Tag Archives: leftovers

Amazin’ Asian sauce: stir-fry, broth bowl, & egg roll in a bowl

homemade stir-fry sauce, crack slaw

This started out just being a homemade stir-fry sauce, but I’ve found that the leftover stir-fry makes a great broth bowl (curry optional), and the sauce also works for egg roll in a bowl. (Sometimes also called “crack slaw” because it’s so addictive.) So it’s really an all-purpose Asian sauce: that’s what makes it amazin’!

You could, of course, also use it in a meatless main dish or veggie side dish. And made with tamari or coconut aminos, it’s gluten-free.

You might want to make a small batch, first, to figure out how you want to adapt it to your taste; feel free to improvise on my recipe! Then make a larger batch to keep on hand in the fridge for easy, throw-together meals.

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Best Thanksgiving leftovers ever! – homemade turkey pot pie

turkey pot pie

Here’s our family’s favorite thing to eat the day after Thanksgiving: homemade turkey pot pie!

If my daughter’s home, we’re treated to a homemade crust. If she’s not, I usually rely on Pillsbury ready-made crust. (The photo above is from Pillsbury’s website.) To make this gluten-free or Paleo, substitute a mashed-potato or mashed cauliflower topping for the crust.

I didn’t get to host Thanksgiving this year, so I don’t have turkey leftovers to make it with, SO unfortunately I can’t give you how-to shots, but here’s the recipe.

Homemade Turkey Pot Pie Recipe

5-1/4 c. chicken broth (3 14-oz. cans)

3 carrots, pared (or 12 “baby” carrots), cut into bite-size pieces, ~ 1/2”

1 small white or yellow onion, diced

1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (or one 4-ish oz. jar of sliced ‘shrooms)

2/3 to 1 c. frozen peas

3/4 c. butter

2/3 c. all-purpose flour or gluten-free substitute

salt and pepper to taste

4 c. cooked turkey, cut into bite-size pieces

 

(My baking dish is 9” in diameter and about 2.5” tall, with straight sides.)

Bring chicken broth to boil in a 3-quart or larger sauce pan. Add carrots and onion and cook until almost tender. Add mushrooms and peas; cook 3-5 minutes more.

Remove vegetables from broth and set both aside. You should have about 4 c. of broth.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In same or larger saucepan, melt butter; whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly till bubbly and a little golden. Gradually whisk in reserved hot chicken broth. Cook until mixture thickens and bubbles 1 minute. Season to taste w/ salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables and the turkey to the saucepan; stir gently and cook till turkey is heated through. Turn the mixture into the baking dish. You may refrigerate it at this point for later baking, if desired.

Prepare one pie crust. Cut an opening in the center and a few small holes around it (to vent steam; not just for decoration). Fit dough over filled baking dish; press dough down all around edge. Trim if necessary, leaving 3/4” or so to drape down the side of the dish.

Bake 40 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and filling is bubbly.
Adapted from Food Editors Favorites, 1983.

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Gyro wrap (gluten-free, mostly Paleo)

quick lunch from leftover hamburger - gyro wrap

Some of my best — and easiest! — lunches are born out of “what do I have in the fridge and freezer today?” This Gyro-inspired wrap is one of them.

I usually have already-cooked sausage or seasoned hamburger in the freezer, crumbled and divided into quarter-pound servings, in individual sandwich baggies. I also try to always keep romaine in the fridge, and now that I’m no longer doing a strict Whole30, I also keep plain Greek yogurt in the fridge. (Use dairy-free yogurt for Whole30 or strict Paleo.) And I always, always keep diced onions at-the-ready. All that’s needed to round out this lunch is tomatoes, cucumber, and a little dill.

No measuring involved; these directions are for one serving: Just put a “plop” of yogurt in a small bowl or ramekin (I’d guesstimate that’s about 2 or 3 tablespoons), add a pinch of dried dill weed, and a generous dash of garlic salt. Stir those together and set aside.

easy lunch: dill yogurt sauce for gyro

 

Defrost and warm up the ground beef or sausage. (Here’s a short video showing how I season the hamburger as I cook it.)

Dice some cucumber, tomato and onion.

Next, lay out three medium-sized heart-of-romaine leaves — or similar sized lettuce leaves, or other gluten-free wrap of your choice. (Have you tried this gluten-free flatbread recipe?)

Then layer them with a smear of the yogurt sauce, one third of the heated meat mixture, and top with the diced vegetables according to your taste. Top with more yogurt sauce, if desired.

quick easy lunch: gyro wrap - paleo, gluten free

 

The reason for putting some sauce on the bottom is that the juices from the meat will mingle with it and create a more complex sauce. The extra yogurt on top stays cold and provides a contrast to the warmer contents below.

Of course, you can tweak this suit your leftovers: use guacamole in place of the yogurt mix and swap out the cucumbers for your pepper of choice for gluten-free taco wraps. Swap mayo (and/or ketchup, if you allow it) for the yogurt mix, and sub pickles and/or mustard for the cukes, and you’ve got an American burger wrap. What else could you come up with?

