How to Use Leftover Food

Here are some basic ideas, before you even consider freezing any leftovers:

Stale bread and rolls: Do not throw these out, use them for breadcrumbs or croutons to serve with fruit, salad and soups. You can also use stale bread for bread and butter pudding.

Cooked fish: This can be crumbled or flaked over a salad with a little oil for dressing.

How to Use Leftover Food How to Use Leftover Food

Cooked vegetables: Veggies can be turned into a salad by adding chopped onion, mayonnaise, lettuce and some dried herbs. Or puree them to form the basis of a soup.

Scraps of meat: Cooked chicken and beef scraps, for example, can be combined with mayonnaise or creamed cheese, or partnered with chutneys and pickles, to make sandwich fillings – turkey sandwiches are not just for Christmas! They can also be used in soups. Some of the recipes in the following chapters use ready-cooked chicken and meat in a variety of ways.

Roast Dinner Soup

Instead of cooking a roast dinner for two, cook enough vegetables for four (including parsnips). The following day, all you will need for your soup is:

  • the cooked roast vegetables
  • any other cooked vegetables you might not have eaten
  • enough meat stock to cover the vegetables in a pan
  • some ground black pepper
  • croutons and a little grated cheese

Combine the vegetables, stock and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then liquidize the soup or use a hand blender to pulp the vegetables. Serve with grated cheese and toasted croutons.

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

If you have vegetables left after a roast dinner, no need to worry. Use them in that old favourite, Bubble and Squeak! You will need:

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon
  • leftover mixed cooked vegetables, chopped into small pieces
  • leftover mashed potato
  • 25 g/1 oz/ 1/4 cup each grated cheese and butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Gently fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft. Cut the bacon into strips and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the bacon and onions to a large bowl and add the leftover vegetables and mashed potato and season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese, then, using your hands, shape each portion into a cake. Put a little flour on a plate and coat each cake with it on both sides. Grease a baking tray with the butter. Put the cakes on to the tray and bake for 25 minutes at 200″C/400′F/Gas Mark 8. This is a delicious accompaniment to sliced cold meat if you have any left over from your roast dinner. Bubble and squeak cakes freeze brilliantly.


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