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Dinners Lately: Repeating and Using Leftovers

Last week I brought you some creative breakfasts I’d been trying. This week I’m taking you into the dinners category.

Not going to lie…I’ve been eating kind of weird lately. But also kind of…good? My lack of desire/time to cook has been at an all time low. This complete desire to spend as little time as possible actually cooking, but still wanting delicious food in my belly – however – has also lead to some pretty good concoctions. 

A lot of repeats and a lot of leftovers used in different ways. 

dinners leftovers

I’ve been enjoying making bases of either brown rice, soba noodles, or quinoa

And mixing in

Pistachios, cashews and adzuki beans.

I’ll make a container of one of these mixtures at the beginning of the week, and then use it as a base to add whatever other leftovers I have to make use of. 

Here we have:

dinners leftovers

Soba noodles and cashews mixed with sautéed cabbage and grilled spinach, red pepper, green onion and breaded tofu cubes topped with extra cashews and dressed in a creamy nutritional yeast/maple syrup/ginger sauce. 

I’m really loving the crunch that nuts add to savory dishes. And beans add a really nice texture when mixed with rice. Not to mention the combination of proteins you need for a vegetarian diet. 

Then all you need is some of your favorite vegetables cooked up and a delicious sauce. Alllllways the sauce. I’ve been making this delicious sweet and savory combo of nutritional yeast/maple syrup/tamari/olive oil/garlic/ginger. I make it super creamy and love how that mixes in with the rice and noodles. 

Another example of a similar, yet different meal:

dinners leftovers

Soba noodles, steamed broccoli/kale/bok choy, grilled sweet potato and tempeh steaks all dressed in my favorite miso gravy.

dinners leftovers

The miso gravy is soooo good on steamed veggies or anything a bit heartier. 

And something a little less picturesque (end of the week I think this was…)

dinners leftovers

The brown rice/adzuki bean/nut mix topped with steamed broccoli and cabbage, beet sauerkraut, grilled sweet potato, and tempeh

When I havn’t been devouring all things rice/noodles/protein/sauce, I’ve been going through a batch of salmon patties I made and have been keeping in my freezer. Just a basic recipe of canned salmon/bread crumbs/egg/parsley/lots of herbs and spices.

dinners leftovers

I’ve been serving them up in the sweet potato buns I found at the farmers market with varying, fun sauces…

Like chipotle mayonnaise! My new favorite thing! (and I don’t even like spicy…) 

Plus some tomato and cabbage slaw

dinners leftovers

Or tzatziki (leftover from a restaurant doggy bag)

With tomato and spinach and a side of coleslaw I throw together using bagged cabbage, greek yogurt, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, s+p and a touch of stevia. 

dinners leftovers

I also finally got around to playing with the idea of “cauliflower wings,” which I’ve been hankering to try for months. I made these BBQ nuggets which were coated in a rice flour batter and baked up to perfectly pop-able perfection. You can’t not eat the whole batch. Seriously. I tried.

…Not very hard though. 

Served with a side of baked sweet potato and salmon patties. Oh my god too much orange!! Glegh!

I think something is wrong with my camera. Or just my photo taking skills have just been draining, because I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting semi-okay looking pics lately. Blegh. Sorry. Hopefully you can still get a sense of the creativity around dinners I’ve been enjoying. I’ve been feeling good getting in some more ample nutrition and whole foods through concoction meals like these. It’s hard to over analyze what you are eating when everything is just mixed together in a delicious mess.

The funny thing is I haven’t spent more than 5 minutes – minus the making of the cauliflower wings – on dinner even once over the past couple of weeks. It’s simply been a matter of a little food prep, having sauces and bases like my rice/nut/bean blend on hand (which lasts a good long while), and then having the bravery to throw a bunch of things together and hope it works. If I can do it, you can do it. 

Unless you are one of those people who don’t like their food touching. Then I apologize profusely.

Linking up with Laura today for What I Ate Wednesday. 

Dinners Lately. Random Leftovers and being creative. #bowls #noodles #leftovers #healthyeats Click To Tweet

Tell me,

Favorite things to throw together in one bowl?