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your leftovers! It opens up a lot more possibilities for quick, easy lunches!

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quick easy lunch - gyro wrap, paleo, gluten-free

Tips for Organizing Your Fridge

organized-fridge
Tips for Organizing Your Fridge

Apartment Therapy recently posted an article on “How to Organize Your Refrigerator.” I thought most of their tips were fairly obvious, though. (“Rearrange the shelves: Arrange them to suit how you like to keep things…” Really? Don’t most people do that?)

However, there were some gems in the comments. I’ve collected a few here for your organizing pleasure!

“I keep a notepad on the fridge door for us to list the fridge staples as we use them up. No more memory work when I make the next grocery list. The list is already started for me.” – Cathryn @ Caro Interiors. Note: Again, this may be obvious to most people, but if you’re not doing it, you should. Especially in a household with more than one person, so that when the non-shopper uses the last of the soy sauce, the shopper knows to get more. We use a dry erase board. If I’m rushing out the door in a hurry and have forgotten to write the list out, I take a photo of the list with my cell phone.

“One thing I use that works very well is using a lazy Susan for jams, salsa, pickles etc.” — Dulcibella

“I have a neat trick for filling the refrigerator which also works for dishwashers. Look at the appliance product photos for the best place to put drinks, casseroles, cheese, veggies, meat, and shelf alignment. The manufacturer spends lots of time and money developing an efficient way for the appliance to work. Now everything stays well organized and seems to be in the right place, veggies not too close to the refrigeration, etc. The same can be done for filling your dishwasher [for best cleaning results].”  — Funstraw

“You might find Fridge Binz helpful. The Container Store has some of the larger ones.” — LDYLSTAT  Note: I started doing this in my freezer a couple months ago, just using cheap bins from the dollar store. I have one for meats and fish, one for fruits and one for veggies. It’s amazing how much easier that one little thing has made finding stuff in the freezer!

“I put all the salad dressings in a cardboard beer six-pack caddy (recycling!). It’s handy for putting on the table and I won’t buy anymore until a space opens up.” — Meecee

“Speaking of organizing condiments in leftover six-pack containers… I really geek out and match the beer brand to the condiments. For instance, I’ll use a PBR box to corral ketchup, mustard, steak and barbeque sauce. For items like soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, and siracha, I’ll use Tiger or Kirin. And Peroni boxes are great for jars of sundried tomatos, roasted peppers, balsamic vinegar, and pesto. It makes it easy to grab everything you need for whatever your cooking. Grilling out? Reach for the PBR box. Making stir fry, that’s the Tiger box. Cooking burritos? Grab the Coronas box.” — Shannanigans  Note: If I drank beer, that is something I would totally do! Yeah, I’m geeky like that.

“This might sound like an ad but my aunt sells Tupperware brand and the Fridgesmart boxes are awesome! They come in different sizes and keep veggies fresh longer!” — VintagePearl

“A habit [I got] from my Mother is reusing glass jars instead of buying plastic. Prechopped garlic/ginger jars are a great size for mini leftovers. Before there was green, it was called frugal.” — JSSPHAN

“I recently figured out how to keep from freezing salad in my counter-depth fridge. I keep it in a compartment in the door. If I use the one that was designed for gallon jugs of milk, I can fit the Costco sized salad box in there and it stays cold without being so close to the cold air vents that it freezes.” — EngineerChic

“I use these stacking bins in my fridge; they keep me from forgetting about items that might otherwise get pushed to the back of the fridge. I also use them in the pantry, and stack them with things like tea, onions, etc.” — Liz30

“I like to use a plastic box from the dollar store to put all of my sandwich fixins’ in. It is so easy to pull the whole thing out and slide it back in in one swoop, rather than gathering up the mayo, half a tomato, head of lettuce, cheese and lunchmeat and making multiple trips to get it out and put it all away. My husband and I were just discussing starting a home salad ba: prechop all of our favorite salad toppings and put them into some kind of divided container to encourage easy, fast salad lunches.” — WonkyOne15

For several roomies sharing a fridge: “Give each roomie a different brightly-colored basket. Add a white basket for anything that is a free-for-all & ok to be shared. Of course, you must still depend on the *honor system* but I found the visual reminder meant less missing food less often. Good luck with that. (Hey, i once resorted to storing my breakfast yogurt in a small plastic toolbox & a tiny padlock. Sad but true).” — Discerning

“My mom had a good fridge organizing plan: if anything was on the bottom shelf of the fridge, we were not allowed to use it, she was planning meals with it or it was for company. Simple rule: bottom shelf = don’t even touch it.” — Therese Z

Here are some other fridge organizing resources:

Before and After: A Refrigerator Make-over at RealSimple.

Step-by-step Process to a Clean, Well-Organized Fridge at About Working Moms.

A really thorough cleaning and organizing walk-thru with lots of pics at One Good Thing by Jillee.

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