We’ve all been there: you stare into your fridge and – low and behold – behind the pickles and near the back you find a Tupperware with something inside you had completely forgotten about.
We get it. Using up leftovers can be all the not-so-fun things: a hassle that requires a lot of thought when you’re tired or busy and also just really don’t feel like thinking up an exciting meal.
But we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re here to help you banish the bland and make mealtime awesome.
Today, we wanted to give you some easy, every-day tips to use up and store your leftovers.
- Create leftovers on purpose
Yep, you heard us. Because the trick is, when you plan for leftovers, you won’t be stuck with them – instead, you’ll just have extra food to create a quick, easy and delicious lunch with (like this simple Lamb and Mushroom Pot Pie!).
Fancy something lighter? Take a leaf out of Slummy Single Mummy’s book and give these super simple, super scrummy Greek Lamb Meatballs for lunch a go.
Or grab some pitas and throw these Leftover Greek Lamb Pitas together for a work lunch that will definitely be yummier than your colleagues’ (not that it’s a competition or anything).
- Throw a leftovers party once a week
And by party, we mean you and your couch – and whoever else you feel like having there. But get creative and face your fridge. Whatever’s in it is fair game. Some bread that’s seen better days and a couple of tomatoes? Rub it with some good olive oil, the cut side of a halved tomato, season with some salt and pepper, wrap it in foil and bake until warm. See how simple that was?
- Think ingredients, not leftovers
Sometimes, when it comes to leftovers, a change of perspective is really all we need. We’ve been taught to think that we need brand new ingredients for every meal; the truth is, you can make something just as delicious with the ingredients you probably have milling around your fridge and pantry.
- Store, store, store
It’s the age of Pinterest-inspired food storing savviness, and if you’re not on board yet, it’s time to start. Because once you start storing your leftovers properly, it’s a whole new world of last-minute meal options.
But first thing’s first: see-through containers are on your team here because when you can easily see inside them, you’ll be able to keep track of what you have and what you don’t. Glass containers are even better. Throw some labels and dates on top of them and you’re practically a Leftover Super Genius.
- Don’t scrap the scraps
This is probably our personal favourite tip. If you’ve never made your own veggie stock, give it a go and you’ll immediately feel like the eco-goddess/god you were destined to be.
And it’s really simple: instead of chucking out your vegetable scraps, or your veggies that are slightly past their prime, just pop them in a big container and freeze them. When the container’s full, defrost the leftover veggies, dump them into a pot of water with some aromatic herbs (fresh thyme or bay leaves) and simmer gently for around two hours.
Et voila – your very own vegetable stock! One hundred times better than store-bought stock.
And there you have it, folks. Leftovers turned into lunch al deskos. It's a win-win for the planet, your pallet and your wallet.