For the Love of Leftovers

Whether you are a lover (or a leaver) of leftovers, they are a part and parcel of the holiday season. I confess, I am often on the “leaving” side- my refrigerator has often been where unfinished food goes to expire. This year, however, I struck upon a new approach that has me reconsidering my position.

Post feast-days, I tend towards simple fare- quinoa, veggies, rinse and repeat. This can, as you may well know, get somewhat uninspiring. Enter the leftover lamb and sauce from Thanksgiving, however, and simple fare gets a lot more exciting. (I imagine this would work just as well with turkey, chicken, beef, et al.)

In 30 minutes or less, here is how to get a few more miles (and a tasty meal) out of your excess:

(Serves 2)

  • Add 2 cups quinoa and 4 cups water to a pot, bring to a boil
    •  if you have any leftover juices, use this instead of/as well as water for a richer result
  • Fill a pan with enough water to cover a bundle of asparagus (or broccoli, if you prefer), bring to a boil

While you wait:

  • Rinse and trim your asparagus- I go with the snapping method, myself
  • Slice or press 2 cloves of garlic, set aside
  • Slice 2 shallots, set aside
  • Prep your meat, make it bite sized (this may involve removing it from the bone, cutting it into small pieces, etc.)
  • In a small pan on low heat, add roughly 1 tbsp. olive oil
    •   if your meat is on the drier side, adjust oil to taste
  • When the quinoa pot boils, lower flame to medium, let simmer for 15 minutes

Next up:

  • Add shallots and garlic to the heated oil, let cook until shallots are soft, and then add meat.
  • Add asparagus to pan of boiling water, remove when the stalks have brightened up, a minute or less
  • Remove asparagus to strainer, rinse with cold water
  • Plate asparagus, serve with olive oil, lime juice, sea salt and pepper
  • Remove meat from heat, check quinoa- it should be just about done.
  • Serve quinoa with your dressed up leftovers alongside asparagus
  • Enjoy!

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