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Tips for how to use up leftovers

New and creative recipes to use up leftovers.

Cooking at home means more leftovers and those leftovers can add up pretty quickly.

You don't want any food to go bad, but you might be getting sick of the same meals. Fortunately, there are easy and creative ways to use up your leftovers.

  • Using leftover vegetables, proteins and cheeses in “new” dishes alleviate monotony and mitigates food waste.
  • Small amounts of leftovers are ideal for these types of dishes – a good way to use them up when there isn’t quite a full portion left.
  • Frittatas, quiches and fried rice are easy, inexpensive and interesting ways to use up small amounts of leftovers.
  • They’re also a great way to use up perishable vegetables and prevent waste.
  • Suggest some less perishable produce that will last longer at home: potatoes, squash, carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage, radicchio, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, parsnips and rutabagas, beets and peppers. Also frozen vegetables like peas are a must to have on hand!

Kowalski's culinary director, Rachel Perron, shared the following recipes, which can help you use up some leftovers.



1 ½ tsp. olive oil

2-3 cups filling, your choice (see below)

1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)

½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns, plus more to taste

8 eggs

¾ cup heavy cream

1-2 tsp. finely chopped fresh herbs, to taste

up to 1 cup grated, shredded or crumbled cheese (such as Parmesan, fontina, fresh goat, sharp Cheddar or blend)

In a 10" nonstick oven-safe skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add filling and heat through. Add garlic; sauté 1-2 min. until garlic is fragrant. If needed, season to taste. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs with cream and herbs until just foamy; season with roughly ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Pour eggs over filling; sprinkle cheese evenly over egg mixture. Bake in a preheated 325° oven until just barely set in center (about 35 min.). Remove frittata from oven; allow to stand 10 min. before serving.

FILLING: Use up to 2 cups of fully cooked meat, seafood or poultry and vegetables, such as shrimp with roasted asparagus and tomatoes, sausage with peppers and onions, or use all vegetables, such as broccoli, carrot, zucchini mushroom and onion. The components of the filling should be chopped to no bigger than bite-sized pieces.


Choose herbs and cheeses that compliment your fillings.



3 tbsp. peanut oil, divided

2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of kosher salt

5 oz. sliced Shiitake mushrooms

½ cup matchstick-cut carrots

¼ tsp. kosher salt

4 thinly sliced green onions (white and green parts)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ tsp. chile-garlic paste

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. sesame oil

3 cups cold leftover cooked long grain rice

2 tbsp. soy sauce, plus more for passing at the table

2 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken

½ cup frozen peas, thawed

- freshly ground black peppercorns, to taste

In an extra-large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. peanut oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add eggs; when the edges begin to bubble, push the eggs to the center of the pan. Cook and stir until nearly cooked, breaking eggs into small clumps as they cook. Remove eggs from pan and set aside. Return pan to heat and heat remaining peanut oil; add mushrooms, carrots and salt. Cook and stir until well browned (about 5 min.). Add onions, garlic, chile-garlic paste and ginger; cook and stir until fragrant (about 1 min.). Add sesame oil and rice; stir-fry until rice is hot and starting to get crispy on the edges (2-3 min.). Stir in soy sauce. Add chicken, peas and reserved egg; cook and stir until everything is hot (2-3 min.). Serve immediately with soy sauce and pepper to taste.


Find chile-garlic paste and sesame oil in the International Foods

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