Tuesday, June 8, 2010

30 Days Gluten Free Quick and Easy Meals: Day 2 - What to do with Leftovers?

Welcome to 30 Days: Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals!

Day 2: Making Meals with Leftovers.

My husband and I constantly have leftovers. There are only 2 of us yet I have a habit of cooking enough food for an army. I usually like to cook at least 4 servings of a meal. I know if we have 2 extra servings there will be enough for us to pack lunch the following day.

But how can you make dinner exciting with leftovers? Last night I needed to make a meal with the big bowl of brown rice and the chickpeas I had cooked on Sunday.

I decided to make a simple vegetable saute. I had several yellow squash from our CSA box. I love Greek Seasoning. I thought the combination of sauteed vegetables with Greek Seasoning served over brown rice sounded tasty.

Easy. Healthy. In less than 20 minutes dinner was done, using leftovers!

More thoughts on delicious leftover meals:
  • cooked brown rice with any leftover vegetables sauteed and placed in a corn tortilla or Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas. Add a scrambled egg for protein and you have a yummy & healthy breakfast.
  • leftover chicken makes an amazing and healthy quick soup or stock, makes a quick chicken salad, is perfect in casseroles & skillet dinners, can be used as a topping for baked potatoes, etc...
  • leftover ground beef can be used in chili, spaghetti sauce, added to a cream gravy (that was a favorite meal of mine growing up!), tossed into a bag in the freezer to be used on your next crockpot soup, etc... You can also make an excellent beef stock using ground beef.
  • leftover salmon or tuna make wonderful salad toppings, are great on baked potatoes, can be added to casseroles, eaten with toast and eggs for breakfast, etc...
  • leftover fresh leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.. make a great base for green smoothies! Old bananas can be frozen and also added to green smoothies to help them taste delicious!
  • leftover potatoes are make excellent hash, can be mashed and used as a gluten free crust for quiche or a savory pie, are excellent thickeners in soups & stews, are yummy as a tortilla filling, etc...
  • leftover vegetables can be chopped & stored in the fridge to make quick all veggie salads. If you don't use them within a few days, move them to the freezer and you'll immediately have precut veggies for soups, roasts, and stir fries!!
  • leftover gluten free bread makes really awesome french toast, bread crumbs to top casseroles or coat chicken fingers, desserts like bread pudding, croutons for salads, etc...
  • Get creative! Share your thoughts in the comments on ways your family uses leftovers!

Quick Greek Squash & Mushroom Saute served over Brown Rice
an "unrecipe" for leftover vegetables and rice

2-3 yellow squash or zucchini, julienned (my husband likes the seeds removed)
1 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked chick peas
1 small sweet onion, sliced
1 green pepper, seed removed & sliced
2 roma tomatoes or a red pepper, seeds removed & sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Greek Seasoning
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Slice all vegetables and have them prepared before cooking.Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet. Add onions, garlic, and green pepper. Saute for 5-8 minutes until onions are beginning to caramelize (turn a little bit brown). Add remaining vegetables and saute for an additional 5-10 minutes until vegetables are fork tender. Serve over 1/2 cup reheated leftover brown rice. Makes 3-4 large servings.


Stay tuned for a delicious 30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy meal tomorrow shared by Brooke from Gluten Free... Who? Me?

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  1. This meal sounds right up my ally, thanks for sharing!

  2. You totally took my idea with the sauteed veggies and egg with the Food For Life tortilla! :) Kidding...it's what I had last night for dinner though. I love leftover rice for fried rice - scramble an egg or two, take any bits of leftover meat and chop it up, plus maybe a bit of minced garlic, ginger, any other leftover veggies - or I always have carrots on hand, so sometimes I shred or julienne them (a julienne peeler makes quick work of this) and add them too. I've thrown leftover baked sweet potatoes into my breakfast smoothies before. I also do the same thing you do with leftover GF bread - it goes in the freezer and is often used as breadcrumbs. (this also happens when I try to bake my own GF bread and it doesn't come out quite right - breadcrumbs!) I often bake/roast extra chicken, just so I can have leftovers to shred and use for enchiladas or burritos.

  3. We do this all the time with leftovers and it is a great way to get in all the foodgroups! We not only use brown rice but any type of brown pasta works well too! Wouldn't be as good in a tortilla but is an alternative. I make our gf bread using any of my all purpose gf flours and then when we are to the end of the loaf save some and put in freezer for bread crumbs. By the time thanksgiving rolls around I have enough gf breadcrumbs for stuffing! Love that we are not wasting anything and all most all is homemade and good for us!

  4. Ashlee - Thank you! I hope you'll give it a try!

    Alta - Aren't those brown rice tortillas the BOMB? lol! I LOVE those things! I have to buy them everytime I'm anywhere near a store that sells them! I also bake extra chicken to use for fillings too! So yummy and simple! thanks for reading!

    Gratefully GF - Isn't it awesome to get so many healthy foods in one dish? I will definitely have to try that with brown rice pasta! I think my husband would enjoy that more than rice actually! I'll make that our starch next week to make a big pot of! :-) Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Hey, Carrie, Mr. GFE would say I "resemble" your remark about making way too much for two people! LOL We always have leftovers and I do get creative using them. I love all you've shared here. We really enjoy fried rice, but I haven't made it in a while. Maybe after vacation I'll make it on one of the hot evenings when I just want to use the stovetop. ;-)