Did you know that roughly 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste? You can begin doing your part to stop food waste by making sure you do your best to eat rather than throw away leftovers. Besides keeping food out the garbage, you’ll also be keeping a few extra dollars in your pocket. With these easy tricks for making the most of your leftovers, you’ll have no excuse not to recycle last night’s dinner into a tasty new meal today.
1. Upgrade Your Omelets Or Scrambled Eggs
Not just for breakfast, eggs go with everything and provide a perfect way to add some substance to leftovers that wouldn’t quite make a full meal. Chunk up last night’s meat, veggies or potatoes and toss them in a pan with some eggs and you’ve got a delicious and protein-packed meal.
Pro tip: put leftover fajita meat in with your scrambled eggs pic.twitter.com/zVFuGxjTLm
— hi my name is Tyler (@Redheadedwinner) May 3, 2015
2. Keep That Pizza Out Of The Microwave
You have a choice: warm soggy pizza out of the microwave or good-as-new, crisp, cheesy deliciousness. Just follow this method for perfectly reheating a slice of pizza and you’ll never use the microwave to reheat your pizza or eat it cold again.
3. Jazz Up Your Desserts
Brownies are the perfect carrier for all that leftover Halloween candy. It makes great toppings for cupcakes and cakes as well!
Leftover Halloween candy + brownies = speech and debate practice tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/AkGGi7TrsH
— Lisa Sarjeant (@mrssarjeant) November 6, 2015
4. Chinese-Meets-Mexican Chicken
If you can resist your delicious leftover Chinese food long enough to re-purpose it, you will be glad you did. Simply chop up your leftover Chinese chicken dish and use it to fill a cheesy quesadilla.
Pro tip: add leftover orange or sesame chicken to a cheese quesadilla. Pure awesomeness 😋
— tyler hale (@tylerhale95) August 12, 2015
5. Perfectly Reheated White Rice
Add a little water before heating up leftover white rice and it will taste as good as it did last night. For a change of pace, you can also try throwing it in that egg dish we already mentioned, or toss it in a frying pan with other leftovers to create your own fried rice or stir-fry.
Omg! I just had my own life hack! Add a little bit of water to leftover rice from your Chinese food before reheating! It's good as new!😱
— Nick DeMarco ✨ (@Nickdemarco91) October 5, 2015
6. Wrap It Up
Fill up tortillas or wraps with last night’s cheesy, saucy dinner and you’ve got a totally new burrito or wrap that’s portable, to boot!
You have 2 leftovers in the fridge: lasagna and tortillas. What do you do? Lasagna Burritos! #genius pic.twitter.com/a75NaFQRmd
— Paul Henke (@scruffy_p) September 28, 2016
7. Random Berries
If you don’t get a chance to eat all of your berries before they’ll go bad, just pop them in the freezer before they spoil and they’ll be ready for your next smoothie.
Produce tip! If you have leftover berries, freeze them for your shakes! pic.twitter.com/u2jmxeZPlT
— one fit mom (@marijahall) March 13, 2016
8. Mac And Cheese, Please
Avoid chewing on dry rubbery noodles by adding a little milk before you reheat. If you happen to have any cheese in the house, add that too for an instant upgrade.
9. Leftover Pie Crust
There is way to0 much creamy, buttery goodness here to let this dough go. Simply roll it out and add some cinnamon and sugar to turn your pie crust into cinnamon rolls.
Pie Pro-Tip: Use the leftover pie crust for impromptu cinnamon rolls! #rolltime pic.twitter.com/kTfr3UAXFU
— The Pie Hoes (@ThePieHoes) April 2, 2016
10. Reheat Effectively
When it comes to microwaving, the placement of the food really matters. If you pile it all up in the center of your plate before putting it in the microwave, you are guaranteed cold spots. A circular donut shape is your best bet for evenly heated foods.
Life Hack: Arrange your leftover food to form a ring when microwaving it, this will help the food heat evenly. pic.twitter.com/55tiZXL2GK
— BEBEN (@itsbeben11) September 16, 2014
11. Tomato Paste
Despite the fact that it comes in tiny little cans, no one ever ends up using the entire container of tomato paste when cooking. What to do? Just put the paste in a ziplock, seal it and spread it out into smaller portions. This will keep you from having to buy more the next time you need just a few tablespoons.
Leftover tomato paste. Place in bag. Squeeze out air. Seal. Divide with finger on outside. Freeze. My fav tip ever. pic.twitter.com/jmgcJaVMW7
— Andrea Molliconi Cox (@AndriaticC) May 17, 2016
12. Movie Theater Popcorn
Popcorn at the movies costs way too much to just toss it in the garbage. Follow this recipe to turn yesterday’s popcorn into today’s caramel corn.
Making caramel corn from leftover movie theater popcorn.Tip: hold a wet tea bag 10 min on a burn to prevent blister! pic.twitter.com/3wn6p3e0nz
— Ashley Carter (@zocoma) July 19, 2015
13. Leftover Fries
You’re already imagining soggy mushy fries, right? Instead, try chopping them up and turning them into hash browns for breakfast tomorrow.
14. Extra Coffee (We Know, It’s Rare…)
Why throw away the last few sips of your coffee when you can freeze it for tomorrow’s iced coffee? It will keep your drink cool without watering it down.
Have leftover coffee from this morning? Make coffee ice cubes. Can be used to cool iced coffee without diluting it.
— Hidden Life Tips (@HiddenLifeTip) October 7, 2016
15. Half An Avocado
Squeeze a little lemon juice onto the open face of the avocado to keep it from browning. It will be so much more appealing when you pull it out of the fridge tomorrow.