I hosted a party the other day and was left with a ton of leftovers that took up all the space in my fridge. I was exhausted and did not want to cook the next day, but more than that, I did not want the leftovers to go to waste. Throwing food away really irks me, and I knew that my kids would not have the same meals again, so I decided to get creative.
Since I had the entire day to myself, I thought I would prepare a three-course meal using only the leftover ingredients that were stocked in the fridge from last night. It would be a great way to utilize everything, and since it had only been 12 hours, there was nothing that a splash of water and a couple of minutes on the stove would not fix.
How I Prepared a Three-Course Meal Using Only the Leftover Ingredients
1. Starters- Beetroot Rissoles
I had loads of peeled beetroot kept in the fridge from the salad leftovers I decided to use to make this dish. All I did was add a can of chickpeas, but other than that, I used all the ingredients in my pantry and fridge to make this light summer dish.
- Beetroot: 700 grams
- Extra virgin olive oil: 200 ml
- Cumin seeds: 2 teaspoons crushed
- Chickpeas: Two 400-gram cans, drained and washed
- Potato flour: 100 grams, extra for dusting
- Parsley: 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Lemon: 1, juice and zest
- Balsamic vinegar: 2 tablespoons
- Mixed salad leaves: 150 grams
- Goat curd: For serving
- I started by preheating the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then, I placed the beetroot in a big piece of foil and drizzled some oil and 1 teaspoon of cumin on top. I packed the foil from all ends to make it look like a parcel and then popped it into the baking tray. I waited for 30 minutes so that the beetroot could become tender.
- Meanwhile, I drained and rinsed a single can of chickpeas and threw them in a food processor. The idea was to pulse till they were finely chopped.
- When the beetroots were ready, I got rid of their skins and cut them in half. Then, I added them to the food processor and pulsed them again.
- I threw in the remaining cumin seeds, potato flour, coriander seeds, lemon zest, and parsley and then mixed everything well.
- I kept some potato flour aside to ensure that my hands stayed dry, and then I started to shape the beetroot mixture into rissoles. I aimed to make 12 patties. Once done, I heated 2 tablespoons of oil in the frying pan and cooked the beetroot using medium heat. Each side of the patty took 3 minutes to cook.
- Once I was done with the beetroot rissoles, I took them off the frying pan and heated 100 ml of oil. I threw in the chickpeas and cooked them until they were crunchy. I don’t like extra oil, so I used a paper towel to pat them dry once done.
- I took another small bowl to mix 60 ml of olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.
- Once everything was done, I plated the rissoles with the crunchy chickpeas, salad leaves, and goat’s curd. I also added some freshly ground black pepper for extra flavor.
2. Entrée: Chicken Wraps
With the leftover chicken tenders, I decided to make light and simple wraps that only required a total of 5 ingredients. This was a perfect, no-nonsense meal that was easy to make and tasted great.
- Leftover chicken tenders: 6
- Buffalo sauce: ½ cup
- Flour tortillas: 4
- Blue cheese: ¼ cup
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage: ¼ cup
- The chicken tenders I had were pretty big, so I decided to chop them up into 1-inch pieces.
- I poured some buffalo sauce on top of the chicken tenders and mixed everything so that the chicken was well coated.
- I started making the wraps by putting ¼ buffalo chicken and the lettuce and blue cheese into each wrap. To ensure that the tortilla did not open, I also stuck a toothpick in there.
- The best part was that even though I used old chicken to make this recipe, the dish tasted fresh. These wraps can also be eaten cold if that’s what you prefer!
3. Dessert: Sparking Wine Blueberry Jellies
Surprisingly, I had lots of sparkling wine left from the previous night, and I did not know what to do. I decided to try something new and incorporate the wine into a dessert.
- Powdered gelatin: 15 ml
- Water: 50 ml
- Hot water: 450 ml
- Castor sugar: 50 grams
- Sparkling wine: 500 ml
- Blueberries: 250 grams
- Topping: Fresh mint
- I started by adding 50 ml of cold water to the powdered gelatin and allowed it to thicken.
- I combined the hot water with some sugar in a pot to get a smooth mixture.
- Once the sugar had dissolved, I poured the gelatin into the pot and started stirring.
- Once the gelatin had dissolved, I poured the wine and mixed the blueberries. The key was to allow the blueberries to burst so that they could leave their flavor behind.
- Once ready, I took tall glasses and poured the mixture into them, and popped the glasses into the freezer for a bit so that everything could set.
- After dinner, I served the blueberry jelly with some fresh mint.
By the end of the meal, my family was super happy with all the dishes and could not believe that they were made with last night’s leftovers!