Hey Angels and Alphas,
In the world of nutrition, leftovers are an unsung hero. Truly. Maybe you don’t really have a healthy relationship with them because you’ve had to eat dried-out lean chicken and mashed, mushy veggies. But with a few proven strategies and tricks, you can make leftovers feel and taste amazing – and get all the nutrition out of them.
If you want to save yourself from an unhealthy takeout choice, it’s good to have a meal ready to go at the end of the busy day in case you don’t want to cook that night.
And with the holidays right around the corner and delicious and nutritious leftovers being thrown out with no second thought, here’s how you can make leftovers exciting and delicious again.
Let’s get into it.
#1 LOOK WAY PAST THE MICROWAVE
The microwave may very well be a leftover’s best friend, but it’s not really the best when it comes to preserving the actual texture of your food. Especially roasted veggies.
And when we’re talking about veggies, if you’re the type of person who loves meal prepping or cooking in batches, you’re probably going to be roasting your veggies by the trayful, anyway.
Experts recommend popping veggies into your air fryer to make them crisp up. And if you don’t have one, just throw them into an oven at lower temperatures.
#2 ADDING NEW ELEMENTS
Let’s say, for example, you make lasagna. And you make a lot of it. With combination dishes such as lasagna, you want to find a new way to serve it. You can try sauteing some greens such as kale or spinach, and then just adding a slice of reheated lasagna on top.
If you’ve made a big batch of your favorite enchiladas, you might decide to add a new element such as a side salad. Or maybe you even bake salmon to serve atop a leftover warm salad such as a farro salad. One fresh thing can make your dish feel entirely new again.
#3 TRY TO MAKE YOURSELF A BOWL
If you’ve got some leftovers of your favorite roasted chicken and broccoli, you can very simply turn this into a power bowl and add various different layers, textures, and food groups inside it. You can even use some of the same foods but re-create a meal that isn’t the same one again and again. You can reheat some quinoa you have stashed deep in the freezer and you can layer it with your favorite lean protein, veggies, and a delicious sauce on top.
#4 ADD SOME SAUCE
Speaking of sauces, you can instantly transform any ho-hum leftovers into something fun by adding a sauce as a topping. Sauces can change the entire palate of your dish, and you can travel through many different tastes, flavors, and combinations using different condiments and sauces. You can either buy pre-made sauces (just watch out for the sugar and salt contents) or make your own sauces such as hummus, tzatziki, and tahini at home. They’re very easy to whip up in a bowl or with a food processor at your home.
#5 KEEP YOUR PANTRY STOCKED
Canned fish and canned beans are some of the best pantry superstars you can get out there. They can go a long way toward adding extra protein to a leftover meal when there’s no protein leftover. Think about tossing canned chickpeas with some leftover broccolini and whole-grain pasta and you have a delicious vegetarian-friendly dish.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
Leftovers are, a lot of the time, some of the healthiest pieces of food on the plate. Instead of discarding them, by learning to save them and reuse them with our next meals, we can make leftovers feel exciting again.
Those healthy leftovers you get every meal can be made fresh – it just takes a bit of creativity and a few extra steps.
By combining them alongside different ingredients, using them as ingredients for quick meals, and upgrading these meals with various textures and flavors, you can make the most out of your leftovers and savor their highly nutritious content.