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Discussion Starter #1
We are getting new members all the time and some of them may be people who are used to eating out, or young people who either grew up eating fast/frozen food, or didn't have to cook for themselves.

This thread may be useless for some of our older or more long term members, but I have been wanting to start it for a while. Cooking wasn't something I did growing up, and to be honest both of my parents are such poor cooks I didn't even know what food was supposed to taste like.

With that said I am going to start with perhaps my favorite food The Hamburger. It's a common food, it is something easily left over because you made a couple too many, and if you have a summer cook-out you can get stuck with a butt load of it. It also does not taste good reheated unless you do more work to it than you did cooking it in the first place.

First I will say plan your meals. You don't have to have a month or even week menu, just know you are cooking a meat that you are likely to have leftover and a plan to make it into something else the next day. Doesn't have to be fancy, but it will save you both in food costs and in getting stuck eating the same thing 2-3 days in a row.

Most of this I put the the food processor (FP) although we are talking about burgers so of course they can be hand chopped or even just grabbed between two hands and twisted if needed.

1) Spaghetti. Burger can always be added into your sauce the next day. It can be just a couple burgers left over or maybe you had a big cook-out and have enough to add only the left over burgers.

2) Chile. Canned or homemade same as above after all what's the worst things that happens? You get more meat in your sauce or bowl.

3) Gravy. FP with onion and seasonings of your choice. Add liquid and a bullion cube or left over gravy if you have it. Simmer for a while and then thicken to preference.

This gravy will be good over any type of bread as well as pretty much any type of tater, or over rice or even noodles making a "poor mans stroganoff".

4) Mac & Cheese. Box or homemade it's always better with meat in it, and some type of tomato sauce if you have it too!

5) Sloppy Joe's. Simmer it in the Manwich for a while really an extra 5-10 minutes to be sure the sauce cooks in. If you don't have enough left over burger to do it just add a Drained can of black beans to the FP.

If you have to add beans a little hot or BBQ sauce tossed in while it's cooking will make life good again.

If you're still here and reading this you probably don't need to know, but any gravy or sauce that takes meat is a great way to use left over burger. Sausage too in fact I only put burger in my spaghetti sauce if it's after burger night. The rest of the time it's always sausage.

Yup I have the house to myself, had beer for brunch and maybe lunch, and it's cold and snowing outside. I have been thinking of doing a thread like this for a while though, and expect it won't be all that popular, but may help a few people.

I wanted to start with a common meat, because 1) Meat is one of the most expensive things we buy per ounce, and 2) burger is probably one of the most common ones used.

Anybody still left knock yourselves out or trash the thread it's all good.
 

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I cook with the intention of having leftovers to use in other meals. Potatoes with onions and peppers is always handy. Breakfast lunch or dinner. Spiral hams can be used for anything, the bone is a bonus for soups. Keep corn and flour tortillas around, can always make something with it. Mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla toasted in a cast iron pan. Dip in soup or tomato sauce. Great for kids to make. I dont seem to use much hamburger but chicken and pork loin are also my add to anything meats.
 

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I'm the king of leftovers, as one of 6 kids with a dad that worked for Uncle Sam and a mom that raised kids, money was tight, so if losing food was not exactly a sin, it was at least criminal.

The easiest way to handle ANY leftover meat, is to chop it up into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks or slices, cook some ramen noodles, toss the meat in for the last minute to warm up, pour off half the liquid, toss in the seasoning packet and some soy sauce or teriyaki, or any other Thai, Indonesian, Chinese or Japanese sauce you like, and then turn it all into an oiled frying pan or wok at a high heat and fry it a bit. Can add veggies and egg now as well. Add a bit more sauce if you cooked it all away. Go stupid American and top with cheese, or not.

The other option is to dump the cubed/sliced up meat in a gravy, heat it through, and pour it over noodles, french fries, mashed potatoes, or even toast...or all of the above. Use the cheap gravy in a packet if you can't make your own. Again, add things you like...sauteed peppers, onions, cooked carrots, green beans, mushrooms, whatever you need to use up. Use sour cream or plain yoghurt to make it a "stroganoff" kind of thing. A touch of vinegar and you can pretend it's sauerbraten.

That's my Thanksgiving standard, leftover turkey chunks in the leftover gravy, served over leftover mashed spuds and fresh toast, the good old "Hot Turkey Sandwich".
 

