Dressing Up Salads With Leftovers

Ceasar Salad topped with leftover eggs and cheese One problem most households run into is a seemingly endless supply of leftovers. To make matters worse, sometimes there is not enough left for the entire family...sometimes it's not even enough...

Ceasar Salad topped with leftover eggs and cheese
Ceasar Salad topped with leftover eggs and cheese

One problem most households run into is a seemingly endless supply of leftovers. To make matters worse, sometimes there is not enough left for the entire family...sometimes it's not even enough for a satisfying meal for one. So, how do you make the most of your money and your food?

Surprisingly enough a salad can be a great way to make a delicious and healthy meal using those leftovers. Of course, you need to learn to think outside the box.

Common Leftovers:

  1. Eggs - Didn't get a chance to finish that dozen of eggs you bought and the expiration date is fast approaching? Boil a pot of water and the eggs on the stove. After it comes to a hard boil, turn off the stove and let cool. Chop these eggs up and sprinkle them on the salad for nice 'filler' with some extra protein.
  2. Deli Meat - Don't you just hate when you have a slice or two of that expensive deli meat left over? It's not enough for a sandwich. Shred the meat and mix it into the salad. It tastes great!
  3. Dinner Meat - Left over barbeque chicken, pork, or beef from last night's dinner can be added to a lettuce salad as well. Or you can also wrap it in tortilla and eat it at a wrap or warm as a quesadilla. Mix in some veggies and stuff pita bread with the mixture and  you've got a pocket salad

    Chicken Quesadilla
    Chicken Quesadilla

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  4. Taco Meat (and the fixings) - Adding the seasoned taco meat, tomatoes, or any other toppings to a lettuce salad can be a great way to use up these ingredients even if you run out of taco shells! You can even put a couple spoonfuls of salsa and sour cream on top of the salad!
  5. Taco Shells - Here's the opposite of number 4. What do you do if you don't have meat left but have the taco shells? Cut the shells into strips and put in the oven at 400. Be sure to check regularly. You want to crisp/toast the shells but not burn them. This makes a crunchy topping that goes well with salads.
  6. Fruits - In moderation fruits such as cranberries, strawberries, and blueberries can be added to a salad to give it a sweet taste.
  7. Cheese - Have a part of a block of cheese left over? You can either shred it over the salad or cut it into chunks to put on the salad. This can also be a great way to get rid of that last spoonful of the shredded cheese you bought for your tacos, or that cheese you sprinkle on spaghetti.
  8. Bread - Have some bread that is starting to go stale? Here is an option: Place the slices on a tray, very lightly butter the top, sprinkle garlic (or any spices of your choice) on top. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 3-5 minutes, check periodically to make sure it doesn't burn! Then chop/break up the bread for homemade seasoned croutons.
  9. Tuna/canned meat - Mixing in a little bit of canned meat can work well in a salad. Maybe you have a little bit of mix left from that tuna sandwich you had the other day? Don't be afraid to try it.
  10. Vegetables - Raw vegetables can also make a great addition. Chop up carrots (use a peeler if you want small bits of carrot), bits of broccoli, that last small tomato, jalapenos, etc. It doesn't take much, but every little bit adds to the overall flavor.

The point with salads is that anything goes with it. Find what foods you like the most in your salad, but don't be afraid to experiment. Also remember, it's never too small of an amount to add. You'd be surprised; a little can go a long way.

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