Leftovers can be made more enticing to eat by doing just a few simple things to get the family to eat the same meal 2 days in a row. In my house, we often make more food than we need, and it all gets eaten within 48 hours without complaint. Here’s how we do it.
Don’t cook leftovers, like casserole or day old spaghetti noodles, in the microwave. Reheat them in the oven or on the stove to retain that fresh flavor from the day before. Mashed potatoes, gravy, etc are all better when cooked again in the oven or on the stove, adding fresh amounts of butter, milk, cheese, or water to liven up day old foods and make them fresh again.
Serve a fresh salad or vegetable, or a different beverage for tonight’s dinner than last nights’ array of food. You don’t want the entire meal to be a total repeat. If you have ample amounts of veggies left over from the day before, reserve them, but try serving them differently, with a different dressing, or sauteing them to make them taste less like a repeat.
Serve leftovers as a snack when the kids are hungry after dinner. The kids are constantly starving, and with leftover tater tot casserole in the fridge, they have to eat that first before digging into the popcorn. If you can get the leftovers eaten in the same day they were made by making the family eat them before they can have other snacks, you don’t have wasted food in the fridge.
If you aren’t going to eat your leftovers right away, freeze them to be eaten later. I have left lasagna in the freezer for weeks, and then reintroduced it as a brand new meal that I simply had to reheat in the oven. Frozen leftovers are the perfect meal when re-baked for one or 2 people a few days down the road when they have been forgotten.
To avoid leftovers in the future, try to make just enough food for the whole family, plus 2 servings, since there will almost always be someone who wants more to eat than just one serving. In my house, leftovers rarely last long, and it’s typically when I just cook for me that I have any long-lasting leftovers at all. I usually just prepare meals for 8, rather than 6 when we’re all together, or for 3, rather than 2, when it’s just me and my fiance, so we both get fed without having to eat the same meal over and over for days.