Double Duty Meals

thanksgiving-leftoversOne way to stretch your grocery dollar is to have meals that do double duty- either for an additional meal the following day or two- or that are useful to be recreated into pack-and-go lunches for the next day.

There are a few things to consider when undertaking this kind of meal, such as does the meal reheat well, or can it be eaten cold? A few meals simply lose their gusto or texture when put in the microwave, and the meal magic of the previous evening is lost.

Also, moisture can be lost in reheating, so adding a teaspoon of water, or a couple of teaspoons of butter can help restore some of the texture.


Good, old-fashioned homemade lasagna is a delicious, nutritious, inexpensive treat. It re-heats well, to boot!

Making a lasagna from scratch is easier than you think (and healthier too!). Boil lasagna noodles (texture is trickier with oven-ready ones, especially if you intend to reheat later).

Meanwhile, brown about a pound of ground beef, mixed in with chopped onions (putting some other veggies in here is a sneaky way of increasing your family’s veggie intake). Drain meat and add a chopped tomato and a jar of tomato sauce.

In a bowl, mix together a tub of cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, a beaten egg and fresh parsley. Layer noodles, meat sauce and cottage cheese mixture. Top with grated mozza. Bake for about 30-40 mins, or until bubbling. Portion leftovers to bring for lunch the next day.

Crockpot Hero

Cook a whole roast or whole chicken in your crockpot for the day, and then shred leftovers for wraps the following day for lunch.

Jazz up these wraps with an assortment of chopped veggies, shredded cheese and sauces like a smear of sour cream infused with a few drops of lime juice and chopped cilantro.  Line your tortillas with mayo mixed with a little dill, or a little bit of Italian or Cajun seasoning for a different flavour.

From Oven to Lettuce Leaf

Mix together fresh breadcrumbs with a little bit of olive oil and mayo until moistened. Dip pork chops or boneless chicken pieces in a beaten egg.  Roll in crumb mixture, patting so mixture is well attached to meat. Bake for 40-50 mins, until is cooked through.

Thinly slice leftovers and use them for lettuce leaf wraps the next day- a retake on the traditional salad.

Using large lettuce leaves (bibb, boston lettuce, large romaine) as the container, place leftover meat, along with bean sprouts, green onions, chopped peanuts and red chili sauce, roll and enjoy.

To make lettuce wraps with a Southwestern flair, mix together jalapeno peppers, black beans and corn, mixed with a little oil, cilantro and balsamic vinegar with the leftover meat. Roll em up in those lettuce leaves and have a hearty, healthy, economical lunch.

Steak to Sandwich

Grease up your grill (or use your broiler if it is too cold outside) and enjoy a steak seasoned with salt and crushed peppercorns (use the heel of a chef’s knife to crush whole peppercorns and then mash into steak).  Slice fresh mushrooms, peppers and onions and sauté in butter, salt and pepper until softened and slightly caramelized.

Thinly slice leftover meat and use to make Philly-style steak sandwiches the next day. Spilt buns and spread with garlic mayo (chop a couple of cloves of garlic finely and mix into mayo). Add steak and veggie mixture and top with Swiss cheese. Either enjoy cold, or zap in the microwave for about 20 seconds (long enough to melt the cheese).