Posted by: Bill & Gayle McCord | March 9, 2011

Tips for Enjoying Left-Overs

Our daughter, Emily {aka Miss Mommy}, shared some tips for enjoying left-overs that we found interesting and helpful.  Knowing her growing up years, as well as early married days, we find it funny to see her actually embrace left-overs.  Bill and I love good left-overs, but if you’re more like Em, then here are her tips for preparing, planning, and actually enjoying left-overs!

5 Reasons to Plan for Left-Overs

  • It’s less cooking!  If you just make a little more when you’re cooking, that’s a meal you don’t have to make later.
  • It’s less expensive.  When you intentionally cook for more than one meal, you can buy more for less and if you’re resourceful, you can cut back on meat and still make great meals.
  • You can enjoy a good meal twice!
  • When you double a recipe, you can freeze half or even give the extra meal to a new mom or sick friend.
  • You can even plan to swap with friends- especially helpful in the I-just-had-a-baby-and-can-barely-function-stage.

Tips for Planning, Preparing, & Enjoying Left-Overs

  • Choose meals that you know your family likes and double them.  Pretty straight-forward.
  • If you are wanting to try a new meal, don’t double it until you know you like it.  Also fairly common sense.
  • Pasta dishes, soups, and salads are easy and usually less expensive to double.  Do remember that pastas and soups tend to soak up sauce, so you may need to add oil, broth, water, or some other liquid when re-heating.
  • For planning, try to lay out a couple meals you can double and a couple that you will make normally.  This will put less pressure on you to come up with a ton of massive meals.
  • Remember you can double sides, too, but serve them with different meals!  Or, alternatively, have totally different sides to make the meal seem fresher.
  • A fun way to jazz up left-over night is to add a new side or a fun treat.  We like to throw in cheese and crackers, or hummus and pitas, or fruit salad with coconut, or a special dessert.
  • Okay, here’s my personal tip: cook two doubled meals two nights in a row, but use the left-overs the following two nights so that neither meal is served back-to-back.
  • As for presentation, remember that nothing heated up in a pile on a paper plate is appetizing.  Try to serve the meal as if you’d just made it and plate it in an aesthetically pleasing way.
  • Remember that if your child didn’t like it the first time, they probably won’t the second time either.  It’s probably best to admit defeat and serve something else for them, or add an equally healthy alternative.
  • A fun way to do left-overs is to tackle it with a friend!  Both of you double a meal and then switch.  Fun, right?  Just make sure you chat about preferences and if you’re doing meat {helps ease the tension about the cost so one person doesn’t spend a ton on protein and the other phones it in with spaghetti and jarred sauce…no offense to jarred sauce- I heart you}.
  • If your food doesn’t get eaten after 2 nights, it’s best to throw it out.

With a few tricks up your sleeve, you just might conquer the communal sigh when you announce left-over night!



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