Does the thought of eating leftovers for lunch leave your kids longing for something more? With these creative ideas, you won’t let leftovers lurking in the fridge any longer.
Imagine… a hot pasta dish for dinner can become a cool pasta salad for lunch. A grilled veggie side dish might make a great sandwich filler the next day. There are no limits to what you can do, so avoid the fast-food frenzy and liven up (and lighten up) your lunch with leftovers!
First – plan ahead.
Keep a few logistical issues in mind: portability, ease of reheating, and appetite satisfaction. Do you have a microwave at work to make a hot lunch? If you want something cold, do you have a refrigerator for safe storage? If not, foods should be kept cold until consumed in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.
Second – get creative!
Open your fridge and see your leftovers in a whole new light with these great lunch ideas:
- Fill a whole-wheat tortilla with leftover meat, vegetables, brown rice and salsa for a satisfying burrito.
- Mix low-fat or fat-free mayo with leftover tuna, chicken or turkey. Add in lots of healthy fillings for added flavor and crunch, such as Craisins, walnuts, chopped carrots and celery.
- Combine leftover meat and vegetables with some low-sodium soy-sauce and extra rice for a great stir-fry.
- Make a scrumptious sandwich with leftover vegetables. Think outside the box and expand on the traditional lettuce and tomato toppings. Try grilled zucchini, grated carrots or roasted peppers.
- Turn a hot rice, couscous, or another grain dish into a cold rice or pasta salad by adding chopped vegetables and mixing in some light salad dressing or marinade.
- Top a tasty salad with leftover turkey or chicken (keep dressing on the side until ready-to-eat so it doesn’t get soggy!).
- Put leftover grilled fish on a hearty whole wheat bun for a heart-healthy sandwich.
- Add extra meat, vegetables, and pasta to jazz up soups and stews.
- Make a mini-pizza with a pita or mini bagel; top with sauce, cheese, and leftover veggies.
With these creative ideas, you’ll learn to love leftovers and look forward to your lunch!