Archive for the ‘Cooking with Leftovers’ Category

Leftover Hambone Soup

June 22, 2010

We are not huge Ham eaters but every year at Christmas our Jewish Financial Advisor sends us one. I tell you he’s Jewish because I think it’s ironic and hilarious that he sends a ham instead of a turkey considering most Jews don’t eat pork. Anyway… He sends us a Harry and David Ham and it is the most delicious ham EVER. I’m pretty sure the fact that it’s free adds the best spice ūüėČ ¬†I cook it on Christmas Eve and we eat what we want of it on that day. The rest of it I freeze in various portions (cubed ham,bone,soup ham etc..) and since we eat so little ham it does us through the summer.
The whole point to this was that this year with the leftover Ham Bone I made this soup and it was REALLY good. Also a big plus that it made alot and was cheap….

After the Holidays Ham Bone Soup
1 ham bone with some meat
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
1 (14 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables (I used the veggies from dinners I’d frozen in my veggie container in the freezer), thawed
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup chopped cooked ham, or amount leftover
1 (10 ounce) can tomato sauce
Place the ham bone into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the onion and tomatoes, then stir in the frozen mixed vegetables and potatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the macaroni, rice, and chopped ham. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Any ham on the bone should come off easily. Remove the meat and discard bone. Stir in the tomato sauce and let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving  Calories: 195 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 6mg


Little Frugalista


Chicken Tortilla Soup

June 9, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup:

1lb chicken, cooked and chopped (I use leftover Chicken I’ve frozen from other dinners)
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can 10.5 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 can 4.5 oz chopped green chile peppers
1 can 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed (I cook my own on the stove and freeze them in 1 cup portions in baggies)
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped * I didn’t have this and it turned out fine*

In large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Optional toppings include baked tortilla chips, low-fat sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

Nutritional Info per serving (w/o toppings): 278 calories, 4.9 g fat, .5g saturated fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 466 mg sodium.

This is a healthy protein packed meal that is sure to fill you up and is great the next day for lunch.


Little Frugalista

Meal Plan for Week of May 31

June 1, 2010

Monday (Memorial Day)- Cookout at my house ūüôā My part is Grilled Steaks, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Zucchini,Pepper and Onions,¬†and Hummus with Whole Oat Bread

Tuesday-Cut Up Leftover Steak and Chicken turned into Fajitas,Leftover Green Beans, Leftover Zucchini,Pepper and Onions (Leftover Hummus¬†went into a Wrap today fro¬†Mr. Frugalista’s Lunch)

Wednesday-Crockpot Split Chicken Breast,Steamed Broccoli and Rolls (leftover Chicken will be frozen for Chicken Pot Pie later)

Thursday-Pinto Beans and Hushpupppies (leftover Beans will be made into Refried Beans¬†because Little Dude has been asking for “Smooshed Beans”)

Friday-Turkey Burgers on the Grill with Corn on the Cob

Saturday-Grilled Chicken, Zucchini,Green Beans

Sunday-Baked Potato Bar (Chili,Cheese,Sour Cream,Butter etc…)


Little Frugalista

Homemade Overnight Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

May 23, 2010

I said in my meal plan for this week that I would share this new recipe if it was any good. Let me tell you it is FANTASTIC!

I prepared this in on Saturday night for us to eat Sunday after church so I used a Crockpot. I am told you can put all of these things in a pot on the stove and cook it quick if you like.

Homemade Overnight Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

1 can  Cream of Chicken Soup

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 can Chicken Broth

2 Carrots Diced

2 Celery Stalks Diced

1/2 of a Medium Onion Diced

Whole Wheat No Yolks Noodles

2 soup cans worth of water

Leftover Chicken (had it leftover from when we had Split Chicken Breast for Dinner)

1 TBSP Garlic Salt

-Place all ingredients except the noodles in the Crock of your Crockpot and turn Heat on High.

-Cook overnight.

-In the Morning Boil the amount of noodles you want to add and throw them in the Crock before you leave for church or about 4 hours before you intend to eat and reduce heat to Warm or Low

And that’s it ūüôā Super simple right? VERY tasty though!