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Keep corn and flour tortillas around, can always make something with it. Mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla toasted in a cast iron pan. Dip in soup or tomato sauce.
I keep a squeeze bottle of Contadina Pizza sauce in the fridge, and make thin crust pizza out of the tortillas. I always have sliced pepperoni and frozen mozzarella, and there may be ham, mushrooms, salami, olives or whatever.

The grandkids LOVE making their own pizza.

Layer two tortillas with some cheese in between for a thicker crust.:thumb:

And yes...Italian Quesadilla's are a thing.:D:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm the king of leftovers, as one of 6 kids with a dad that worked for Uncle Sam and a mom that raised kids, money was tight, so if losing food was not exactly a sin, it was at least criminal.

The easiest way to handle ANY leftover meat, is to chop it up into 1/4 to 1/2 inch chunks or slices, cook some ramen noodles, toss the meat in for the last minute to warm up, pour off half the liquid, toss in the seasoning packet and some soy sauce or teriyaki, or any other Thai, Indonesian, Chinese or Japanese sauce you like, and then turn it all into an oiled frying pan or wok at a high heat and fry it a bit. Can add veggies and egg now as well. Add a bit more sauce if you cooked it all away. Go stupid American and top with cheese, or not.

The other option is to dump the cubed/sliced up meat in a gravy, heat it through, and pour it over noodles, french fries, mashed potatoes, or even toast...or all of the above. Use the cheap gravy in a packet if you can't make your own. Again, add things you like...sauteed peppers, onions, cooked carrots, green beans, mushrooms, whatever you need to use up. Use sour cream or plain yoghurt to make it a "stroganoff" kind of thing. A touch of vinegar and you can pretend it's sauerbraten.

That's my Thanksgiving standard, leftover turkey chins in the leftover gravy, served over leftover mashed spuds and fresh toast, the good old "Hot Turkey Sandwich".
Been there and done a fair bit of that. Ever use left over spaghetti sauce for homemade pizza sauce the next day? Even use it to make a baked goolash (sp) because the sight of the noodle along with being baked makes it a different meal.

Don't do the goolash (sp) everytime or the kids will catch on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I cook with the intention of having leftovers to use in other meals. Potatoes with onions and peppers is always handy. Breakfast lunch or dinner. Spiral hams can be used for anything, the bone is a bonus for soups. Keep corn and flour tortillas around, can always make something with it. Mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla toasted in a cast iron pan. Dip in soup or tomato sauce. Great for kids to make. I dont seem to use much hamburger but chicken and pork loin are also my add to anything meats.
Pretty much anything reheated in a frying pan with onion and having a couple eggs added (and scrambled) to the end of it makes a great breakfast too once it's been wrapped in a tortilla.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I forgot rice...goes under or in almost anything.

Goulash. Always an option, it's just whatever you got, some tomato sauce, with some paprika, peppers, onions added and stewed for a while. Tomatoes are optional.
I've only ever had it with elbow maceroni in it. This however may be getting into the realm where as one member pointed out in another thread "they can't even afford to put beans in their chili in Texas."

My apologies to that poster if it's a paraphrase, but it's a line I'll never completely forget. :D:
 

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Wendy's makes their leftover hamburger patties into chili. A baked potato makes a good base for different toppings.
Eggs are easy and versatile. A burger patty, quick onion gravy, rice, and a fried egg makes loco moco, a hawaiian standard.
Leftover roasted vegetables make a good side dish.
Besides fried rice you can use noodles to use up leftover bits of veg or meat. Ramen tastes good but the noodles are deep fried. You can substitute pre cooked thin spaghetti. Fry noodles up in a bit of oil to heat and crisp up. Just read that starches that are cooked then cooled, like leftovers, are better for you as they are absorbed slower.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A can of cream of mushroom soup of course can be used for a gravy for any left over meat, or can be used to make a casserole of any veggie type. If you just have small amounts of left over meat chop it fine and throw it into the casserole for flavor.

It can also be used just as a gravy, and believe it or not I have no idea how to make swedish meatballs, but a can of that and some meatballs and half or so bottle of dark beer and never a complaint. (I always test that stuff on my wife first.) After that my football watching friends are the test subjects, and I watch their faces out of the corner of my eye when they try it rather than going by what they say.

Other canned cream soups work very well also cream of chicken or celery being the most obvious, just do it to your own tastes.
 

