I get tired of eating the same thing for more than a couple nights, so it's easy to let leftovers go bad. However, my thrifty side has been coming out lately, and figuring out how to turn leftovers into a new and interesting meal or snack can actually be kind of fun. My latest trick is using leftover rice from takeout to make fried rice. It's a little salty, a little spicy and uses toasted sesame oil for extra flavor. This isn't really a true "recipe," since the amounts of each ingredient will depend on how much rice you use and your personal preferences. If you want to add some veggies, fry them first before adding the rice.
What are your favorite ways to reinvent leftovers?
Leftover Fried Rice
cooked rice, completely cooled
toasted sesame oil (unrefined)
Bragg's liquid aminos
sriracha hot sauce or sambal oelek (hot chili paste)
Heat some toasted sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cold rice, breaking it up and tossing it to evenly distribute the oil. Continue to toss and stir the rice for a few minutes until rice is hot and sizzling. Add Bragg's liquid aminos and a small amount of sriracha (a little goes a long way!). Toss and stir the rice until the Bragg's and sriracha are evenly incorporated. Serve immediately.
I love a good beer bread! It's super easy to make and tastes great. The flavor of the bread will depend a lot on what type of beer you use. For example, a really hoppy beer like an IPA will impart a slightly bitter aftertaste. Use a light beer for a milder flavor (the only reason I ever buy light beer is for cooking!). If you want to check out the vegan-status of your beer, visit Barnivore.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Beer Bread Makes 1 large loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons fine-grained sea salt
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar (sucanat)
12 oz. ale
2 tablespoons oil from marinated tomatoes or olive oil
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup vegan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 400° F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mix. Gently pour in the beer and oil. Stir together until mixture is nearly combined and add the sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Stir until just combined. Smooth batter into a lightly-oiled 9x5" loaf pan. If using, sprinkle cheese evenly over the top of the loaf. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a knuckle. Immediately remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Allow bread to cool before slicing.
Variation: Cheddar Beer Bread
Use olive oil instead of oil from marinated sun-dried tomatoes. Omit sun-dried tomato and basil, and stir 1/2 cup vegan cheddar-style cheese into batter instead. Top loaf with 1/2 cup cheddar-style vegan cheese before baking. (So you'll need 1 cup of vegan cheddar-style cheese in total.)
This year, my New Year's resolution is to write more blog posts, haha. So to kick off 2012, I present Smoky Black-Eyed Peas and Greens. I know it's a day late if you're planning to eat them for good luck, but this dish is tasty any time of the year. It's also super quick if you already have cooked black-eyed peas on hand. We like to use spinach, because it's convenient to grab a bag of frozen spinach, and it lacks the bitterness that often comes with collard greens. Other greens such as mustard greens, kale or collard greens would work too. Some of the seasonings are to taste, because hot sauces and liquid smokes can vary in strength and flavor. Just use your best culinary judgement ;-)
Smoky Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4-6 as a side dish
3 cups cooked black-eyed peas, or substitute 15 oz. canned
10 oz. frozen spinach, cooked and drained well (or use other cooked greens)
2 tablespoons Bragg's liquid aminos
liquid smoke, to taste
chipotle hot sauce, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Serve with additional hot sauce if desired.