Little Frugalista

Shredded Wheat Recipes

May 18, 2010

Quiltie¬†bought 3 boxes of Kashi¬†brand Shredded Wheat to discover that it really didn’t have much taste. So via Quiltie¬†I inherited 3 boxes of Kashi¬†Brand Shredded Wheat ūüėĬ†


Being one not to let things go to waste I went in search of recipes to use the contents of the box in¬† different ways. The following recipes are what I came up with. I will keep you posted on what happens as I try them….


1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. crushed shredded wheat
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. blueberries
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cereal. Add egg, milk, and oil. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in blueberries and lemon juice. Fill greased 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch muffin pans about 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees until done and browned, 18-20 minutes. Yields 12 muffins.



2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. pancake mix
3 c. crushed biscuits
Combine eggs and milk. Beat in pancake mix. Stir in shredded wheat. Let stand 10 minutes. Cook on griddle until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.



Homemade Pancake Mix (to use with the Recipe Above/Prepare just to the¬†“To Make Pancakes or Waffles”¬†)¬†


10 c. all-purpose flour (3 lbs.)
2 1/2 c. instant nonfat dry milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. baking power
2 tbsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together to blend well. Put in a large airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 to 8 months. Makes about 13 cups of pancake mix. This mix works for both waffles and pancakes.
2 c. homemade pancake mix
1 c. water
1 egg
2 tbsp. oil (waffles – 3 tbsp.)
Beat smooth with a wire whisk or fork. This makes eight (4 inch) pancakes or four large waffles.
To make pecan waffles, sprinkle chopped pecans on the batter just before closing the waffle iron. For strawberry waffles, top hot waffle with fresh or thawed frozen strawberries and whipped cream.  



Little Frugalista

Save Money Making Your Own Dumplings

April 21, 2010


Don’t waste money making¬†Dumplings from Mixes like Bisquick when they are so darned easy to make from scratch.

I make a type of Chicken Gravy by picking meat off the bone  and boiling the leftover Rotisserie Chicken we have for dinner the night before (on my meal plan for the week), pull the chicken out of the pot when the water hits a boil, add a can of cream of chicken and thicken with Cornstarch and Milk. Season to taste (for us that means, salt, pepper, garlic and powdered onion).

Once it all comes to a boil again I put the dumpling mixture (below) in the pot by tablespoon full and cook for about 15 minutes until the Dumplings are nice and fluffy. I serve the cooked Dumplings and Gravy over the chicken I removed from the pot and sat aside.

These Dumplings are a nice addition as well to soups ūüôā


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mix together and drop by TBSP into boiling broth, gravy or soup pot.

    *NOTE-My family are such dumpling fans I usually make a double batch to add to the pot*

    What to do with those leftover Mashed Potatoes

    April 5, 2010

    Got Leftover Mashed Potatoes?¬†We certainly¬†do. This actually comes with a funny story… The night before Easter I went to put Little Miss to bed. She wasn’t feeling well because she had a reaction to some sunscreen I had put on her. I told Mr. Frugalista¬†that I was going to go lay with her and asked him if he would please peel just enough potatoes to put in the fridge covered in water and salt (to keep them from browning), so that I could boil them after church to make Mashed Potatoes to take to my mother’s house for dinner. Well somehow the “just enough” got lost in translation and I came downstairs to find 20 pounds of potatoes peeled¬†and chopped. When I asked him why in the world he’s peeled so many he replied that it did seem like a lot and that his arm hurt from chopping. lol! Needless to say we have tons of mashed potatoes. So I thought this would be an excellent time to post on what to do with those leftover Mashed Potatoes.

    First off they will keep in your fridge for a few days so the easiest thing to do is to serve them as a side with another meal. However if your family is tired of them already you can…..

    Freeze in Family Meal Size portion: When you want to serve them, defrost in the microwave and then place on the stove top with a little milk. Remember the smaller the portion the easier it is to thaw. So 2 small-sized portions  are easier to heat up from the freezer then 1 large portion.

    Make Potato Cakes:


    • 2 cups cold leftover¬†mashed potatoes
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil


    1. Combine the first four ingredients; mix well. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add potato mixture; press with a spatula to flatten evenly. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until bottom is crispy. Invert onto a serving plate.

