Being an adult is hectic on a good day. But when you mix in a full-time job, a family, and an assortment of other responsibilities that include chauffeur, pet sitter, maid, and more, spare time becomes nearly non-existent. You need meal ideas that are dual-purpose to give you the best mileage for all that precious time you spend in the kitchen. Luckily, these easy dinner-to-next-day’s-lunch recipes fill that need nicely. With the addition of just a few extra ingredients, you can make tasty, healthful lunches that go far and taste delicious.
Time-Saving Tip: Cooking pasta once and refrigerating the extra is a real time-saver compared to pulling out a pan and making a second batch the next day. The same goes for roast chicken, baked ham, and even scrambled eggs.
- Ham-And-Bean Soup
- Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad
- Chicken Bruschetta Bake
- Flavorful Brunch Burritos
- Tray Bake Vegetable Pizza
Holiday Ham to Healthy Ham-and-Bean Soup
Stuck wondering what to do with all that leftover honey-bourbon-glazed ham from last night’s dinner party?You could make sandwiches for the next seven days, and maybe, just maybe, your taste buds won’t go numb before the week is out. Or, you could turn those tasty, tangy chunks into the base for a nice healthy soup full of super foods like beans, onions, celery, carrots, parsley and tomatoes.
Packed with antioxidants, protein, fiber, iron and potassium, this take on how to health up your ham is as close to minestrone as you can get without the addition of heavy Italian seasonings. Even better, it’s a treat for your body that helps fight off those free radicals that cause premature aging.
Maryland Crab Cakes to Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad
Buy too much lump crab meat for last night’s Maryland crab cakes? No worries, it just takes a half-pound of extra meat to make a fresh and delicious crab salad for tomorrow’s lunch. Best of all, this Cilantro-Lime Crab Salad from Epicurious gets more flavorful as it sits in your refrigerator overnight. McCormick offers a tried-and-true recipe for classic Old Bay Crab Cakes that’s a no-fail. And you can use up leftover meat with this recipe:
Roast Chicken to Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Have leftover roast chicken and stuffing? You can turn that into tomorrow’s lunch too with the addition of tangy tomatoes and melted cheese. When it’s all said and done, you won’t even recognize your chicken the next day.
To begin, wash, pat dry and season a whole chicken. Stuff with your choice of stuffing. Place in a roasting dish with a scant amount of water to keep the bird moist. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for up to two hours, depending upon the size of your chicken. Better Homes and Gardens offers up a handy chart here. Serve with your favorite healthy side dishes for your first meal.
To make your second meal, pull leftover chicken from the bone and dice it and the stuffing in preparation to make this tasty chicken bruschetta bake.
Simple Scrambled Eggs to Flavorful Brunch Burritos
When breakfast for dinner leaves you with an abundance of leftover scrambled eggs, don’t despair. With the addition of a few of your favorite colorful vegetables, some crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar and flour tortillas, you can whip up a veggie-laden wrap that’s carpool-friendly.
If you don’t already have your own favorite recipe for simple scrambled eggs, try this guide from Alton Brown via the Food Network. Remember to make extra so you can enjoy the mouth-watering goodness of a juicy burrito for tomorrow’s brunch.
Leftover Vegetables to Veggie Pizza
Tired of running the same bowl of mixed vegetables around again and again? Perk them up by turning them into scrumptious pizza toppings instead, using this inventive recipe for Tray Bake Vegetable Pizza from Love Food Hate Waste.
Once you get the hang of how best to wrangle those leftovers into entirely new and enticing meals, you’ll never want to waste money on takeout ever again. So say goodbye to overpriced sandwiches and greasy Chinese food, and opt instead for healthy meals made on a dime right in your own kitchen. They’re quick. They’re easy. They’re cheap. And best of all? They taste good, and they’re healthy for you too.