Left Overs

Tasty Recipes for Leftovers

By Rachael Anne Hill (R.P.H.Nutr)

Starve the bin of its extra helping of leftover food and turn it into tasty dishes!

Left Over Tomatoes?

Roasted Tomato, Chorizo and Basil Sauce
Kcal per serving: 193 Kcal
Serves 4

Roast ‘em up with a little chorizo sausage, olive oil, fresh chilli and fresh basil and you’ll have one of the best tomato sauces you’ve ever tasted!

  • 1kg extra ripe tomatoes of any kind – beef, cherry, normal
  • 100g chorizo sausage finely chopped
  • ½ fresh red, de-seeded chilli very finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Dash of Worcester Sauce
  • 3 handfuls of fresh basil, chopped

Empty your fridge of all the slightly soft and past their best tomatoes you can find – any kind will do – beef, cherry, salad tomatoes all work equally well.  Roughly chop them and place in a roasting tin add the chopped chorizo sausage, chilli, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a dash of Worcester Sauce.  Roast in a medium to hot oven for 20 – 30 minutes, remove, stir in the chopped fresh basil and serve over roasted veg, couscous, pasta or as a delicious tomato base on pizza.

Left Over Mashed Potato

Smokey Leek and Potato Soup
Kcal per serving: 161 Kcal
Serves: 4 - 6

This is a quick and ingenious way of turning that unappealing left over mashed potato from last night’s supper into a tasty, nutritious lunch

  • 300g/12oz leeks, washed and finely sliced
  • 300g/12oz mashed potatoes
  • 170g/6oz extra lean smoked bacon back
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 700ml/1¼pt  fresh chicken stock
    (see left over chicken for details of how to make stock)
  • 300ml/½ pint skimmed milk
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper

Sauté the leeks, onion and bacon in 1 tbsp of olive oil until soft in a large pan.  Add the chicken stock and mash potato and heat until boiling then reduce heat, add the milk and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until fully heated through.  Serve in warm bowls topped with a light sprinkle of grated, low fat cheese. 

Left Over Roast Chicken

A roast dinner is only the first of several delicious meals you can make from whole chicken. 

Fresh Chicken Stock
Makes 1 – 2 pints
Kcals Per Pint: 90 Kcal

Fresh chicken stock is so easy to make and so worthwhile doing as the flavour it adds to risottos, soups, stews or Thai broths simply can’t be beaten.

  • bones from a cooked chicken carcass including skin
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 fresh parsley stalks
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Strip the carcass of most of the meat and set aside then put the bones including the skin in a pan with the carrot, onion, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves and a fresh parsley or thyme if you have it.  Cover with water, bring to the boil (skim off any scum that may form on top) then cover and simmer very gently for 2-3 hours.  Strain into a large bowl and allow to cool. Chill overnight.  Skim off any fat that has formed on the surface and use within 3 days.

Creamy Roast Chicken and Courgette Risotto
Serves 4
Kcal per serving: 457

This quick and easy to make risotto tastes even better with the left over chicken from the previous day’s roast than it does made with whole chicken fillets.

  • 350g Risotto Rice
  • Left over roasted chicken roughly cut into strips
  • 1 large glass of white wine
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large courgette finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Melt a small knob of butter in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the rice until coated with butter. Add the wine and stir until evaporated. Add the stock a ladle at a time until the rice is cooked but still with a little bite (add the diced courgette and chicken in the last 5 minutes of cooking to heat through). The rice should be creamy but firm to the bite. Stir in the parmesan and serve with a rocket and sweet cherry tomato salad.


We also have a diet recipe for chicken soup using the leftovers from a roast chicken.

Left Over Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables
Kcal per Serving: 191
Serves 4

 This is a great way of getting your 5 a day whilst using up stray vegetables that are sitting around in the veg wrack or fridge  - and once you’ve taken a few minutes to throw them all together in a roasting tray you can forget about them for 20 to 30 minutes while the heat of the oven brings out all the fabulous flavours.  Once they’re cooked eat them on their own, in wraps, mixed with pasta or noodles or stirred into couscous as a quick and easy ‘take anywhere’ lunch. 

