5 easy recipes you can make with any leftovers
By Zula Rabikowska
Self-isolation, social restrictions, job insecurity and insatiable supermarket queues are encouraging all of us to make meals go further. This is a time when more than ever before we are all thinking about how to eat more efficiently, and get creative with things we already have at home. These are our 5 top suggestions that will help you make fun and tasty meals with practically any leftovers.
Traditionally, this is an egg-based Italian dish, very similar to an omelette or scrambled eggs, with some extra ingredients such as cheese, meats or vegetables, which are baked together and can be served hot or cold. The word “frittata” is Italian and translates to “fried” in English, and the beauty of the frittata is its versatility. You can add anything you have in the fridge or the cupboard into the mix. If you don’t eat egg, don’t worry, you can soak split mung beans or chickpea flour to make a golden vegan frittata base. Some of our suggestions include: asparagus and potato, squash pea and feta, spinach and pepper, courgette or simply cheese.
BEAT eggs, liquid (eg. milk, tomato juice, broth), herbs and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until blended. ADD filling of your choice and stir. HEAT oil in a pan and POUR IN the mixture; cook over low to medium heat until almost set, 8 to 10 minutes. REMOVE from heat and COVER and LET STAND until mixture is completely set and CUT into wedges.
Chili con Anything
Usually, chili con carne refers to ‘chili with meat’, a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat, and often tomatoes and beans. Some versions include garlic, onions or cumin. The original recipe is said to come from the Mexican population residing in Texas, but over the years has been adapted to suit different tastes, and is perfect to conjure up a tasty dish from any leftovers and store cupboard ingredients. As long as you have tomato puree or fresh tomatoes you are good to go. You can use anything from mince meat, kidney beans, carrots, celery, bell peppers, sweet potatoes or any other tinned vegetable.
HEAT oil in a large saucepan. FRY the onion and garlic until softened. ADD mince, or any other ingredients of your choice and STIR in the tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes. SEASON with salt and pepper or smoked paprika, and COOK for about 50 minutes until the mixture is rich and thick. SERVE with rice and salad, or anything else to suit your palette. SERVE with bread or salad.
This is where you can really get creative as there are so many types of bowls out there ranging from burrito bowls, grain bowls, sushi bowls, veggie bowls, and any other kinds of bowl you can imagine, which are the perfect way to make an empty fridge meal. The principle is simple: hunt and gather ingredients of your choice, and serve together in a bow.
MAKE a portion of rice, or any other grain, seasoned however you please. ADD veggies, beans, meat and salsas. You can also add pickled vegetables, like kimchi or sauerkraut, and any sauces. You also have the option to INCLUDE a soft-cooked egg, tofu or SPRINKLE with nuts (e.g. sunflower seeds) By the time that the rice takes to cook, your dish is almost made.
Soups are the winners of easiest meals to whip up when you are short on ingredients. You don’t really need a specific recipe, as anything can be swapped and adjusted.
START with a broth-y base. This can be a simple meat or vegetable frozen stock, a boxed stock, or a base you mix with water to form a broth. ADD ingredients of your choice: fresh or tinned vegetables, pasta, rice, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, beans, farro or other grains, meat, fish, tofu, fresh and dried herbs, and more are all good options. SIMMER to make sure everything is cooked. You then have the option to BLEND the ingredients together for a creamier texture, or leave as it is. SERVE with bread or salad if you wish.
This is a traditional savoury Indian street food dish, which uses potato pieces, sev (fried noodles), chickpeas and often fresh coriander and yoghurt garnish. Popular variations include onion, hot spices or dried ginger. The star ingredients of a chaat dish are chickpeas, but even those can be substituted with another tinned pulse. You can really add anything into this dish, fresh or tinned vegetables, cold or hot meats or savoury pastries (e.g. sausage rolls), the opportunities are endless.
FRY a teaspoon of cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a pan and then ADD chickpeas and potatoes with tomato puree and tamarind sauce. If you don’t have the latter you can easily use ketchup or sriracha (anything tangy will do the job). COMBINE the ingredients of your choice in a bowl. TOP it with yogurt mixed with sugar and ground cumin, or other spices of your choice. SPRINKLE with bombay mix, or crushed crisps, chopped red or white onions, fresh herbs like coriander, or freshly chopped tomatoes, or even pomegranate seeds if you are feeling lavish. REFRIGERATE for at least 30 minutes before serving.
About the author