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How to Turn One Dinner into Two (or More)

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The ability to turn one meal into another is one of the most valuable skills a cook has up their sleeve, maybe the one instance where alchemy is real. It's the best way to ensure against trudging through a week's worth of lentils (or chili, or soup) and getting sick of it as a result.

Over on our (Not)Recipes app, you're making us want your leftovers—barely recognizable as their original iterations. Here's how a few of you are upping the fridge-scraps ante:

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D2c6d96d 6501 4125 9a13 420d91fcc509  2016 04 05 20 01 16
Alice Medrich
Alice Medrich
60
Wrap hot griddled whole wheat chapati (from Indian grocery) around leftovers: flank steak, not-too-wilted arugula and shaved fennel salad, home-made hummus, quick-pickled onions, drizzle of hot sauce #verynotsaddesklunch #leftovers #chapatis=newfavoritewrap
2 comments
85774b51 fd51 49d3 b8dc 57088b0df8a9  2016 04 03 14 39 25
Maria Costa
Maria Costa
31
Last nights pizza becomes this morning's breakfast. While your pizza reheats in the oven, gently sauté a generous handful of kale till slightly wilted. Salt to taste and finish with lemon juice.

Bring the entire thing together as all things should be brought together - with a fried egg on top.
1 comments
04fef192 f292 403d 988d 7e29d83ea7a8  2016 04 01 00 17 02
TheDaleyPlate
TheDaleyPlate
91
#notcontest Last night's (not)recipe gets incorporated into tonight's dinner. Boil some pasta, I used Cellentani. Drain and toss with young spinach, olives, and marinated mozzarella. #dinner #pasta
2 comments
B4ee55dc b7fb 4dfb 888a 619891a12694  2016 03 30 18 31 42
Mac and Cheese Bites | leftover macaroni and cheese, bread crumbs, egg. Combine ingredients well. Place in buttered mini-cupcake baking sheet. Cook for about 12 minutes at 425 degrees. If you're feeling fancy, add leftover bacon, herbs, etc to jazz up the bites. #notcontest #notrecipe #notrecipes #leftovers #dinner #lunch #fingerfood #cookwithkids #macandcheese
5c0e2e55 b29d 4bc2 a004 3781f1b5a12d  2016 03 31 16 51 48
EmilyC
EmilyC
87
A good example of how one (not)recipe begets another (not)recipe! In this case, my curried cauliflower sheet pan salad from the other night is today's oven-baked frittata. I heated some olive oil in an ovenproof skillet and warmed the leftover salad, then added 10 eggs that I whisked together with salt, pepper, and some grated sharp cheddar. Baked for about 20 minutes at 325. #notcontest

3 comments
582ac065 1e9f 4533 b105 640dfb0d4b99  2016 04 05 00 54 16
Merrill Stubbs
Merrill Stubbs
44
5 minute egg over leftover coconut rice with sausage and scallions, fried crisp in a cast iron pan. Added a few more freshly chopped scallions and lots of black pepper.
2 comments
93f45de8 574f 4956 ad0f 3695ac9ec566  2016 04 01 11 43 39
Athena D
Athena D
56
Whisk together milk, eggs, instant espresso, cinnamon, split vanilla bean and a little sugar. Slice a loaf of day old babka and soak each piece in the milk mixture for 1-2 minutes. Heat butter in a skillet and brown each slice for about 5 minutes per side.
3 comments
2f5dc5cd cc5b 42c8 bb0f 9dcc1da271b4  2016 04 12 18 29 25
Marissa Christy
Marissa Christy
42
Today for a simple lunch I poached eggs in leftover pasta sauce. Add a little basil chiffonade, a little parm, and some roasted veg and you have yourself a delicious, hearty meal.
1 comments
D4b7fa87 4ee0 459e 8708 86b18cb505d7  2016 03 31 21 29 22
Kerry
Kerry
43
Easter dinner #leftovers turned egg rolls! I just mixed my leftover mashed potatoes, roasted squash, ham and an egg yolk...rolled in an egg roll wrap, sealed with egg white and pan fried in vegetable oil. Easy-Peasy and all done on my wood stove in a cast iron pan.
Db759884 7d37 45b6 af72 49b24249d643  2016 03 29 18 43 01
thirschfeld
thirschfeld
75
It's on lazy nights when awesome things like this occur. Last nights lasagna becomes tonight's lasagna quesadilla. Who would have thunk this would be so good, crispy buttery outside vs. creamy tomato noodly (and the secret ingredient–American cheese) interior. #dinner #leftover #dinner #italian #mexican #vegetarian #norecipe
4 comments
9a6afb04 b6d5 4638 aab0 2c0ef9e15c33  2016 03 30 21 23 21
Ali Slagle
Ali Slagle
28
I didn't have any form of tomato sauce, so broccoli soup it was.

Then spinach, capers, scallions, pepper flakes -- in other words, the only items remotely related to pizza in my kitchen.
2 comments
600b251a d87c 493b 9f16 83863ff1dfab  2016 03 29 20 49 54
Phyllis Grant
Phyllis Grant
31
Poached asparagus recycled from Easter and red torpedo onions (pickled in Meyer lemon juice) all casually spread out on top of a slab of puff pastry from my freezer. I painted the border with crème fraîche for brown edges. And then I let hella Parmesan rain on down. Baked at 350F for 25 minutes or so.
2ada3e80 1e33 4e17 a092 327e7e53387b  2016 04 11 01 10 39
Oaktowngirl
Oaktowngirl
26
Sunday-the best for leftovers! Saturday night's artichoke gratin with pecorino béchamel and ricotta and Friday night's roasted cherry tomatoes tossed with bucatini (my new favorite pasta)-all dusted with pecorino. Frig is ready for the next week!

Do you have a favorite leftover? Nominate one in the comments.

Tags: (not)recipes, leftovers