by Rebecca Faill
Meal Planning Around Leftovers
Using Leftover Veggies
Hints for Using Leftovers
All week they pile up in my refrigerator. A half of a cooked chicken breast wrapped neatly on a little plate sits next to a bowl of leftover steamed broccoli and a baggie filled with cherry tomatoes that somebody forgot to bring with them to school. I can't bear to throw away food, so I'm always adding to this little collection of tidbits.
Until quite recently these orphaned pieces of food, too small to make a whole meal and too odd to snack on, would make me feel guilty every time I opened the fridge. Each scrap I couldn't use would make me feel wasteful. Eventually the leftovers would make their way to the back of the shelf only to be thrown out when they were found weeks later, moldy and unidentifiable.
Maybe you have a similar collection of odds and ends accumulating in your own fridge, if so read on! I've found something to do with them that I actually look forward to all week. I make a giant chef's salad. The fun part is searching through the refrigerator for suitable ingredients; it always makes me feel like a treasure hunter. It's such a simple solution that I wonder why it took me so long to discover.
Leftovers Chef's Salad
A few handfuls of shredded lettuce
2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
A few ounces of cheese, grated
Various sliced leftover meats, such as chicken breast, ham, steak, etc.
Various chopped cooked or raw veggies, such as broccoli, string beans, etc…
A few extras like leftover canned beans, sliced pickles, or crumbled bacon
Some creamy dressing such as ranch or blue cheese
In a roomy bowl, lay down a bed of shredded lettuce and then arrange the rest of the ingredients on top, in the traditional stripes if you'd like. Pour on some dressing and enjoy. This salad is great to bring to work for lunch, since it doesn't need to be reheated and can be made up quickly in the morning. Don't be surprised if making it becomes a much-anticipated weekly ritual for you, as it has for me.
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