When it comes to leftovers, there are exactly three kinds of people in this world: 1. those who simply reheat day-old food exactly as it is, 2. those who allow it to sit in Tupperware containers in the back of the fridge for the next four months, and 3. those who use their surplus as an opportunity for creativity. We’re here to encourage the latter — especially throughout fall and winter, when we typically over-prepare for many a large, jovial meal.
But as much as we want to consume everything before it goes bad (to clear up prime fridge real estate and to minimize food waste), no one really wants to eat the same meal thrice daily for weeks on end, no matter how good it is. So, in the interest of salvaging both your appetite and your food surplus, we partnered with Silk to cull together an expert-led guide to repurposing your seasonal leftovers for maximum versatility (and minimal waste). Give the below a read –– then start cracking open those Tupperware containers.
The thought of digging into rich leftovers the morning after a big feast might make your stomach turn. Instead of taking the dinner-for-breakfast route, consider repurposing your day-old food into a luxe weekend brunch. Lauren Toyota, author of the vegan website Hot for Food, loves levelling up her leftovers with vegan waffles. “I do a savoury waffle using Silk almond beverage and leftover mashed potatoes, or whatever starch is available, and top it with cooked whole roasted cauliflower and a dressing or gravy with a from the fridge,” she says.
Pair your waffle with a vegan Bloody Mary if you’re in need of a hair of the dog, or a homemade pumpkin spice latte with Silk almond beverage if you’re in the market for a caffeine boost (we recommend topping your bev with cinnamon, nutmeg, and, you guessed it, pumpkin spice).
Healthy autumnal bowl
Katie Ruddell of vegan dining hotspot Kokomo suggests repurposing your leftovers in the form of a hearty, seasonal bowl –– not unlike Kokomo’s ever-popular macro bowl. Start with lettuce of your choosing as a base, then add small scoops of leftover dishes in layers: roasted yams, green beans, carrots, corn, you name it. “It’s the perfect day-after meal because it feels colourful and balanced, but still rich and tasty,” she says.
After all of this season's plentiful desserts, perhaps when it comes to pie, you’d prefer to pivot to something savoury?
A pot pie is an easy way to use up some leftover protein in a new and inventive way. Chop up carrots and green beans, add a creamy roux (try using Silk unsweetened almond beverage and flour), toss in your leftover meat, fill a premade pie crust, and cover the top with additional crust. Pop the pie into the oven until golden brown and bubbling (about 20 minutes) for a delicious lunch or dinner. Or better yet, Devon Latte, head chef at Vancouver’s The Acorn Restaurant, suggests utilizing all your leftover mashed potatoes (because of course there are mashed potatoes) as a shepherd’s pie of sorts. Once your potato confection is baked and ready to go, top it off with some reheated gravy and add a side salad made from thinly sliced Brussels sprouts tossed in a light vinaigrette.
Birds aren’t the only dish that can be stuffed. Vegetables make equally viable vessels –– and repurposing some of your leftovers as stuffing for larger vegetables can make for delicious new dishes while also ensuring that you do, in fact, make it through all that surplus food. Samantha Kingsbury, owner and operator of Vancouver’s Kind Café + Eatery, is a fan of stuffed peppers filled with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables of any variety –– most of which you’ll certainly have lying around in the aftermath of a fakk feast. For added value (flavour), top the peppers with grated vegan cheddar before cooking them in the oven –– and don’t forget to throw in some hot sauce.
The ultimate leftover sandwich
Sometimes, there’s no better vehicle for, well, anything at all, than a sandwich. Whether you have a cooked protein, leftover grains, or some nicely roasted vegetables on hand, be sure to layer mustard, and fresh crisp arugula, frisée, or alfalfa sprouts for texture, and serve your sandwich hot or cold. Sure, it might not be the most inventive, but often, nothing hits the spot quite like a good, hearty sandwich.