Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Make the Most of Leftovers...Pizza!

#1 Pizza is serious business.
#2 Yet not so serious at all.

If your family loves pizza (like eat it every other day and be completely happy LOVES) then you may enjoy these ideas for stretching your leftovers from an acceptable meal one day into a family pleasing pizza the next. (We sure did!)

Day 1: Have grilled chicken and rice.  Be sure and grill enough chicken so that you'll have some leftover.

I started with 2 eggs and 2 cups of cooked rice.  I scrambled the eggs then added the rice to the pan.  Then I poured a little soy sauce over it.  I also steamed up a bag of corn and added about a 1/2 cup to the mix.  I sprinkled on some Mrs. Dash Table Blend just for kicks.  I turned it to low and let it simmer, stirring every now and then.  While that was working I grilled up some chicken in my Pampered Chef Grill Pan...probably one of the most used items in my kitchen.  I seasoned it with McCormick's Perfect Pinch Original Chicken, but you can get more creative if you'd like.
Everyone ate it, which is a big deal in our house of little picky eaters.  Husband loved it.  The rice was completely gone, but we had a little extra chicken, soooo...

Day 2:  Make a pizza.  Click here for a simple recipe for a good pizza crust. (I substitute one cup of whole wheat for a cup of the all purpose just to make me feel healthier. :)  If you do this you may need to add an extra tablespoon or so of water.)

I made my crust, opened a jar of my go-to pasta sauce (Classico Traditional Sweet Basil), and spread some on top.  I topped half the pizza with the leftover chicken (shredded, of course) and some fresh basil from my yard (YUM!) and covered the whole thing with mozzarella.  Now I would have preferred to make the whole pizza that way, but I gave in to the pleads for plain cheese.  HOWEVER, this was so good even the kids ended up wanting the chicken side.  Leftovers...gone!

Day 3:  Taco night.  Make your tacos however you like just make sure you've got enough meat to stretch to Day 4 and maybe some toppings too.

I just make up my own taco seasoning.  I throw the ground beef/turkey in the pan, sprinkle on a wee bit of Mexican chili powder, add about equal amounts of cumin, cilantro, garlic, pepper, onion powder, and a bit of cinnamon, then pour on some Worcestershire for a little moisture.  Sorry I don't have measurements - I just eyeball it, but if I had to guess I'd say I use an 1/8 tsp of the chili powder and cinnamon, and about a 1/4 teaspoon of everything else, except the Worcestershire which I'd estimate at 3 tablespoons.  (This is a modest estimation...I may use more of everything.  Here's a similar recipe if you need one.)  I served this up with some diced tomatoes, cheese, the rest of the corn from Day 1, some baked beans (NOT my bean of choice for tacos, but it's all I had), and some Monterrey Jack cheese dip.  We had Mission Artisan Style Tortilla Shells for the first time...they were yummo!

Day 4:  Make another pizza.

I made the crust, used the same sauce (though a taco sauce would probably be good too), and topped half the pie with the leftover taco meat and some of the diced tomatoes, and drizzled it with the Monterrey Jack cheese dip.  Then I topped the whole thing with mozzarella again, but I bet a Mexican cheese blend would've been better.  Either way, it was another home run.

Moral of the story...you can have pizza twice a week and get rid of leftovers at the same time!

Pizza twice in a week is a happy time for my family.  Maybe it would be for yours too!

(Of course after a week of eating pizza you'll want to make sure you're "getting the most from your at-home workout" and probably revert to your "sandwich diet" next week. :) )

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