How to Turn Lackluster Leftovers into Mouthwatering Meals

love your leftoversIn Love Your Leftovers, author Nick Evans shows how to turn classic main dishes into more than 100 tasty recipes through savvy meal planning. How does he do it? By creating one foundation dish and then using it to make other delicious dishes throughout the week, saving you both time and money…and giving you what you need to eat well every night of the week! Tempted? Read on!

LL Steak_Grilled_CheeseChopped Steak Grilled Cheese
There is nothing particularly fancy about this dish, but it’s a perfect use for leftover flank steak. The key is to make sure you use sturdy bread and also chop up the steak into bite-size pieces. Dicing the steak makes it easy to take a bite of the sandwich without pulling out a huge strip of steak. For 15 minutes of work, I’m not sure if it gets any better than this.

Servings: 2 | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

6 ounces flank steak
1⁄4 red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices thick, sturdy bread
3–4 ounces (1 cup) grated Pepper Jack cheese

Optional Add-ins: Mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, minced fresh oregano, fresh thyme, sautéed mushrooms, hot sauce


  1. Slice flank steak thinly and then chop it into bite-size pieces. This makes it easier to chew in sandwich form. Slice red onion as thin as possible.
  2. Generously butter one side each of your four pieces of bread.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. To make each sandwich, place one piece of bread, butter side down, on the skillet. Quickly add a thin layer of cheese, chopped steak, more grated cheese, onions, and any other add-ins you wish. Top the sandwich with another piece of bread, butter side up.
  4. Cook the sandwich on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. If the bread is browning too quickly, turn down the heat and flip it regularly.
  5. The sandwich is done when the bread is nicely browned and the cheese is completely melted.

Note on cooking grilled cheeses: There are a huge number of sandwich presses on the market that you should feel free to use to make your grilled cheese. Personally, I still prefer a hot skillet and buttered bread because it doesn’t compress the sandwich. I also find that it’s easier to control temperature in a skillet.


LL Sweet_Potato_HashSweet Potato Hash
Some type of breakfast hash is a regular rotation for me in my meal planning, and that’s because you can make almost anything with potatoes (or sweet potatoes), put an egg on top of it, and it’ll be great. This version is one of my favorites. The tiny amount of brown sugar completely makes the dish because it caramelizes on the potatoes as they cook.

Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

2 large sweet potatoes
8 ounces (2 cups) sliced flank steak
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Also: Toast, eggs (1–2 per serving), hot sauce


  1. Peel the sweet potatoes and dice them into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Chop up the flank steak into small pieces.
  2. Add olive oil to a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sweet potatoes. Let sweet potatoes cook until they are crispy on one side, 5 minutes or so, then stir and continue to cook until the other side is crispy.
  3. After the potatoes cook for 10 minutes, add in the onions, garlic, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook. After 15 minutes of cooking, the potatoes should be getting nicely browned, and the onions and garlic should be soft and browning slightly.
  4. Stir in flank steak and continue to cook.
  5. During the last minute of cooking, stir in brown sugar. The sugar should caramelize nicely on the potatoes.
  6. Serve hash with toast, fried eggs, and/or hot sauce.

love your leftoversRecipes used with permission from Love Your Leftovers: Through Savvy Meal Planning Turn Classic Main Dishes into More than 100 Delicious Recipes, by Nick Evans © Lyons Press 2014.

2 thoughts on “How to Turn Lackluster Leftovers into Mouthwatering Meals

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Must-Have Kitchen Tools | Lyons Press

  2. Pingback: Love Your Leftovers | Lyons Press

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s