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Six Leftover Lessons

By Isa Tousignant

You love cooking at home, but leftovers leave you as bored as Martin Picard at a vegan restaurant. Fear not, we’ve got six fun and easy ideas for making magic out of yesterday’s feast.

One of your yearly resolutions was to cook more at home, and you’ve got it down – you’re a regular cooking machine. Not only is your wallet fatter, but your waistline is shrinking thanks to all the excess salt, sugar, and fat you’re avoiding. The only problem is that by Wednesday, you’re tired of eating the leftovers from your Sunday roast. Don’t worry – here are some quick, fun ideas for leftover makeovers.

Roast beef

1) Save the rarest parts of your leftover roast to make a speedy take on beef tataki. Cut a cup of meat into thin slices. Toss it in 2 tbsp of toasted sesame seed oil, 2 tbsp of tamari, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, a bunch of fresh cilantro, fleur de sel, and fresh ground pepper, and serve on cold soba noodles with a ton of fresh greens.
2) Make croquettes: Chop 2 cups of leftover meat into tiny cubes, then mix it with 2 eggs, 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs, 2 tsp of grated Parmesan, 1 tsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp of chopped fresh chives, and ground pepper to taste. Shape into small balls and fry in olive oil for 2 minutes per side, or until the outside is crispy. Serve with tossed salad.

Grilled chicken

1) Chop up some leftover grilled chicken to make healthy enchiladas. Spread 2 tbsp of guacamole on a wheat tortilla. Add half a cup of chopped cold chicken, 1/4 cup of grated cheddar cheese, some chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, and a hot sauce of your choice. Wrap, and serve!
2) Make a curry pizza! In a bowl, mix a cup of chopped cooked chicken with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, 2 tbsp of curry powder, 1 tsp of ground coriander, a bunch of fresh mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Take your favourite pizza crust (or pita breads will do), and spread the chicken mixture. Lay on thin slices of fresh tomato, then sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese and bake under the broiler until bubbly – about 10 minutes.

Grilled tofu

1) Give your next miso soup a kick by turning it into a whole meal deal. Take 1 tbsp of your favourite miso paste and mix it with four cups of boiling water in a bowl. Add a selection of fresh vegetables – a dozen snap peas, 1/2 cup of arugula leaves, 1/2 cup of broccoli flowerets, a thinly sliced carrot – and 1/2 cup of grilled tofu cubes. Enjoy!
2) Make a speedy Thai stir-fry. Mix together 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce. In a non-stick pan, sauté a bag of spinach with a finely chopped red pepper and a cup of grilled tofu in 1 tbsp of peanut oil for 5 mins. Mix in the sauce, cook for another 2 mins, and serve.