Turning Your Leftovers Into Gourmet Meals

Turning Your Leftovers Into Gourmet Meals

August 21, 2019

Cooking is one of the great joys of life.  Finding a unique collection of ingredients and putting them together to form amazing combinations is what makes a cook a chef.  Taking a chicken and combining it with rice, vegetables and spices can be a great Chinese dish or a home cooked soup that gives comfort on cold rainy days.  Putting together ingredients for quick dinner ideas can keep your family anticipating your next culinary creation or dreading the next grin and eat it meal.  For the inspiring chef in the family here are some great ideas to take what you have in your kitchen and make amazing meals.

A base meat

Creating a great meal starts with a base meat.  This can be beef, chicken, pork, lamb or something else.  The reason we start with the base meat is it will guide us down the road towards making the perfect meal.

quick dinner ideasvariety of shapes and styles

Marinade the meat

The first thing that you can do is use a marinade on the met you chose.  This can be a teriyaki, lemon pepper, garlic or something sweet or savory.  Marinades are a good place to start because they can soak into the meat and infuse it with flavor.

Pasta or rice

The next is your starch.  This usually comes from pasta or rice.  Some cooks will also use a potato in their meal but this can get to be a little heavy and they take longer to cook.  A nice pasta works great.  Pasta comes in a wide variety of shapes and styles.  The pasta can be the base for your meat.  Plate a generous portion of rice or pasta on the center of the plate, lay your meat and other items you have to make a meal.


A vegetable will also go great with the meal.  Fresh is always better but frozen and canned will work just as well.  Cook your vegetables well to make sure that they are done.  Don’t kill them since boiling will draw out all of the nutrients.

Side salad

A side salad is a great compliment to any meal.  Using scraps of meat, boiled eggs and fresh vegetables will give it character.  Don’t drown it in dressing however, a nice oil and vinegar or Italian dressing works best.

Don’t be picky

When grabbing items from your cabinets don’t be picky.  The idea is to see what flavor combinations you can come up with.  Switching out a meat for another may also give it a different taste or flair.  If you don’t have enough of one item to make a meal mix it up.  The idea is to let your creative juices flow.

Don’t be afraid

When it comes to cooking the fearless chef is the winning chef.  Do a little research online to learn about flavor combinations.  As your base start with the basics of garlic, onion, parsley, salt, pepper.  From there look at different oils, vegetables like kale or turnip all have unique flavors.  Find unique items in the store when shopping and when it gets to the end of the month play with them.