Ah, poor leftovers. Like people, they don't stay young and fresh forever. Also like people, they sometimes do better when given a little care and a second chance.
Give your would-be has-been meals a last hurrah at the dinner table with these 7 amazing hacks.
1. Pizza Resuscitation
Once upon a time, your pizza was a melty, saucy, crispy-crusted sensation. Now you imagine pulling its limp body from the microwave, a soggy shadow of its former self. To revive it:
- Saute it on medium high heat, top down until the cheese gets nice and brown.
- Flip it and do a few minutes with the crust side down.
Hallelujah, it's a miracle! Behold, your pizza lives and tastes glorious again. Make it shine even more with some topping ideas from this pizza recipe.
2. Fries Needn't Fear
Your cold, chalky fries whimper from the takeout box, "Please don't throw us in the garbage. We'll do anything to taste appetizing again!" With a heart full of pity and a watering mouth, you mercifully grant their request:
- Pour just a little oil in a frying pan (if they actually aren't already oily enough.)
- Heat on medium high.
- Let the fries get a bit brown and crispy.
- Toss and flip them till they're delicious and crispy on the other side.
Do you hear them shouting for joy? Yes, you do. If the above mention of pizza made you go, "I wonder if I can make pizza fries," today's your lucky day. Check out this pizza fries recipe.
3. Second Life for Salad
Unlike your fries, your once crunchy salad no longer has the will to live. It just has the "wilt" to die. It has no idea what could be in store. To impart new life, just follow this recipe for pesto and use the greens from your salad instead of basil.
Relish your reincarnated salad spread on bread or mixed in pasta.
4. Grumpy Sandwiches Can Grin
No, that's not your grandpa. It's yesterday's sandwich, grumbling about how nobody wants to eat it anymore. Is that a challenge, old Sammy?
Prove that curmudgeon wrong. First, deconstruct it. Unlike Humpty-Dumpty, you are going to put it back together again:
- Remove the veggies and set them aside.
- Remove the meat and fry it in a very lightly oiled frying pan, flipping it so it gets slightly brown on both sides.
- Put the bread with cheese on it in the oven or toaster oven and bake it for 3 - 5 minutes.
- Reconstruct your sandwich.
Did you see your rehabbed sandwich crack a smile as you savored it? If you want to make it even more satisfied with life, find further inspiration in these creative grilled cheese sandwich recipes.
5. Meat Remade
Your leftover meat, like beef, chicken, or fish, appears macho and confident. Deep down, however, it desperately hopes you don't notice how insecure it feels that its delicious days are over. Subtly reassure it with this simple method:
- Put a damp paper towel over it.
- Put it in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minute.
Or, put a kilt on it metaphorically by making it into a Scottish stovie. Mmm, that's a brave-hearted meal.
6. Resigned Rice, Restored
You check your once-light and fluffy sidekick in the frig. It barely acknowledges you with a dull glance. You can almost hear it mutter, "Whatever, dude," as it shrugs indifferently. It needs some steam:
- Steam it over boiling water on the stove for 10 minutes or for the microwave, covered with a damp paper towel in a microwave-safe dish for about 30 seconds.
- Stir in a pat of butter or a bit of oil.
Or, add a menagerie of ingredients to make a paella. Your formerly blah dish is dancing...the Flamenco!
7. Take-Two Tortilla Chips
Some people feel tuckered out after a wild fiesta dinner, but your tortilla chips feel and taste just plain stale. They'd never admit to having a hangover. They definitely won't sober up with coffee.
It's super easy, even if you're also feeling a little "under the weather":
- Put in the microwave on high for 30 seconds.
- Actually, step 1 is the only step.
Now your tortilla chips are crackly and toasty. Speaking of toasty, if you're in the mood for repurposing, make them a topping for mouthwatering tortilla soup.
Unless your leftovers are more than 4 days old, don't assume they're past their prime. You might be surprised at how each dish may fulfill its ultimate destiny later in life. Just like people.