What To Do With Those Leftovers in the Refrigerator
Got some leftovers languishing in your refrigerator? Or perhaps little bits of foods that are almost past prime time to eat. Read on if their next stop is likely to be the trash can. Give new life to still edible foods with our gallery of delicious ideas. As a general rule, use leftovers within 3–4 days.
Meat, Vegetables, Pasta
Search your fridge for foods that can be combined into a soup. Add extra cooked pasta
or rice at the end, so it heats through but doesn’t become mushy from overcooking. Keep some chicken stock or canned, diced tomatoes on-hand for a quick soup base.
Transform slightly dried-out bread into croutons: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly brush top side of bread with olive oil. If desired, sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes, leaving the crusts on. Spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake on middle shelf of the oven for 5–10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. No need to turn croutons during baking.
Use up those odds and ends of harder cheeses by shredding them with a grater or in a food processor. Check your refrigerator for other ingredients to include such as olives, pickles, pimientos, walnuts, red or green peppers, etc.; add low-fat mayonnaise to bind ingredients and use as a sandwich spread.
Chop and combine those last pieces of fruit. Flavored or plain yogurt — perhaps sweetened
with a little honey and a splash of vanilla — makes a tasty dressing. Other possible add-ins
include the remainder of that package of nuts and those final bits of dried fruit.
A general guideline is to use eggs within 3 weeks after purchasing them for best quality. Gain extra storage time by boiling the eggs. Hard-cooked eggs, will keep in their shell for 7 days in a clean covered container in the fridge. They make a quick high quality protein source for a meal such as in main dish salads and sandwiches.
Source: Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator, Lancaster County Extension, Lincoln, Nebraska