Scraps plus magic wand

So how do you feed yourself and family when feeling too lazy or broke to go shopping or out and the pantry and fridge aren’t stocked up? Also I like to use up odds n ends. We have vegetarians in the house so that’s a factor too.

This one is

Leftover white rice from Chinese food
Trinity fried in butter
Left over parm from pizza delivery
2 eggs
2 peppers cut lengthwise and microwaved a bit to soften
2 half string cheese logs put in bottom of each before filling with mix and baking

This two ends of stale bread, spinach, 4 eggs, glug of milk, more left over parm essentially


Wow! It’s different every time. Sandwiches, omeletes, pasta, sauced proteins/veggies on toast, fried rice, so many other options that depend on what’s in the house.

Tonight it will be leftover chili on fries with cheddar and onion!


Tacos. My feeling is that a previously made dish that has some kind of leftovers are just tacos-in-waiting.

Also - mashed potato or cornbread topping often find their way onto leftover stews.


I like that. Leftover Chinese food burritos too!

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Those both look really good!

Last week I had some almost-wilted spinach, half an onion and a couple of mushrooms just waiting to dry out. soooo… Saute’ sliced mushrooms and onions in a bit of olive oil. Salt pepper, can of diced tomatoes, some dry herbs. Cook a bit, stir in spinach at the end, then serve with spaghetti. Pretty good if I do say so myself.


Spag is a great vehicle for that bravo I like that move.

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Fried rice can always happen! Chili cheese fries is a home run!

Nice thread. I’ll add another reason – don’t want to waste something that’s been languishing in the fridge, whether ingredients or leftovers!

My mom is a master at the bits and bobs repurposing (probably because my dad intensely dislikes leftovers), so I’ve had lessons all my life in reinvention.

One of the favorite outcomes is cutlets/patties from whatever needs to be used up – mash it up, add some flour or potato or leftover rice to bind. Never met one of these I didn’t enjoy!


I agree waste not and sort of a game too

Nice stuff with pancakes or patties. A waffle iron can be useful !


Usually find myself making soup, fried rice, or sometimes a pasta dish with leftover bits. Often, I’ll use a little leftover protein to doctor a boxed or canned soup, maybe packaged ramen, along with some frozen peas, or other veg. Add me to the list of cooks that hate to waste too!


I don’t love the outcome from a waffle iron, even though it always sounds enticing. More crispness with less oil and no sticking from a regular old patty!

+1 to the soup idea, especially with certain vegetables – butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli all make a nice creamy soup that can be flavored in interesting ways. I prefer a single vegetable for a clean flavor.

Another good use for leftover veg (or stubs like cauliflower stems) is to mince them up and add them to dal / lentils while cooking. Gives a really lovely flavor (that can’t quite be traced) and a bit of heft.

+1 For egg-related uses and fried rice, love all those.


Great idea for the cauliflower stalks! Another way I like to utilize cauliflower is to mix 50/50 with potatoes, and boil with salt as for mashed potatoes. Flavors are great & texture too. To me as satisfying as potatoes, but with a little less guilt. Mashed cauliflower alone is ok, but not a replacement for (sacred) mashed potatoes!!

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I often take a bunch of leftovers and make them into a thick noodle soup – stir fry with aromatics of choice, add boiling water and dried noodles, then add an egg to thicken.


nice. Yeah soup, beans and such can be a great repository for all sorts of odds n ends. Chili and gumbo too, all sorts of stuff can make it in and add to the umami (and nutrition to fill up the family’s tank).

and yes also had many quasi disasters on the waffle iron! trial and error!

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If I have eggs, a frittata.

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DW is fond of ‘rotisserie chicken’ - specifically the Costco flavor…
for two old geezers, even the small chicken is more than a meal - so I strip the meat, simmer down the carcass for chicken soup.

you know the soup is gonna’ be good when the resulting stock is jelly-on-the-spoon


I’ve never been much of an odds & ends cook. In fact some of you would cringe at what I throw out. I mean no offense at all to any of you. But this thread brings to mind the I Hate To Cook Book:

“Some women can keep a leftover going like an eight-day clock. Their Sunday’s roast becomes Monday’s hash, which becomes Tuesday’s stuffed peppers, which eventually turns up as Tamale Pie and so on until it disappears or Daddy does. These people will even warm up stale cake and serve it with some sort of sauce, as some sort of pudding.”

~ Peg Bracken

A woman with a great sense of humor.:slightly_smiling_face:

  • Soup
  • Fried rice
  • Egg dishes

I love reading Peg Bracken, but in practice am more of the school of Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal. Tamar is coming out with a new cookbook in March: The Everlasting Meal Cookbook.

Love the topic of this thread. Will post success stories.


Do you have composting services where you are? My town offers free “vegan” composting to those who don’t want / can’t afford to pay for the curbside service.

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I like left overs, but do turn them into something else.
Often stir fried noodles, sometimes noodle soup, some goes on toasted sandwiches and most probably in some form of stew.
Which I look at, think it is not enough, add more to it and end up with left overs
But ultimately, mix it with rice and feed to the Jack Russell’s :slight_smile: