Tag Archives: leftovers

Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup ~ Food52 Community Pick!

4 Nov
Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

Turkey Lentil and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

I’m happy to announce my recipe for Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup was selected by the editors of Food52 cooking website as a Community Pick in their “Your Best Recipe with Thanksgiving Leftovers” contest!

Now I just have to make it to the finals and people can vote, but you have a chance to test it now and send in your testing notes! Unfortunately I omitted an ingredient from the ingredients list but it is in the instructions. I’ve asked the editors if they can fix that for me, as I can’t edit a recipe during an active contest. (It was 1/2 cup chopped onion in case you’re interested.)

Here’s a link to the selections:—> Food52 Community picks

And here’s a link to my original recipe that has a handy-dandy printable PDF! (Although you can also print my recipe from Food52.) —> Turkey, Lentil, and Mixed Brown Rice Soup

I plan on having a new recipe up this weekend too. Crazy weather here too for November today, sunny and mid-60s! Unheard of!


Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

13 Jan
Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Egg in Carne Guisada Heaven

Here’s a surprise mid-week post from me! I made this for lunch a couple of days go from leftover Carne Guisada I made over the weekend. Carne Guisada is heaven. It is one of my go-to crockpot meals that just screams delicious Tex-Mex. I make this as often as I can. Get the recipe here —–> Carne Guisada

Carne Guisada Simmering

Carne Guisada Simmering

And as usual, I had leftovers. So what better way to make use of the leftovers than to plop an egg in the middle and cook to your liking?

Egg in Heaven Almost

Egg in Heaven ~ Almost

Oh man, this was so scrumptious! I let the egg white set on the bottom, then covered it with a lid for one minute to set the top.

Egg is Now In Heaven

Egg is Now In Heaven

Mind you this is a 5-inch cast-iron pan, a mini. So yes, I ate it right out of the pan. Slurp, slurp! Hardly any cleanup!

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

9 Aug
Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

We had about a half-pound of tri-tip beef leftover that my hubby cooked up on the grill earlier in the week, the daughter was gone, and I needed to come up with something for dinner that was quick and easy. I also had a partial bag of sugar snap peas left in the fridge and a half bag of bean sprouts in the freezer. (Did you know you can freeze bean sprouts? But they need to be cooked after freezing, they won’t be good in a salad or sandwich.)

A quick search on the internet gave me this super-easy meal that was on the table in less than thirty minutes! It’s so quick you’ll want to start cooking your rice before making this, unless you are super-fortunate to also have some leftover rice in the fridge.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas
Adapted from Beef with Snow Peas, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

1/2 pound leftover barbecued tri-tip beef (or any other cooked beef)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh sugar snap peas
4 ounces bean sprouts
3 green onions, cut into inch pieces on the diagonal
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup low sodium or homemade chicken or beef broth
Cooked rice, for serving.

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Simmering the Beef and Vegetables

Slice the cooked beef in very thin slices against the grain and set aside. Cut into bite size pieces too if you want. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger.

Heat a wok or other heavy bottomed skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the beef and let it sear on one side for a couple of minutes, then flip it over and sear for another minute or two. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.

Add the last half tablespoon of olive oil to the wok or skillet, then throw in the snow peas, bean sprouts, and green onions. Toss them around for a minute or two, then pour in the mixture from the bowl.

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Tri-tip Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

Next add the meat back in and sprinkle with some crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. Last, pour in the chicken broth, stir to combine, and simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately with cooked rice. Easy and delicious!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

The Leftovers Dilemma…

7 Aug
Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

Spinach and Lasagna Roll Ups

This is actually a new post! I started this post about a year ago and shelved it. Since I’m on a somewhat “hiatus” from blogging while packing up to move onto a new house, I thought I’d update this one and finally post it. And here it goes, written a year ago:

Start: “So we are having leftovers from the freezer. Hubby says, “Stop cooking so much, we have too many leftovers!” And I replied, “Now how am I supposed to have a foodie blog without cooking?” Well, the problem is, I grew up in a household of eight, and I don’t know any better. I can’t help it! Food, food, food, and then more food.

We have three in the household. I try to cook for four because that’s just how it works out with standard halving of recipes, but I usually end up cooking for six or eight because, well, I can’t help it. Add more of this, add more of that. Ooooh, I have some of this, just throw that in too. Then you just end up with a lot. For the freezer. We just have to remember to get it OUT of the freezer and actually eat it before it’s that unknown ice-crystal-laden frozen glob of something that may or may not be the leftover spinach lasagna rollups, or is that the chicken enchiladas we made with the red sauce instead of the green sauce last time?” End.

Well that is as far as I got with that post. But I can at least present you with a photo above of  what “said glob” looked like before it went into the freezer…

We are having a garage sale this weekend, so things are moving along pretty quickly with getting moved. We have an arrangement with the owner of the house we are buying to move our stuff into his garage beginning Sept. 1, but we won’t be able to close the loan on the house until mid-October (long story on that one) and we have to be out of our rental by Sept. 12. But my parents have a one-bedroom condo here with a Murphy bed too that they stay in during the summer to escape the Texas heat. They leave on Sept. 20. SOOOO, in order not to be too cramped for those 8 days, my husband and I will be taking a week’s vacation to our river property during that time frame. Our daughter will stay at the condo with our parents since she’ll be in school by that time. Busy times ahead, for sure! I hope you all stick around my blog until we get through this!

OH! Here is a link to the spinach lasagna Roll Ups, in case you missed that post in the past: Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Baked Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

19 Mar
Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 1

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

I am so pleased with this! Although it’s another “what to do with your leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day post,” I promise you this one is over the top. My husband and daughter raved at how good this was. I am tickled pink. We ate half of this “sandwich” and my daughter said she wanted to take the entire other half to school for lunch the next day. (My husband put his foot down on that, as he wanted some for lunch too!)

I’m astounded that I actually baked a bread-type item without it being a total failure. Believe me, I had my doubts. My prep shots looked like I had a disaster in the making, but I am so happy with how it turned out — not only in taste, but in appearance. The crescent pastry puffs up nicely and hides most of the defects from squishing the seams of the dough together, cutting it up, then braiding it. (I also added some sesame seeds on top at the last minute, what a great idea!)

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 3

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid ~ Uncut

Another bonus: Super easy to make and only 6 or 7 ingredients. Probably 15 or 20 minutes prep time, then in the oven it goes for 25 minutes. If you still have some leftover corned beef in the fridge, I highly recommend making this. (Or just go out and buy some deli-sliced.) I doubt you will be sorry.

Corned Beef, Spinach, and Swiss Cheese Braid

6-ounce bag fresh spinach
2 8-ounce canisters refrigerated butter-flavored crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups cooked corned beef, sliced/chopped
Yellow mustard
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
1 egg white, beaten
Sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Steam the spinach with a few splashes of water in the microwave (or other method) covered in a bowl for a few minutes. I used a smallish bowl and had to do two batches. Strain all the water out by pressing on it with paper towels in a colander to get as much moisture out as you can.

Spinach and Zak Spoon

Turn that Frown Upside Down! I love my new Zak Spoons and Serving Tray

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with baking oil). Roll out the crescent rolls and press the seams together as shown below on top of it. Feel free to brag how you can do that better than me.

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Crescent Dough Pressed Together

Add the sliced/chopped corned beef down the middle.

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Corned Beef on Pastry Dough

Squirt yellow mustard all over it. A pattern is optional.

Mustard on Corned Beef

Mustard on Corned Beef

Top evenly with spinach.

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spinach on Mustard and Corned Beef

Spread the grated cheese over the spinach.

Swiss Cheese Over Everything

Swiss Cheese Over Everything!

Next cut the pastry dough on both sides with kitchen scissors in about 1/2-inch slices just up to the filling, as shown below.

Cresent Dough Cut

Crescent Dough Cut

“Braid” the dough slices over the filling. Don’t panic halfway through braiding when it looks a mess.

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Sandwich Loaf Halfway Braided

Brush the egg white over the top, then sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) over the loaf.

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Crescent Pastry Dough with Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into some delicious hot sandwiches! I’m not a big sandwich eater for dinner, but this was even guest-worthy!

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid 2

Corned Beef Spinach and Swiss Cheese Braid

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

What to Do with Leftover Corn Beef and Other Stuff

12 Mar
Healthy Leftover Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato Soup Served

Healthy Leftover Corned Beef, Cabbage

Saint Patrick’s Day is next Monday, and if you are like me you will cook corned beef and cabbage (or hopefully get to eat some!). I have a recipe I posted last year for what to do with the leftovers that is light and healthy that I’d like to re-share with you. I developed a soup that is not heavy at all and will help ease any over-indulgence you had the night or two before.

Get the recipe here: Healthy Leftover Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Potato Soup

Or if you are feeling adventurous, here are some corned beef fritters you can fry up! Corned Beef Fritters

Or if you want a great leftover corned beef appetizer, here’s baked version! (Just slice your corned beef thin instead of using the deli-sliced. Or shred it!) Crispy Reuben Roll-Ups

ALSO: The tallies are in and I will be making Goat’s Cheese Soufflé for my French Dish Challenge #1. I bought the ingredients last weekend and wanted to make it straight away when I got home, but much to my dismay I discovered (and then remembered) that I sold my lovely oval, fluted ramekin dishes at our garage sale two years ago.

This is what they looked like:

Oval Souffle Dishes

My Long Gone Oval Soufflé Dishes

I have the round ramekins to make the soufflé, but to finish them off you need some larger, shallower baking dishes to pour the cream and cheese over the souffles to brown up after removing them from the ramekins.

I then went on a thrift store hunt to find my dishes (OK not mine, but something similar) and ended up hitting every single thrift store in town. I found two cute CorningWare baking dishes  with handles that would work at the third thrift store, but I needed three of them! And then BAM! The next thrift store had one of the exact same ones I had just picked up. Talk about serendipity! (Down note, it cost one dollar more and was dirtier then heck on the bottom. The other two were pristine and unused-looking.)

Last but not least, I was featured in the latest Andeo organization’s emailed newsletter about my Coq Au Vin experience with our foreign exchange student Caroline! She is safe and sound back in Paris now and we really miss her! I wish I could link to the newsletter but it was an email-only version of it. But you can read the experience here if you haven’t already: Coq Au Vin.

OK that is it for my long and ramble-ish corned beef and other stuff post. Next up will be my soufflé post on the weekend. We shall see how it turns out. My husband said he raised goats in his 20s and swears goat cheese is disgusting. I hope to change his mind!

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

7 Sep
Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

This is another great use for leftover rotisserie chicken. I had bought one the other day for the three of us, but then my daughter unexpectedly had dinner and a sleepover at a friend’s house. With a half a chicken to deal with, I decided to make some Asian soup with the leftovers and frozen Trader Joe’s Haricot Verts (skinny green beans) I had bought a few days before. You can use fresh green beans in place but those in the store didn’t look so fresh that day.

Chicken Green Bean Noodle Soup Ingredients

Some of the Many Chicken Green Bean Noodle Soup Ingredients

As with most Asian cooking, you will want to prep everything in advance. I finally found some rice noodles in town, and word to the wise: a 6.5 ounce package makes a TON of noodles! Next time I’ll use half the package. But since you assemble these bowls individually, you can bag up and refrigerate the leftovers for another use.

The other thing I did today was go on the hunt for canning supplies to make homemade canned salsa. I wanted pint jars, and the two stores I went to were all out of them. I asked the checker at one store if they had any in the back, and she said there has been quite a run on them lately. But my mom came to the rescue and found some for me on her way home at another store. (She took me clothes shopping today, what a nice mom!) Now, on to the recipe! Simple, satisfying, soothing.

