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This week was really busy at work and quite busy at night so that lead me down the road of lazy leftovers. For some people the word “leftover” leaves a bad taste in their mouth, but leftovers make me happy that we get to eat something delicious again! Not only are leftovers convenient, but they save time and money and with a wedding coming up we’ve been trying to save a little here and there.

Christmas is fast approaching, which means lots of great homecooking ahead so a few days of leftovers really doesn’t bother me, especially when it’s a nice hot bowl of this:

leftover turkey chili

This is actually leftover leftovers, ha! I made a white bean turkey chili out of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, portioned it out and threw it in the freezer for busy nights that call for quick cooking. Just take the chili container out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge for the day. Heat it up over the stove on low flame or blast it in the microwave and BAM! there’s dinner:

easy meal of chili, salad, and Nestle flavored water

The week continued on with more leftovers from the freezer, baked eggplant over pasta with some green beans thrown in there for a little extra crunch! This recipe was great and the eggplant freezes really well, again just thaw it in the fridge then microwave it for 2 minutes.

lazy leftover eggplant parm with pasta

Baked Eggplant with Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 peeled eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1.5 lbs)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
  • 2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat; add garlic through mushrooms. Cover and cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Increase heat to medium-high; uncover and cook for 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
  5. Spread half of mushroom mixture in bottom of a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant slices over mushroom mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over mozzarella; top with remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper; top with remaining tomato sauce. Cover and bake at 375° for 1 hour. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes.

pretty impressive for leftovers, huh??

The recipe is detailed but it’s really not difficult at all and if you serve it over pasta, there will certainly be leftover eggplant for round 2 of lazy leftover meals!

We headed out in Hoboken last night with some friends so we reverted to leftover pizza before we boozed steadily drank up. I pass Pizza Mia Pizzeria in East Rutherford all the time so decided to give it a try last week. Well the pizza was amazing and we froze the extra slices.  The pizza is a fusion of thin crust and thick crust so in my opinion, it is the perfect crust! We ordered the grilled chicken with roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Thaw it out in the fridge for the day then reheat it on 325 for 15 mins.

And of course, what night out isn’t complete without one of these before passing out bed:

My cooking adventures will pick up tomorrow, the week was busy so I was fine with leftovers but after a while this girl is ready to get back in the kitchen! I’ve got some good recipes coming up for the cold weather approaching so stay tuned!

What’s your take on leftovers? Like ’em or Leave ’em?

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