#ThingsNutritionistsLike – Leftovers in Disguise
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Favourite Things – Leftovers in Disguise!

More often than not, I find meal planning to be challenging with our busy lives and our busy teens. The kids are at the rink with hockey and ringette at least two times per week plus games, to say nothing of their school work and other activities. Multiply that by two kids, and you end up with crazy schedules that vary week to week. Without doing some sort of meal planning and prep, dinner could turn into a drive-thru disaster.

One of the things I love is leftovers in disguise! The secret is to use the leftover food in such a way that the children think it is new and exciting and to do it with minimal effort/maximum taste. I did such a thing last week with leftover BBQ chicken. I had purposely made twice the amount of chicken legs and thighs with the intention of disguising it the next day.Meal planning using leftovers

The first step is to assess what you have in your fridge for produce and your pantry for possible grains, spices and seasonings.

* Fridge: carrots, cucumber, lime, basil, cilantro and soy sauce

* Pantry: brown rice noodles from Costco, peanut butter, fresh garlic cloves

* Leftovers in disguise idea? Asian Noodle Bowls!

Asian Noodle Bowl Recipe from Leftovers 

The next step is to figure out what you can do the night before to prep to save time.

* Cut up chicken and shred carrots and cucumber; store in fridge

* Make your peanut sauce (recipe below) and store in fridge.

Dinner in disguise is ready, and all that’s left to do the next day is boil up those noodles (according to package directions!) and bring out the bowls, chili flakes and chopsticks!

It was a true hit. No leftovers this time. 

rice noodle bowl with chicken

Peanut Sauce

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup warm water (may need a bit more depending on how thick it is)
  • 1 – 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 – 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 – 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Sesame oil (optional if you have it)

Put all of the above ingredients into a food processor or blender. Note that you can leave out the peanut butter if there is an allergy and it will still taste good! 

Do you have tricks for re-using items as leftovers in disguise? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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