Healthy Leftover Ideas and Tips

Posted 01/13/2014 | By HealthCorps

Have leftover vegetable soup?  Add some cooked shrimp or beans (if the beans are from a can, rinse well first) to re-purpose the soup and boost the protein levels.

Have leftover spaghetti sauce?  Use it on a whole grain thin pizza crust, and add loads of vegetables and some cooked chicken or edamame beans, to make a healthy pizza entrée.

Have some leftover mac n cheese?  Add flaked, chunk-light tuna or salmon and mix with Greek yogurt to create a whole new dish that is healthier and higher in healthy proteins!  Adding protein also “dilutes” the amount of macaroni (carbohydrate) that each serving has.

Have leftover cooked or sautéed vegetables?  Puree half and add additional low sodium vegetable broth to the puree for a yummy and filling soup.  Then add the rest of the cooked vegetables to a cooked protein like grilled chicken for a “quick meal in a bowl.”  Top with a dollop of fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Have left over grilled chicken, fish, or a grain side dish?  Use a serving size (about 2-4 ounces) in a wrap (small 100 calorie whole grain wraps are “best buys), and then pile on the vegetables, for a healthy lunch or dinner.  You can add sautéed fresh garlic cloves or spread some hummus to bump up the flavor.

And here’s a quick tip:

One day a week, try having a breakfast-style meal for dinner.  You will lighten your calorie load for the day, and probably find that this lower calorie dinner lets you digest your last meal easily, so you sleep better.

You can make an omelet with vegetables, create a yogurt parfait with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, high fiber cereal and nuts, or have a scoop of cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon over a plate of cut up fresh fruit.  Lighter meals in the evening are expected to be a new trend in 2014.

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