Sauteing the Green Beans

Sauteing the Green Beans

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, snapped in half
6.5 ounce package of dried rice noodles (can be halved)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced Serrano pepper
2 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 or 7 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
2 or 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
Fresh lime wedges
Fresh chopped cilantro
Fresh chopped basil

If using fresh green beans, blanch them in boiling water for about four minutes then dunk in a cold ice bath. Otherwise, set the frozen green beans aside to thaw out a bit. In a large bowl, add the rice noodles then pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, prep the ginger and veggies, etc. In a soup pot, saute the ginger, garlic, Serrano pepper, and white and light green parts of the onion in the sesame oil for a few minutes over medium heat. Toss in the green beans and heat them up for a few minutes more. Using tongs, remove the green beans and set aside. Now add the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and chicken to the pot. Simmer for about ten minutes to let the flavors meld. When ready to eat, add a serving of noodles to a soup bowl, top with some of the green beans, then ladle the chicken and chicken broth over all. Garnish with lime wedges to squeeze over, dark green onion parts, cilantro, and basil. Add additional soy sauce according to taste.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup 2

Asian Green Bean Chicken Noodle Soup

Hash Brown, Ham, and Cheese Spinach Casserole ~ Light Version!

6 Mar
Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole, Plated and Ready to Eat!

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole, Plated and Ready to Eat!

Now this is a yummy comfort food dish that doesn’t have to be laden with a gazillion calories if you don’t let it. This is probably one of the most common dishes brought to a potluck in the South. Most likely a funeral or some kind of “event.” I don’t say that in a bad way,  either. It’s just a dish you can bring, no matter the occasion. I’ve had so many variations of this over my lifetime, (and usually just potatoes, ham, and cheese) and to me it’s all goooood! This lightened up version is fairly easy to make aside from a little chopping and a rather abundant use of bowls. The hardest part was trying to make this flavorful without all the fat. I spent more time scouring Pinterest and the internet looking for a hash brown and ham casserole that didn’t have a “cream of” soup in it or too much  butter and cheese than I did actually preparing it. I finally settled on mashing the best parts together of several recipes, and this is what I came up with. The result? Both daughter and husband went back for huge second helpings, leaving me with a very small portion to take to work for lunch the next day. It was so small I had to make a snack run to the store later for some rice cakes to help fill in before dinner. Of course, you can double this recipe and make plenty, but I only had a half a bag of hash browns in the freezer to start. This recipe would feed four if the fam wasn’t so starving. Or perhaps they really liked it,  huh?

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole ~   This is my mom’s vintage bakeware, don’t you just love it??

Hash Brown, Ham, and Spinach Casserole

12 ounces of frozen, shredded  hash browns
2 tablespoons butter, or substitute
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Table Blend or salt, to taste
1/2 cup lowfat milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups chopped, diced ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 6-ounce bag spinach
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter, or substitute
Chopped green onion parts, for garnish

Ham, Red Pepper, Cheese, and Hash Browns

Ham, Red Pepper, Cheese, Onions, and Hash Browns all ready for mixin’

Bowls! You need lots of bowls for this dish, sorry. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and chop all your veggies and shred your cheese. Once that’s done, add the hash browns to a large bowl with the butter. Microwave for a minute or two until the hash browns are somewhat thawed and the butter is melted. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it and sprinkle Mrs. Dash or salt on to taste and mix again. In a bowl or glass measuring cup, add the milk, sour cream, and mustard and whisk to combine then stir into the hash browns. Now add all the chopped ham, veggies and cheese and combine.  Last, add the chopped spinach to another bowl, sprinkle with a little water and lemon  juice, then microwave for one to two minutes until wilted. Stir that in with the potato mixture. Now spray a small casserole dish (or large one if you doubled!) with some oil, spread the mixture evenly into the dish, then pop in oven for 45 minutes. Pull it out, sprinkle the buttered Panko bread crumbs over the casserole and put back in and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Take out and let rest until it stops bubbling. Serve on plates with chopped green onion for garnish. This will be hot, creamy, and oh so good for your belly.

Hash Brown, Ham and Spinach Casserole 3

I just had to show you one more picture of my mother’s vintage casserole dish. I don’t cook in it that often but it’s the perfect size for this scaled-down version of the casserole. It’s probably 7 by 5 or so? Never measured it!

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