  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 150g courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 150g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 200g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 200g aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into large dice
  • 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and cut into large dice
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2-4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary

Place all the vegetables and garlic in a large non-stick roasting tin so that they are in a single layer and mix together.  Add the oil and seasoning and toss together until the vegetables are lightly coated in oil. (Don’t be tempted to add any more oil at this stage as the vegetable will release plenty of juices when cooking too).  Bake in a preheated oven at 220 C/425F/gas mark 7 for 30-40 minutes until brown at the edges, stirring once or twice.  Sprinkle with the herbs and toss together to mix.  Finish with a light sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.

Variation: Add 200g chopped grilled lean bacon or ham to the dish once cooked.  (This will add an extra 80 calories and 2g fat per serving)
Try using flavoured oil such as chilli oil or herb oil to add a different flavour.  Experiment with different herbs to vary the flavour too such as parsley or chives.

Left Over Bread

Creamy Banana and Maple Syrup Topped French Toast
Serves 4
Kcal per serving: 318

This quick and easy version of French toast topped with bananas, maple syrup, blueberries and creamy Greek Yogurt that tastes every bit as good eaten for breakfast as it does for desert.

  • 4 slices of day old bread
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Maple syrup
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 tbsp blueberries
  • 200g Greek Style Yogurt
  • 20g butter

Dip a slice of bread in the egg until completely submerged then turn the bread over until it has fully absorbed the egg.  Melt 5g of butter in non-stick frying pan then add the egg soaked bread, cook until crisp and golden, turn the bread over and repeat on the other side.  Remove from the pan, place on a warmed plate, top with 50g of Greek Style Yogurt, half a sliced banana, a tbsp of blueberries and a light drizzle of olive oil.

Low fat Croutons
Serves 4
Kcal per serving: 52

Get all the taste and crunch minus the fat with these super simple, practically fat free croutons.

  • 3 slices of day-old bread, crusts removed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp of dried herbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the bread cubes in a bowl, sprinkle with the dried herbs and toss well.  Coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray and place bread cubes in a single layer on baking sheet   Bake until croutons are crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes, turning once half way through. 

Left Over Fruit

Chocolate Topped Orange and Mango ‘Ice-cream’
Serves 4
Kcal per serving: 191

Transform ageing oranges, mangoes and pots of half used yogurt or crème fraiche into a mouthwatering desert that feels far naughtier than it is ….

  • 4 large oranges
  • 2 large mangoes
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange rind
  • 3 tbsp of low fat natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp of low fat crème fraiche
  • 2 squares of plain chocolate                   
    Set freezer to rapid freeze at least 30 minutes before required and remember to return to it’s normal setting afterwards.  Slice the oranges in half and scoop out the flesh leaving the skins in tact.  If necessary, cut a small slice off the base of each half so that they stand upright on a plate.  Peel the mangos, slice, discarding the stone and place the flesh of the mangos and oranges along with the yoghurt and crème fraiche in a blender.  Blend for a few minutes until smooth then spoon the mixture into a freezeable container.  Freeze for two hours, stirring occasionally to break up the crystals.  Spoon into the orange halves, swirling the mixture to give it a decoration on top.  Return to the freezer and leave for at least a further hour or until frozen solid.  Allow to soften in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Serve two orange halves per person topped with freshly grated chocolate. 

Past Their Peak Pears?

Sweet Pear and Stilton Melt
Serves 4
Kcal per serving: 222

Get your dinner party off to a flying start with this fantastic combination of sweet, juicy pears and creamy, salty stilton.  It looks great, is bursting with flavour and because you are only using a small amount of cheese the overall fat content remains low.

  • 4 ripe but firm pears
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 70g blue stilton cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries ( or use sultanas)
  • 1 tbsp toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g assorted bitter salad leaves to serve

Preheat the grill just before serving and line the grill rack  with tin foil. Cut the pears in half lengthwise and using a teaspoon remove and discard the core. Brush with a little of the orange juice.
Place the stilton in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until creamy. Stir in the cranberries, hazelnuts and orange rind with sufficient orange juice to moisten. Use to fill the pear hollows and place on the grill rack.
Blend the olive oil with the remaining orange juice and seasoning and toss the salad leaves in the mixture and arrange on 4 individual serving plates.
Grill the pears under the preheated grill on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese just begins to melt. Place on the salad leaves and serve.

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