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them and Step Away from the Bin.

My theory. Meals made with leftovers taste better. I can’t be absolutely sure. But, I think it’s their way of saying “thanks for saving my life”. I mean, death by trash can. That’s gotta suck. Plus, there’s lots of other awesome things about using leftovers, like helping the environment and saving money.

But, leftovers. I know. They can be as inspiring as that Kardashian brother (yes, there is a brother).

At least. That was. Until now….

I’ve put together a list of YTGT recipes that use Australia’s most wasted foods. That way, you always have something fun, fast and YUM to cook up with your leftovers. Easy!

Let’s Go. Leftovers. Let’s Go.

Bread

There are so many ways you can use up bread. Think, French toast breadcrumbs, croutons for your favourite salad. But, my favourite way to use up bread? Well, that always involves cheese.

Like my famous pizza toast – the triple threat of leftovers. Because, it also happens to be an excellent way to use leftover veggies and stuff from the deli like ham or salami.  Plus, its an excuse to eat pizza for dinner. Grab the easy recipe here.

Milk

The trick here. You’ve got to catch it before it goes off. But if you can do that. YUM! Because there are so many ways you can use leftover milk. And here’s where I prove it:

  • Drink it – smoothies, hot chocolate, iced coffee, regular coffee. Hello, legit excuse to drink any kind of creamy milky delicious coffee.
  • Bake it –scones, muffins, cake, rice pudding, bread and butter pudding and then maybe more cake.
  • Cook it – pancakes, porridge, soup, fish pie or a cheesy sauce, which I give you permission to pour over errrything.

But, my all-time favourite way for using up milk? Creamy Mushroom Baked Gnocchi. Oh yeah! It is as good as it sounds. Maybe even better. And the sauce. Well, that’s made with milk not cream. BOOM!

Cheese

Personally, I don’t get the whole leftover cheese thing. Me: 1059. Cheese 0.

But, I know a lot of you must struggle. Because cheese comes in third on the list of most wasted foods in Australia.

The good news. I can definitely help you out. Because when a cheese lover invents recipes. Well, there’s a lot of cheesy delicious happening. Like so much….

I’m talking, Tacos, Taco Pizza, Healthy Nachos, Chopped Chicken + Cheesy Quesadilla Salad. Mexican not your thing? Take a trip to Italy.  Cheat’s Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni or Healthy One Pan Lasagne. Then there’s good old Mac n’ Cheese.

Do I have a cheese problem? Nah. No such thing.

Bananas

Bananas are the type of leftovers you *actually* want. The riper the better. And, I’m giving you. Not one. But, two! Amazingly delicious ideas for using them up. It’s like a choose your own adventure, with leftover bananas. But, be warned. This choice will not be easy.

Your options…

A. Chocolate Banana Bread, which is the actual best thing since sliced bread. Chocolate in bread form…I rest my case.

B. Deliciously sweet, soft and crumbly super easy, Apple + Banana Sugar Free Muffins.

My advice: Save yourself some heartache. Make both.

 

Chicken

I am not a huge fan of cooking chicken from scratch (see below). So, when I buy fresh chicken it ends up in the freezer OR in a Chicken Club Burger.  I strongly suggest the Chicken Club Burger over the freezer. Because, it legit tastes like holidays. I know. Sealed the deal, huh?

And hot tip. God didn’t invent supermarket roast chicken, so you would keep cooking it. Buy it pre-cooked. You will be more likely to use it. Like a gazillion times more. Why?  Cos, it makes cooking crazy easy. You can literally throw it into anything and everything from pasta to stir fries to tacos and burgers. It’s like instant, no mess, no fuss, yum.

Rice

Whoop. Whoop. YTGT classic alert. 15-Minute Fried Rice. Main ingredient, rice (obvs). But, throw in practically anything else. I’m talking leftover meat, veggies, eggs. It’s like a party. And all your leftovers are invited.  Your job? Bring the wine.

Ham

No matter how hard I try. It’s inevitable. There’s always leftover ham in my fridge at the end of the week. I can’t prove it. But I’m pretty sure it multiplies. Just like a gremlin. Truth.

But, it’s not all bad. Because from leftover ham, this deliciousness was born – Ham and Asparagus Pasta. And, don’t count it out, just because you don’t have or like asparagus. You can throw in any leftover green veggies and it’s just as good. I can personally vouch for zucchini, broccoli and beans.

Eggs

Leftover eggs? Sorry. There is no option. You must eat brinner (aka breakfast for dinner). I seriously eat eggs on toast for dinner alllll the time. Because quick + easy. Plus, eggs…well they’re super good for you.

Usual situation: Fried eggs in one pan. Leftover veggies in another.  Serve with toast. And dinner done. But, when I’m in the mood for fancy (that’s *my* type of quick and easy fancy not *actual* fancy). I make my one-pan baked eggs with chorizo. Insider tip: t’s totally worth the extra 10 minutes. And don’t stress if you don’t have chorizo, chick in some leftover ham or salami instead – yum!

Lettuce, Tomato and Mince

I know that’s three leftovers. But, just like I was touched by the hand of leftover Gods. Lettuce, tomatoes and mince round out the list of Australia’s most wasted foods AND I have the most delicious recipe that uses ALL three.

Cheesy Beef Mexican Taco bowls. They are seriously life. Get the recipe here. Leftovers or not. You gotta put this one on your weekly meal plan. Yep, that good.

Talk to me. What do you do with your leftovers? What ingredient do you ALWAYS have left over at the end of the week?  Am I the only one that thinks, leftovers really *are* the secret ingredient?

Rani

P.S – Want a whole weeks worth of dinner recipes just like this? Grab your FREE quick and easy weeknight dinner plan right here.

GOOD RECIPES

 

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