Do you prefer rice or noodles? 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Emily Swanson | 24th May 17

    Hmmm… It totally depends on my mood. If it’s more of an Oriental themed dish, I think I prefer rice, but if it’s more Italian I like noodles. And if this is what random looks like, I LOVE it. Actually random can be some of the best bowls, because you get so creative with what you have. I love how varied and colorful each bowl is and how you don’t shy away from trying any sort of combination. 🙂

    My favorite bowl combo would be yogurt, nut butter, granola, fruit, and more nuts and maybe some chocolate. 🙂 I’ve got a huge sweet tooth, but I think you already knew that. 😀
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Why I Hope To Never Weigh Myself Again (Podcast)My Profile

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 24th May 17

    I WANT ALL THE THINGS> but as for rice or noodles… neither unless we are talking cauliflower rice and zoodles. I will take a billion of those sweet potato buns, though.
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Test Your Knowledge with this Running IQ Quiz (Coaches Corner)My Profile

    • Cora | 30th May 17

      No NOODLES?!? Girl.

  3. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 24th May 17

    Beet sauerkraut? I need some of that. And I love this tahini/maple syrup dressing you’ve concocted – sounds like all of my dreams come true!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Summer Strawberry Mint Fizz CocktailMy Profile

    • Cora | 30th May 17

      I think you’d be one of the few people I’d feel comfortable serving one of my mish mash dinner bowls to. Yes beet Sauerkraut!! Pretty much heaven right?!

  4. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 24th May 17

    I’ve definitely been enjoying not cooking for a while! It’s like I enjoy cooking most when it’s an excuse to escape my busy grad school life. It’s funny, though: I’ve been totally the opposite in terms of “weird” food. I’ve been like meat and potatoes all the way for a while. Weird for someone who used to be mostly vegetarian.
    Those cauliflower wings, though. I might have to go “weird” for those.
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar recently posted…6 Weeks in Review + ChangesMy Profile

    • Cora | 30th May 17

      I go to that phase as well. I just call it less “weird” and more “normal.” Them basics and sometimes all we need is basic and comfort.

  5. Ellie Pell | 24th May 17

    I always eat out of a bowl. Even if it shouldn’t be in a bowl… 😉 I prefer rice when I’m at home, but give me lo mein noodles any day over rice at Asian restaurants!
    Ellie Pell recently posted…The Mental State of Rest and How to Enjoy ItMy Profile

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      I hate plates.
      How are we supposed to scoop anything up?

  6. Kate | 24th May 17

    Yum those cauliflower buffalo wings!! Mine have never looked that good. I gotta add that to the list for next week.
    Kate recently posted…Food ABCsMy Profile

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      They were really fun to make and I think they turned out even better than I had expected

  7. Danielle | 24th May 17

    Oh geez all those dinners look and sound great to me. I love concoctions, I love messes, and I love sauce. The miso Grady is seriously speaking to me! I’ve actually never made anything using miso despite loving to eat miso things in Asian eateries. I will have to try one of your meals. I think my family could be happy with any of them.
    Tomorrow I’m eating leftover homemade Indian curries over very bland frozen pizza. I’m craving Indian and pizza crust. So whala!

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      Indian pizza. That sounds incredible. Some chickpeas and curry and a creamy sauce on bread? Sign me up please!
      Just load on the sauucceeeeeee. Always.

  8. chasetheredgrape | 24th May 17

    Random bowls are where it is at! I love your orange bowl, I want that one!
    My lunches are mostly random bowls of greens, roasted veggies, meat and some sauce. Simple but always so good!

  9. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 25th May 17

    I like to throw a bunch of veggies in a bowl with beans because protein. Also, I love adding nuts or seeds to my salads. The little bit of crunch is the best.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Currently: May 2017My Profile

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      Agree. Beans and nuts all the way.

  10. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table | 25th May 17

    I love random dinners! We’ve been doing a lot of that lately since I can’t stand long enough to cook much of anything. It’s kind of fun to get to just throw whatever you’re craving on a plate!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Healthy Vanilla Matcha Latte with Almond MilkMy Profile

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      Its exactly what I go to when I’m feeling down/lazy/completely unwilling to think. And it always ends up delicious anyways!

  11. Kaylee | 25th May 17

    Okay seriously loving ALL of these. Your dinner game is on fire!!! Again, you and I share the habit of repurposing leftovers into the most random but easy meals ever.
    I have also really got to try this miso gravy recipe. Just looked and I have all the ingredients sitting in my kitchen right at this very moment so that’s definitely going to happen real soon.
    Kaylee recently posted…Week in Review: Restless & More StressMy Profile

    • Cora | 28th May 17

      Oh if you have the ingredients then go make it!! That being said the taste may not be for everyone so I won’t be hurt if you don’t like it. But if you DO… it is a life changer.

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