One of the best ways to save money in the kitchen is to eat your leftovers instead of letting them get fuzzy in the back of the fridge. My husband and I are usually good about eating leftovers, but sometimes we get bored before we finish them. Freezing leftovers is one option, but some things don’t freeze well and it’s too easy to leave food on ice too long and let it get freezer burn. The easiest way to use up leftovers is to make a simple egg bake.
The day after a cookout when we had lots of leftovers (I’m famous for making too much food for a party), I pulled everything out of the fridge to make an egg bake. Egg bakes are incredibly forgiving and adjustable, plus they reheat well, which makes them perfect for make-ahead weekday breakfasts. All that you need are eggs, your “fillings” and some spices, though I like to add a little milk to make the dish fluffier. There’s no need to measure anything — just throw in handfuls of whatever you have. You can use any type of meat (broken-up hamburger, sausages or hot dogs) or no meat at all.
Safety note: you should always refrigerate leftovers as quickly as possible. If there is any chance that they have been left out for too long and have spoiled or been contaminated, DO NOT use them.
Leftovers Egg Bake
(This recipe includes the leftovers that I had — substitute whatever you have on hand)
1/2 carton of egg whites (or use 3 or 4 more eggs)
1/4 cup milk, optional (dairy, almond, soy, etc)
2 chicken sausage links, sliced
large scoop of chipotle corn and black bean salsa
large handful of spinach, torn
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
8 spears of asparagus, cut
1 red pepper, chopped
few shakes of each spice: pepper, salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic (or your favorites)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13 baking dish. In a mixing bowl, beat your eggs and milk until well blended. Stir in your meat, veggies, and spices. Bake in oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until eggs are set and no longer runny. You can add a little shredded cheese to the top during the last five minutes of baking if you’d like.
If you want a thicker egg bake, use a 9-by-9 pan and add 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time.
Photos by Val McCauley. All rights reserved.
More tips for cheap and elegant summer barbecues and parties:
- How to throw a picnic for less
- How to save money on a summer party
- Best vegetarian burgers using cheap and tasty beans
- Free guides on how to barbecue safely
- Tasty recipes for cheap and abundant zucchini
- Cheap recipes for your summer barbecue