In a world where food waste is a growing concern, making the most of your leftover cooked food can make a significant difference. Not only can it save you money, but it also contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best practices for dealing with leftover cooked food, from storage tips to creative ways to transform leftovers into delicious meals.
- Proper Storage
The first step in maximising your leftover food is proper storage. Here are some key tips:
a. Airtight Containers: Invest in a set of airtight containers in various sizes. These containers help preserve the freshness of your leftovers and prevent them from absorbing odours from the fridge. - Lft Ovrs have quality airtight Stainless Steel containers available Lft Ovrs Premium Lunch Boxes.
b. Label and Date: Always label your containers with the date you stored the food. This will help you keep track of freshness and avoid confusion later on. Or better still - use the Lft Ovrs Mobile App and you will always know what you have in your fridge and freezer.
c. Use Transparent Containers: Clear containers allow you to see what's inside easily, reducing the chances of forgetting about leftovers hidden in the back of the fridge.
d. Temperature Control: Refrigerate leftovers promptly (within two hours of cooking) to prevent bacterial growth. Use your refrigerator's temperature settings to keep it at 40°F (4°C) or lower.
- Reheat Safely
When reheating leftovers, it's important to do so safely to avoid food-borne illnesses. Follow these guidelines:
a. Microwave: Reheating in the microwave is quick and convenient. Make sure to stir or rotate the food to ensure even heating. Be cautious with microwave-safe containers to prevent melting or warping.
b. Oven: Using the oven is ideal for maintaining the texture and taste of many dishes. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and cover leftovers with foil to prevent drying out. Lft Ovrs containers can be used in the oven so it will save some washing up!
c. Stovetop: Reheat soups, stews, and sautéed dishes on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring frequently. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent sticking or burning.
- Creative Leftover Transformations
Leftover food doesn't have to be boring. Get creative and transform yesterday's meal into something new and exciting:
a. Stir-Fry: Turn leftover veggies, proteins, and rice into a tasty stir-fry by adding a dash of soy sauce and your favourite seasonings.
b. Sandwiches and Wraps: Use leftover meats, roasted vegetables, and sauces to create delicious sandwiches, wraps, or panini's.
c. Soups and Stews: Combine various leftovers with broth and spices to make hearty soups and stews. This is a great way to use up leftover meats and vegetables.
d. Pizza Toppings: Leftover cooked chicken, veggies, and even pasta sauce can be great toppings for homemade pizza.
- Meal Planning and Batch Cooking
To minimise food waste in the first place, consider incorporating meal planning and batch cooking into your routine:
a. Plan Ahead: Create a weekly meal plan, taking into account what ingredients you already have. This can help you buy only what you need and reduce the chance of overbuying perishables.
b. Batch Cooking: Cook in larger quantities and freeze individual portions for future meals. This is especially handy for busy days when you don't have time to cook from scratch.
Reducing food waste is a shared responsibility, and making the most of your leftover cooked food is a simple yet impactful way to contribute to this goal. By following proper storage practices, reheating safely, and getting creative with your leftovers, you can enjoy delicious meals while helping the environment and your wallet. So, next time you have leftovers in the fridge, don't think of them as a chore – think of them as an opportunity for culinary creativity and sustainability.
Check out the Lft Ovrs App for more cool ways to reduce food waste and for an easier meal prep experience Lft Ovrs App.