Sit up straight, take a deep breath and repeat after me…
“Leftovers” is not a dirty word,”leftovers” is not a dirty word,”LEFTOVERS” IS NOT A DIRTY WORD!
Don’t believe me? I’m such a fan of the sentiment that I even made a little video to prove my case.
Now I do get it, leftovers are — without a doubt — polarising. People either love them or hate them — and the hateful feelings are generally driven by shudder-inducing (or gag-inducing) memories of dried out, fragrant in the worst sense of the word, reheated remnants of dinners past.
And a change in perception (habit, belief, world views) does take time — but lucky for you I have just the program to take you from a leftover hater to a reinvention master in the blink of an eye.
3 Simple Steps to Becoming a
Leftovers Renovation Superstar
Bad memories are perfectly reasonable reasons for feelings of dislike, but it’s time to get over this particular bias, because one should not be fearful of reinventing food.
Step 1. Start calling food left over from previous meals “fridge surprises”.
The first step in leftovers-recovery is to stop referring to things as leftovers, it’s a big step but we’ll work through it together!
Ready? F-R-I-D-G-E S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E, f-r-i-d-g-e s-u-r-p-r-i-s-e, fridge surprise!
See, doesn’t that feel better already? Excellent.
The good thing about the phrase “fridge surprise” is that it covers all manner of discoveries — from the last slice of chocolate cake hiding under a packet of tortillas (yay) to an unfortunate jar of something that’s been tucked away in a back corner for far too long (oops).
With potential pleasant discoveries in the depths it’s easy to stay positive.
Step 2. Stop serving food left over from previous meals the same way it was served originally
This is a big one. Food, unless it’s that aforementioned chocolate cake, does not generally retain the properties of the meal from which it came after spending day or two in the fridge.
Simply reheating, no matter the manner used, is not sufficient to create something as appetising as the first time around and therefore may as well be seasoned with disappointment and distain along with salt and pepper.
The trick of course is to reimagine fridge surprises in a different form.
Step 3. Make skillet hash
There are no doubt a hundred different ways to renovate left over bits and pieces into new meals but using a skillet has has to be one of the easiest.
From roast dinner to stir-fry to stew and burgers, a date with a frying pan, some fresh greens and an egg (or not) can be the difference between insipid leftovers and a brilliant fridge surprise creation you’ll want to make again as soon as possible.
Congratulations, it really is as easy as that!
Can you believe I’m offering all that for free, plus a video bonus for good measure? Now that’s value* if I’ve ever seen it.
* If you haven’t been around here before there’s a pretty heavy vein of sarcasm that runs through the place. No refunds will be given, because free ~ waves and winks ~.
Fridge Surprise Skillet Hash
Leftovers don’t have to look the same as they did the night before. Reinventing a roast dinner — or pretty much anything else — as skillet hash is a quick and easy solution no matter what’s lingering in your fridge. Surprise!
Serves 1, multiply as desired
- Starch: leftover roasted sweet potatoes
- Veg: leftover grilled broccolini
- Protein: leftover baked salmon
- Leafy Greens: fresh baby spinach
- 1 egg
- olive oil
- hot sauce, salt and pepper to serve
Roughly chop leftovers into bite-size pieces. Place a small skillet over medium heat, when warm drizzle in a bit of olive oil and add starch and veggies. Sauté 2 – 3 minutes until warmed through, adding a splash of water for moisture if necessary.
Add protein and leafy greens, cook just until greens are wilted and protein is warmed through. Push hash to the edges of the pan to create a small space in the centre, drizzle in a bit of oil and crack in the egg.
Cover and cook 3 – 5 minutes until egg is cooked to your liking. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce, slide onto a plate or serve in the skillet.
- Can I… yes. But what about… yet. So even… yes. Seriously, throw it all in a pan, add an egg (or don’t) and eat.
- Substitute sweet potatoes with potatoes, other root veg, rice or even pasta
- Substitute broccolini with stir-fried zucchini, cauliflower or other robust veg
- Substitute salmon with roast chicken, steak, tofu, mushrooms or beans
- Substitute baby spinach with shredded kale, radicchio or another robust leaf
gluten-free // dairy-free // nut-free // soy-free // vegetarian option