No matter what you cook or how many people you’re feeding, it is difficult to get the exact amount of food you need right. This means that you either end up with too little and have to scramble around to put a salad together, or you have loads of food left over.
While it can be tempting just to throw away leftovers, there’s plenty you can do with them to create other meals. Not only does this mean less perfectly good food goes in your bin, it can also save you money in the long-run.
Getting creative when it comes to leftovers is the best idea, as this means you’ll end up using more of them. Bringing some imagination into your kitchen can help you whip up some great meals that may well become firm family favourites.
To help you discover new ways to use leftovers, here are some of our top Tefalphabet tips:
As nice as a loaf is, sometimes we just don’t get around to using it all before it goes stale. You don’t need to stick with toast in this instance, though, as you can easily make your own breadcrumbs, which can be used for loads of different things.
Simply pop your bread in a blender with some mixed herbs and whizz up until it is turned into crumbs. Either use the crumbs straight away for things like coated chicken breast, stuffed mushrooms or fried fish, or bag them up and pop them in your freezer for another day.
If you’ve got a selection of veggies going spare after your Sunday roast, why not make a warming winter soup with them? Add them to some stock, pop in some barley or potatoes, put it all in your blender and enjoy! You can put this in the fridge for an easy lunch or freeze it for another day.
You can also make things like veggie curries or chillies reasonably easily, just by combining spices, herbs, chopped tomatoes and whatever else you fancy. This will create a lovely, warming meal in no time at all.
Once you’ve got as much meat off your bones as you possibly can, you probably just throw them away. However, you can use them to create a delicious stock that will add more flavour to your food.
Simply put your bones in a pot, cover them with water, add some aromatics like onions and fresh herbs and allow it all to simmer. Let it cook away for a few hours – the length it needs depends on the size of the bones used – adding water as it goes down. You’ll be left with a great stock that can be enjoyed as it is or added to other recipes for a rich flavour.
There’s so much you can do with leftover meat, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Depending on how much you have left to use, there’s a lot of full meals you can whip up in no time at all, meaning you don’t just need to eat it in sandwiches.
Try making a stir fry with whatever meat you have, as this is ideal for chicken, turkey, beef, pork and lamb. All you need is some stir fry vegetables, noodles and a sauce of your choosing and you’re good to go.
Of course, there’s also the tried and tested pie, which is ideal for using a selection of leftovers. Combine your meat with vegetables if you want to, add a simple sauce or gravy and top with pastry for a filling and tasty meal.
You might be surprised at what you can do with leftover fish, as so many people think that it is too delicate to make anything with after it has been initially cooked. However, so long as you don’t add it to anything that needs cooking for a long time, fish will remain delicious.
Try combining flaked fish with cooked potatoes, herbs and seasoning to make fishcakes. Simply combine everything and make small patties that can be quickly shallow fried or grilled.
You could also make a quick and easy fish pie by combining chunks of fish with a white sauce and prawns before topping with mashed potato. Pop this under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top of the potatoes and it will be a sure fire hit.
When it comes to leftovers, you never have to throw anything away again if you can think of something to make with them.