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I cook with the intention of having leftovers to use in other meals. Potatoes with onions and peppers is always handy. Breakfast lunch or dinner. Spiral hams can be used for anything, the bone is a bonus for soups. Keep corn and flour tortillas around, can always make something with it. Mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla toasted in a cast iron pan. Dip in soup or tomato sauce. Great for kids to make. I dont seem to use much hamburger but chicken and pork loin are also my add to anything meats.
Yep, last nights dinner is most likely today's lunch.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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There are 2 of us, but this can certainly be adjusted accordingly..
From one 2.5-3 lb pork loin I get:
Crock pot pork roast
2 butterfly chops
I pot of soup or a stir fry
Three servings of meat for 2 people for the cost of one small combo meal

We keep a "stew bucket" in the freezer. Not enough veggies leftover for a serving? Will it work in stew? Toss it in the bucket. Potatoes tend to get mushy I don't toss those in. When the bucket is full, add a lb of meat (anything will do) a large peeled and chopped potato, onion and/or peppers if you like and a can of diced tomatoes. Season to taste. No food wasted.

Learn to cut larger cuts of meats into smaller ones. You don't need to pay a butcher to trim a $8/lb T Bone into a $12/lb KC strip.
You don't need them to cut up, skin or debone a chicken (whole chicken 5.88 = pkg of only 2 breasts 8.99)
 

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You guys have some good ideas.

I guess I'm just boring. I generally eat the leftovers as is till its all gone. Part of the reason I like having leftovers is so no-one has to cook or do basic preparation.

I guess I'm gonna have to try some of these ideas and change things up a little.
 

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4) Mac & Cheese. Box or homemade it's always better with meat in it, and some type of tomato sauce if you have it too!
In the OP this particular line still has me reeling.

At first I was shocked anyone would put meat in Mac & Cheese. But then suddenly I had flashbacks of grade school Mac & Cheese where they would put in meat and Lord knows what else.

I haven't had meat in Mac & Cheese since then, but now I'm wondering why not. It must've been really terrible in a 4th grade cafeteria for me to have completely forgotten about its existence.

I guess I gotta try it and hopefully I can do better than a grade school cafeteria. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In the OP this particular line still has me reeling.

At first I was shocked anyone would put meat in Mac & Cheese. But then suddenly I had flashbacks of grade school Mac & Cheese where they would put in meat and Lord knows what else.

I haven't had meat in Mac & Cheese since then, but now I'm wondering why not. It must've been really terrible in a 4th grade cafeteria for me to have completely forgotten about its existence.

I guess I gotta try it and hopefully I can do better than a grade school cafeteria. :thumb:
You and I have talked on food before so I'll give you the best advice I can for you to try it.

First grab a box of mac & cheese. Any kind that you like brand doesn't matter.

Now if you are using things like Eckrich (on sale here usually) you can use the two tube shaped sausages that come in a pack (prefer smoked over Kielbsa or beef) or little smokies.

Slice them up although not too thick. Figure 1/8" for the bigger tubes and a bit thicker for the smokies. If using the tubes you will only want to use about 1/2 of one (eye test it) once sliced stack the slices grab your knife and quarter them the fast way.

Sautee the sausage while you make your noodles, drain the noodles and toss in the sausage and give a few good solid stirs, then toss in a can of Ro-Tel or tomatoes of your choice.

Good luck hope you're able to get to to your liking as you were able to with the corned beef hash nachos.

To get back on track and not derail my own thread. This works with any left over meat. Debone if needed,dice up and mix into the mac & cheese then throw in your 'maters.
 

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Great thread!! Tonight's dinner is St. Louis style pork ribs (first cook) but with baked leftover potato skins, leftover broccoli with white sauce, and leftover green salad with homemade Gorgonzola dressing.

Give me your leftover ingredients and I will let you know what I would do with it.
 

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I grew up in a house where an Irish grandmother did most of the cooking.
Potato cakes for breakfast were made from last night's leftover mashed potatoes.
Fresh potatoes were boiled once a day at lunch and were boiled whole, with jackets on.
The lunch leftovers were peeled, reheated and mashed for dinner.
Rinse and repeat....

Fav twist on mac n cheese - layer it with bacon pieces, diced fresh tomatoes and jalapenos to taste. Serve with sour cream and garnish with green onions.
 
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