Incorporating leftovers

On Sunday mornings I make omelettes. We were away yesterday celebrating the contributions my late father-in-law made to his community so I never made it to the grocery store. I sauteed some sliced shallots and an heirloom tomato in a little bit of bacon grease for our omelette (with pepper-jack cheese and avocado on the side). The weather was so lovely, we enjoyed our breakfast outside.

I had leftover cooked tomato and leftover pesto pasta and panzanella salad from yesterday’s lunch. I figured grilled scallops would be great with the tomato and the leftover salads. And since they only required a brush of olive oil and a little salt and pepper before going on the grill for 2 minutes a side, I was able to play golf this afternoon!

Salad plate

We were on the Eastern Shore for the weekend and got steamed crabs on Saturday. We intentionally bought extra. We “rough cleaned” them (you remove the shell and legs and just have the claws and the bodies) and brought them back. I picked the remainder tonight and made crab salad (just crabmeat, a little paprika, some lemon juice, mayonnaise and celery salt.) I served it with a sliced tomato from my garden, sliced hard-boiled egg, sliced avocado, and leftover pasta salad. Delicious!

Leftover smorgasbord

We have been trying to do curbside pickup to help support some of our favorite restaurants.  On Saturday we ordered a family fried chicken meal that included enough Mac n Cheese for a family of 8.  It also included potato salad.  We have leftover potatoes and carrots from Easter.  I said to Keith we just need some more protein.  As it happened, yesterday was our celebration of Samantha’s adoption day.  We normally celebrate with a restaurant dinner so we adapted to curbside from Stony River Steakhouse.  Our 3 dinners provided enough leftover steak (in combination with some leftover fried chicken) to solve our protein need.  So tonight is a mix of leftovers.  After our eccentric dinner, I handed Samantha a pizza cookbook and Keith a salad cookbook.  So our next few nights look like this:


Sausage and sweet onion pizza


Seared tuna with Asian slaw


Boursin chicken and sweet potato fries

Grocery List


  • red pepper
  • sweet onion
  • ginger
  • napa cabbage
  • scallions
  • sweet potatoes


  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Romano cheese
  • Boursin cheese

Meat and Seafood

  • 1/2 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 1 tuna steak per person
  • 2 bone in, skin on chicken breasts (that will be enough for the three of us)


  • pizza crust
  • tomato sauce

Check your pantry and buy if you don’t have:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • canola oil
  • sesame oil
  • olive oil
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • chipotle chili powder

Creative leftovers

We had extra Bang Bang chicken from the party and I decided to use it in quesadillas.  I heated the chicken in the microwave for a minute and then split the chicken between two tortillas.  I added some mozzarella cheese and then a second tortilla.  I preheated the oven to 425, brushed the top tortillas with a little bit of olive oil and baked them for 10 minutes. I served them with salsa, guacamole (purchased from Graul’s – wasn’t up to making that tonight) and sour cream.

Keith said it was an interesting mix of Thai and Mexican and actually it was pretty tasty.  And it was an easy dinner and we used up some more leftovers.  I think there are a lot of things that could work out well in quesadillas.

Leftovers and shortcuts

One of the reasons that I LOVE the grilled vegetable salad is that I also love it left over.  It makes a great lunch if there is just a little but with the steak, it made a great dinner.  Make extra so you have leftovers.

You need to have a few really quick and easy tricks up your sleeve – especially in summer.  One of our favorites is the Aidell’s sausages.  Since they use chicken they are pretty healthy and the variety of flavors offers something for everyone.  Every time they have the rep at Graul’s they distribute coupons.  You can grill the sausages, heat them in the oven or pan sear them.  They are good on sauerkraut, with french fries, on a bun with onions, on a pizza or sliced up and tossed with pasta.

Two super easy dinners!  Back on Thursday!

