Thursday, August 8, 2013

My favorite way to use up leftovers

I'm really not good at eating leftovers.  As a kid it was a way of life, but now as a parent, I'm not into it.  So I try to find clever ways to use up the food so it doesn't go to waste.  I'm getting pretty clever at coming up with new meals.  My family's favorite way to use leftovers is to make calzones. 

I have a bread maker, but I have to confess, its only been used once.  And that was because my husband finally opened it and got creative.  I keep promising myself that Im going to start making my own dough.  For those of you who use your bread maker, some homemade pizza dough is the perfect way to start this recipe.  For those who aren't crafty with the dough maker, the grocery stores sell balls of dough near the deli.  Wheat or white, sometimes even a gluten free.  They all will work.  Spread it out thin, using a flour on the counter.  Make it round, like a pizza, and you can either do one big one, if everyone agrees on the fillings, or everyone can have their own personal size.  Preheat the oven to 350*.

Now the fillings are completely up to you.  What do you have in the fridge?  Leftover veggies?  Meats?  A tiny bit of cream cheese, ricotta, garlic?  You can use almost anything.  I like to use a white base, but the rest of my family likes red.  So they use a pasta sauce.  Nothing fancy, whatevers in the fridge or pantry.  I like to spread ricotta or cream cheese on my dough.  Then I put garlic, garlic powder, garlic bread seasoning..... whichever one is in the pantry or fridge.  I love making mine cheesy so I add feta, parmesan, and mozzarella.  And I toss on some leftovers.  Usually mushrooms, chicken or steak, ground turkey, peppers and onions, I do a mish mash of whatever Im in the mood for. (the one above is some leftover jamaican chicken legs.)  My kids like leftover pineapple, pepperoni, kielbasa, and garlic. 

Then I fold it in half, seal the edges, and put it on a baking sheet in the oven for 15 min or so, until the calzone is turning golden brown and the cheese might be bubbling out of a side or two.  I slice it in strips, and give my kiddos a cup of pasta sauce to dip the calzone into.  Everyone usually cleans their plate on this leftover night! 

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