Rebranding Leftovers

I find there is an odd phenomenon that happens when there are leftovers in my refrigerator. I either devour them within a few days, or they get a “meh” and tend to stay in the fridge until I am forced to throw them out. As actually eating one’s leftovers is pretty important to leading a frugal lifestyle, I think it’s awesome when I can take my leftovers and make them into something even better!

Since I have the food photography skills of a five-year-old and an ailing camera, I will have to refrain from photo proof of the kitchen magic. But you should be amazed anyway, because our kitchen is so small that I am continually shocked we can make anything at all that involves more than dumping a packet into a pot of water and heating it.

So anyway, I made black bean/chicken enchiladas last week. Bob loved them, so we didn’t have the “meh” leftover syndrome with those. However, I did have some filling leftover and a TON of garlic and cumin rice I made from a recipe in The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas. The next day, I found myself looking at the rice, wondering how on earth we were going to eat all of it.

Bob made his leftover rebrand simple: he made a burrito with the filling and rice. Since I am currently not eating wheat, and corn tortillas don’t make good burritos, I decided to make soup.  I put in some leftover tomato puree in some chicken broth, added spices, then put in the leftover rice, enchilada filling, and some refried beans. The result? Awesome chicken tortilla soup!

Then, a couple days later, we mixed up the rice with some leftover refried beans and ground beef for some excellent stuffed peppers.

The moral of this story? Do not despair! There is hope for the “meh” leftovers! A the very least, they may almost always be reborn into soup.

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