Written with love, by Nikki Lian
Summer is the time to kick back, relax, catch some rays…and barbeque of course!! I’m incredibly lucky to be blessed with beautiful, southern California weather all year round and one of my favorite ways to cook is on my grill. I get to do it every day!
Growing up in Brooklyn, barbeques in the summer meant Italian sausage, steaks, pasta salad, chips and dip—and tons of other delicious foods with tons of calories, saturated fats and carbohydrates. Nowadays, barbequing for me means cooking vitamin and mineral-packed veggies along with grilled chicken, fish and lean steak packed with protein. But what happens when you’re cooking for two and you have tons of leftovers? One sliced eggplant grilled up with salt, pepper and garlic can last you a week!! And who wants to eat the same thing for a week?
Here are some ideas to use up your healthy, barbequed leftovers without getting bored and wasting your food:
Tofu Stir Fry
I’m not a huge tofu fan, but I made this for my vegetarian fiancé. I had grilled tofu the night before (as well as a chicken breast for me) and some asparagus, onions and sweet potatoes. All of the veggies already had flavor as well as the tofu. So what did I do? I chopped up them up and threw them in a pan!
Spray the pan first with some olive oil or cooking spray so the food doesn’t stick. Yes, all you’re doing is heating up leftovers using a different equation. By the way, tofu isn’t just for vegetarians. It is a low-calorie, cholesterol and gluten-free source of protein containing all the essential amino acids. However, if you’re not into tofu, use the leftover chicken.
*Insert Leftover Meat Here* Salad
So I’m a huge red-meat fan, but I try to keep to once a week, so this may go better for chicken or even fish. If you have some leftover protein from the day before, add it to a salad!
I already had the cucumbers, mixed greens and fruit (I like to add a pear or nectarine to give it a fresh summer-salad taste) as a side dish from the day before. What I did was add corn from one of the three corn-on-the-cobs left over by cutting the corn off the cob into chunks. If you luck out, the corn will add some sweet flavor to your salad. But more importantly, corn prevents heart ailments, lowers hypertension and is known to help control diabetes. So it’s not just a side dish!
If you’re trying to lay off the refined carbohydrates, this one is a bit of a splurge. But by piling your whole wheat or gluten free crust with your leftover grilled vegetables, you may only need ¼ of your grilled-veggie pizza to fill you up.
What I did was I took a serving of whole wheat pizza dough (I got it at Fresh N Easy, I’ve seen it in Trader Joe’s but you can probably get it in almost any grocery store) and spread it out in a 9 inch round pan. I baked the dough for 12 minutes at 425 degrees. Then I added pizza sauce to the partially-cooked dough, and started piling on the leftover grilled vegetables that had been previously sliced and marinated in garlic, salt and pepper. My three veggies this time were eggplant, zucchini and asparagus. It’s up to you whether you want to add cheese or not, but I really think it doesn’t need it. Continue to bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool off a bit, and enjoy!!
I hope you enjoy these simple, yet tasty recipes for my barbeque leftovers, and hopefully I have sparked some ideas of what you can do with yours. Bon appetit!!