Argh. It's been too long since my last post, but like many of you, I've been busy! As a wife and mom who also works full time, life is a constant battle for balance. It can be so tempting to rely on convenience and ease, pulling  out frozen prepared meals or dinner in a box to make life a little simpler. Although it appears that 'convenience foods' save us time, I've learned that this isn't always the case. 

For all the time it takes to reheat and microwave an assembly of packets, you can assemble something great with leftovers. Some of the best dishes ever created were devised as ways to use up wholesome ingredients that are a shame to waste. Wasted food makes me cry, and the fact that 27% of food in North American households ends up in the trash sends me bawling. Not only do we eat too much crap food, we throw an awful lot away. 

I believe it's time we celebrated leftovers! Cooking a roast chicken is great, but making chicken enchiladas the next day is even better. Pork roast? Yes, it's good, but what I really want is the pulled pork sandwich for lunch. Some of my fondest memories of our family's traditional corned beef and cabbage dinners was not the big production, but the corned beef hash Mom would make the next day. Oh so good!

As busy as I was this week, I did manage to create a comforting favourite after a hectic workday, that took me 20 minutes to finish. On the weekend, we popped into the new location of the farmer's market here in Halifax (which is also one of the oldest in North America, established in 1750) to take advantage of the gorgeous local bounty. We got our hands on some phenomenal grass fed beef, dutch gouda cheese, handmade herbed foccacia bread, and an array of local organic vegetables. After a lazy Sunday dinner, I had a beautiful piece of  leftover steak, which allowed me to make this: 

This is what I'm calling a 'Hot Steak Sandwich'. It reminds me of one of my favourite comfort foods - the hot hamburger sandwich. Like in the picture, a hot (meat of your choice) sandwich is made by using leftover meat, piling it over toasted bread, and smothering it in gravy. It's usually served with leftover vegetables, most often mashed potatoes. For Monday's dinner, I toasted the leftover focaccia in the oven with some shredded cheese. (If any of the gouda had been left over, it may have made its way on the sandwich.) 

I sliced the steak and tossed it in a pan with chopped onion. From the beef juices leftover from Sunday's feast, I made a gravy.

Finally, I used some peas to add to the mix, and heated this through. Once the bread was toasted, the beef mix just needed to be spooned over top. That's it...in 20 minutes flat. So quick, and so freakin' tasty - why torture the family with 'microwave roast in a bag'?

My favourite aspect of using leftovers is the all the creativity you can roll in. There's no pressure to be authentic, no standard of excellence to compare yourself to. It's a challenge to be efficient and resourceful. What are your favourite leftovers? Tell us what ingredients make you long for the next day. 


  1. Wow Carrie!! That truthfully looks so good - almost like a topless pie :D I hate seeing good food going into the garbage bin - I tell you, it turns my stomach in knots when I think about how so many can't even get a clean crust of bread or water fit for drinking :(

    Anyway my favourite leftovers are roast beef/chicken for quick turnovers and sandwiches smothered in melted cheese and mustard, or pasta which I gleefully turn into soup the next day LOL

  2. Great way to use leftovers, and quick to boot :)
    My younger son is a master at this type of leftover use...comes up with some wild stuff sometimes, lol


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