Leftovers… for so many people it’s such a dirty, hated word.  I was out to lunch with a friend and suggested what she was eating would make good leftovers.  That was one of those times in life I wish was a movie, because the face she made would have been an amazing photo.

Before marrying my husband, I too was a leftover hater.  Now, however, I am a huge fan of leftovers.  The trick is to cook them properly. (It also helps if you start out with good food.  Growing up the food was burnt to begin with, and it’s hard to improve on something that already tastes bland.) Using the oven or stove top when possible will always mean better taste than cooking in the microwave.  If you do have to microwave, adding a bit of water or butter will help keep food moist or add flavor, respectively.

This week has been a trial on even me.  My husband came home with an entire tray of Spanish Rice from a shoot.  An. Entire. Tray. A person can only eat so much rice, right?

Please note that this photo is not an accurate depiction of our rice tray. (I’m still working on taking pics for the blog.  I’ll get better.) Our tray of rice was one of the very rectangular, very long trays. At first, I was dismayed.  How could we possibly eat that much rice? Especially since we just made a giant batch of white rice to use as leftovers?  My dismay was not going to eat the rice, so I decided to accept this challenge and get creative. My first step was taking a container of rice over to a friend’s house. That left us with one gallon bag and three tupperware’s left. (Think about that for a moment.  A gallon bag.  A medium sized contaner.  A medium sized container.  A medium sized container. That’s a lot of rice.)

The following list is what I’ve made with the white rice:

rice + raisins + cinnamon + milk = warm breakfast rice cereal

rice + crab + butter crackers + egg = crab cake stuffed salmon rolls

++add Spanish rice as a side

rice + soy sauce + peanut butter + egg + shrimp = shrimp fried rice

With the Spanish rice:

rice + ground beef + beef grease + skillet fry = amazing beef rice

++ add beef rice to bell peppers and you have a delicious meal

rice + lettuce + cheese + salsa + corn tortillas = vegetarian tacos

rice + black beans + ground beef + lettuce + tortilla chips + lime juice = delicious taco salad

We’ve been doing slight variations on the tacos and salad, but almost every meal has contained rice this week. These are the “recipes” that are more innovative ways to use rice.  Rice has been a side dish to fish or chicken as well, but that’s obvious and boring, so I’m just listing the more pizzazzy options.

Has anyone ever had to find creative ways to use up an over abundance of leftovers?  Does anyone have any advice for how to eat up more of this rice?


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