Leftover salads

The steak and chicken both resulted in additional dinners using up the leftovers in salads.  The lemon garlic steak was great on top of a vegetable salad with a new dressing and is easily adaptable to your favorite veggies and/or dressings.  The chicken was the latest entrant in my ongoing competition for the best chicken salad.  This is definitely in the running!

Salad with leftover steak

This vinaigrette is excellent and paired well with the steak.  For the salad itself use whatever greens and vegetables you like and/or have on hand.  (I had leftover potatoes, tomatoes and avocado).

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine egg, mustard, vinegar, garlic and shallot with 1 TB water in a food processor or blender.  With the machine on, slowly drizzle in the oils until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper and use as dressing on your salad.


Chicken Salad

  • chopped chicken from spicy grilled chicken
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients.  Enjoy on top of lettuce or as a sandwich.

Caesar Salad

Tonight we had Caesar salad with the leftover steak from Sunday night.  If you follow blog, you know that this is a favorite of ours – it is versatile so you can top with chicken, steak, seafood – whatever you like.

Caesar Salad

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/4 cup good Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic pressed
  • 1 Egg (I use raw egg and have never had a problem)
  • Juice of 1 lemon or about 1 TB Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Anchovies, optional
  • Croutons, optional

Combine olive oil and garlic and let sit for up to 4 hours.  Strain garlic, reserving olive oil.  Wash and dry lettuce and place in a bowl.  Grind pepper over lettuce and toss with oil.  Add egg and toss well.  Add lemon juice and toss.  Add parmesan cheese and toss.  Serve with anchovies and or croutons if desired.  Top with leftover chicken or other protein of your choice.


The joy of leftovers

Today was the first day of my new job and after a long day of adjusting to being the new kid on the block, it was great to come home to a dinner that was already fixed.  I made this soup last week – it holds up very well and we still have more in the freezer.  If you missed it last week, here is the recipe.  It isn’t hard to make and is well worth the time investment.

Mexican Chicken Soup

  • 2 whole chicken breasts, bone in
  • olive oil
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock (I have homemade in the freezer and will use 1 container of store bought to stretch mine)
  • 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seed and chopped fine
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 6 corn tortillas (6 inch size)
  • sliced avocado
  • sour cream
  • grated cheddar cheese


  • chopped cilantro
  • tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Rub chicken breasts with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 minutes or until done.  Let cool.  Remove skin and bones and chop meat.  Set aside.

In a soup pot, heat 3 TBs of olive oil.  Add chopped onions, celery and carrots and cook for 10 – 12 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in with veggies.  Add chicken stock, tomatoes, jalapeno, cumin, coriander and cilantro (if desired).  Cut tortillas into strips and add.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Add chicken and check seasonings – add salt and pepper if needed.  Serve with sliced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips (if desired).

Loving my leftovers

Tonight we had Asian salad with the leftover pork.  The ginger dressing only takes a couple of minutes to toss in a jar and is delicious with green leaf lettuce, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, crispy chow mein noodles and leftover pork.  The combination would also be good with leftover chicken.   Here is the recipe for the ginger dressing:

Ginger dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 3/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TB honey
Shake all ingredients in a jar and use on salad.  Here is a picture.  A friend of mine stopped in to borrow something.  I gave her a taste of the dressing and a bite of the pork with leftover hoisin sauce and she volunteered to stay for dinner.  There is actually enough pork and sauce left for my husband to take in his lunch tomorrow.

Asian salad with leftover beef

I regularly make the Asian salad to have with leftover Hoisin pork.  Tonight we had the same salad but with the leftover spicy beef.  The dressing only takes 2 minutes to make and toss in a jar, the beef was already cooked so all I had to do was wash and dry a head of green leaf lettuce and add some water chestnuts and crispy chow mein noodles and dinner was done.  Here is the dressing recipe (which I’ve blogged before) and below is a picture of our finished salad.

Ginger dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 3/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TB honey
Shake all ingredients in a jar and use on salad.