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Making the most out of leftovers

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:18 a.m. CDT

Leftovers — not everyone likes to eat them, but everyone has them. While some leftover meals may not seem all that appealing, there are a few tricks one can do to bring new life to an old dish.

Chicken is one of the cheapest, and easiest meats to cook. The only problem is that sometimes leftover chicken can become dry. A way around this is a quesadilla. Just break it apart and add cheese, salsa and sour cream to enjoy a delicious treat. Even if the chicken is dry, the salsa and sour cream will add moisture and flavor.

Another easy recipe for leftover chicken is a wrap or burrito. The concept is the same as a quesadilla, and one can add refried beans, salsa and rice to satisfy his or her hunger.

Ordering a pizza for dinner is always a treat, but reheated pizza usually comes out a rubbery mess. The reasoning for this is because when a pizza is put into a refrigerator, the dough chemicals break down causing it to become soggy when reheated. Leaving the pizza at room temperature is no good either, as it causes bacteria to form.

The refrigerator is still the best option for storing pizza, but the best option for reheating is the stovetop. Think of it as a one-sided quesadilla. Turn the stovetop on low and wait till the cheese starts to melt. It may not be perfect, but it is the best option other than cold pizza.

Meatloaf can also be family favorite, but the soggy, wet mess it leaves behind can sometimes be outright undesirable. A way around this can be as simple as making pasta. The meat inside the meatloaf goes perfect with the pasta sauce. Add some parmesan cheese and onions and you have a tasty dish.

Almost everyone has ordered steak at a restaurant, and some find out they cannot finish all of it. Although a salad does not come to mind when the word steak is used, it can complement it quite well. When people bring home steak, it usually is not enough to make a meal, but those tasty seasoned chucks of meat can add flavor to almost any dish, and a salad does not require a lot of meat. This means more people can enjoy the steak on a budget by adding it in a salad.

Leftover chili is a good thing, but what if there is not enough to make a meal out of it? Rather than just make a snack out of it, stretch it to a meal by putting it on a hotdog to make a “coney.” Just pour the chili on first and add some liquid cheese. It is not the healthiest thing in the world, but every so often, it does not make a bad meal.

As many college students know, ramen noodles can become a quick, cheap meal, but the taste can get pretty old. But, add some leftover meats and vegetables with your ramen — it will work, so long as you make sure the flavor combinations aren’t too odd.

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