Everyone knows how expensive groceries are these days and prices are only rising. A major expense is meat. By using some basic items that you may already have in your refrigerator and pantry, you can reuse leftover meat and make a brand new meal. With some planning and a little imagination, it is easy to come up with some meals made from leftover chicken, beef, and fish.
1. Leftover chicken. When baking or sauteing chicken for one meal, cook a couple of extra pieces to be used in making a chicken salad for later in the week. Leftover rotisserie chicken works well too. Dice the chicken in to bite size pieces and add chopped celery, halved grapes, salt, pepper, dried parsley, and mayo to make a light chicken salad. If you don’t have grapes use diced apple instead. Modify the ingredients to your taste and according to what you have on hand. You can also add pecans or walnuts to the salad for a little crunch. I like to serve it with crackers and fruit for a light lunch or supper. I often make my husband chicken salad sandwiches to take to work for his lunch.
2. Leftover hamburger. When I make spaghetti sauce, tacos, or hamburgers I cook a little extra hamburger and refrigerate. When I am ready to use it, I add a little sautéed onion and bell pepper, two cups of cooked rice, one jar of salsa, a can of red beans, and ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder and paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste. I then sprinkle the top with whatever cheese I have on hand and cook in the oven until it bubbles and the cheese has browned. Serve this tex-mex casserole by itself or with a side of tortilla chips.
3. Leftover steak. I cut up leftover steak into small pieces and refrigerate. I use the pieces to make an egg frittata by mixing the steak pieces with sliced mushrooms, sautéed onions, six eggs, salt, pepper to taste, and ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning. You can also add left over vegetables like broccoli, squash, or asparagus. I then pour into a pan and sprinkle with whatever cheese I have on hand. I bake it until the frittata is fluffy and the cheese has browned. This can be served at any meal. It goes well with salsa for dipping and a side of fruit.
4. Leftover fish. This recipe will work best with fried fish, but baked or grilled fish will also work. Warm fish in the oven with a slice of cheese on top. Make a homemade tartar sauce with diced dill pickles or pickle relish, mayo, and pepper. Serve on a toasted bun with lettuce and sliced tomato. Consider other toppings such as sliced onion, pickles or avocado. Serve with fries or chips.
Now that you have started using your extra beef, chicken, and fish to make new meals, begin thinking of ways to use your leftover vegetables, too. Knowing that you have saved a few dollars is going to make each meal taste that much better,