Life Lesson: How To Repurpose Leftovers

So, I’m taking a different approach to home school. I’m kind of sucking at being an actual teacher so I’m focusing a lot on teaching my children to be better humans with a Life 101 class a few times a week. Today’s agenda? Leftovers. Because we could feed a small country with the volume of food that my children leave on their plates.

How to Make Leftovers Taste Like Magic.

1. Give the kids a list of leftovers you normally have: chicken, noodles, roasted veggies, mac and cheese, etc. Then, have them come up with as many leftover ideas as they can. They can look in the fridge to see what else they could add to transform their leftovers into new meal ideas. Little ones can draw pictures instead. Thea had a code red tantrum during this part so you may want to skip it if you have 5 and unders that are deeply competitive.

2. How to reinvigorate hardened / stale leftovers like Rice & Pasta, two things we always have way too much of. We discussed two ways. Re-boiling the food for 2-3 minutes then draining. OR putting a wet paper towel on top of the food, securing with the lid, then microwaving to create steam. All leftovers need one of the following: liquid, steam or fat.

3. Best way to reheat pizza. Because that’s basically half of our diet. Curious? There is only one answer: In a skillet with a lid, set on medium. I PROMISE. The bottom crisps up while the steam renders the fat of the cheese and it becomes all ooey-gooey again. Feel like this is a big time college kid win for my kids.

4. Freezer Meals. Not all leftovers have to be reinvented. Some just need to be stored for longevity. Talk about how to double wrap and label your leftovers. Mark with the date. Then chat about how long they will last.

5. Give them a fun/tasty challenge. I had some brownies left over so I told the to reinvent the brownie into something new. Audrey stuffed hers with caramel, topped with icecream, jimmies and chocolate sauce. William crushed his and made a truffle. Thea sliced hers open, added nutella and topped with a berry.

Make sure that you plan this for a day that you actually repurpose leftovers that way they can see your mad skills in action. We had leftover chicken in cream sauce and risotto so we transformed the risotto into cakes that we served with the white sauce and we threw the chicken atop some salad with a simple vinaigrette!

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