    *Notes: Other seasonings can be added to your taste. If your cakes are not holding together when you are patting them out, add a little flour*

    Make Mashed Potato Soup:

    1 tablespoon butter

    1 large onion, chopped

    6 cups mashed cooked potatoes

    2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

    1/2 cup milk


    In a medium soup pot melt butter over low heat, and saute onions until tender. Stir in the mashed potatoes, and then slowly add the chicken broth. Stirring, add milk (use more or less to achieve desired creaminess). Cook until heated through and season with salt and pepper to taste.


    Top a Shepherd’s Pie:

    I will be making this one tomorrow and will post a pic here. This recipe couldn’t be any easier….

    Leftover Mashed Potatoes

    1 lb ground beef

    1 medium onion chopped

    garlic powder

    Season Salt

    1 cup Cheddar Cheese

    Cook ground beef with the chopped onion until the ground beef is done and the onions are tender. Season with the garlic and Season Salt. Top with leftover Mashed Potatoes and cover with cheese. Bake in oven at 350 until potatoes are warm and cheese is melted.

    Hopefully this will give you a few great ideas


    Little Frugalista

    Homemade Easy Refried Beans

    April 1, 2010

    Anyone who read my Meal Plan for the week saw that I had Pinto Beans for one night and Taco Dip for another night. I make my Refried Beans that I put in the Taco Dip when I make a big batch of Pinto Beans. You can see from the picture above that we eat them in other things as well, in fact that Quesadilla pictured above ¬†is one of Little Miss’s favorite snacks.

    Not only is it WAY cheaper to make your own refried beans rather then buy the cans in the store but I also like knowing exactly what is in them since I cooked them.

    I have used lots of Recipes to make Refried Beans and by far this is the easiest method. This “recipe” is like alot of the ones I’ve posted and is a general direction since I tend to not measure things.

    Easy Refried Beans

    1.Soak your Pintos overnight in water with a smidge of Baking Soda to help remove the gas. I soak enough to have for dinner the next night AND make refried beans but you could soak just the amount you want for refried beans.

    2.In the morning rinse your beans with fresh water in a strainer.

    3.Place the desired amount you want to turn into Refried Beans into a pot and cover with water (I put the rest of the Beans into the Crockpot for Pinto Bean Soup but I’ll save that for a later post)

    4.Cook on Medium Heat for 2 or 3 hours making sure to replace any water that is lost due to boiling.

    5.When the beans appear soft enough to mash with a hand potato masher add seasonings. I use Onion Powder,Salt,Pepper and a little Garlic Powder but you can tailor your seasonings to your taste.

    6.Add Butter Flavored Shortening so that the Refried Beans will come out smooth (you are looking at aroung 1TBSP of shortening for 4 cups of pinto beans)

    7.Mash with a Potato Masher over Medium heat until enough liquid has evaporated to desired consistency

    And that’s it ūüôā You can put them in the fridge to serve over the next couple of days or portion them out and freeze for later use.

    If you have any questions at all feel free to ask away in the Comments section.



    Use up Leftover Turkey with: Turkey Taco Soup

    March 27, 2010

    This is one of my favorite recipes for using up leftover turkey. It would also work with leftover chicken.

    I put all of the ingredients in my removable crock from my Crockpot. Put it in the fridge and pop it in the Crockpot Unit when I get up in the morning before we go to church. I also make wrap sandwiches the night before and place them in the fridge to serve with the soup, along side tortilla chips.

    From my meal plan last week….

    Turkey Taco Soup


    • 1 (11 ounce) can cream corn
    • 2 cups black beans (I cook huge batches of these and freeze in 1 cup servings)
    • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
    • 1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
    • 2 1/2 cups cooked, chopped turkey meat
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream


    1. In crock, combine corn, black beans, broth ,salsa and turkey. Place in the fridge
    2. Pop crock into Crockpot first thing in the morning before leaving for church or about 2 or 3 hours before you want to eat it and cook on high
    3. Salt and pepper to taste
    4. Serve in bowl with a dollop of sour cream on top

    Using Leftover Vegetables….Easy Pie Crust and Veggie Soup

    March 13, 2010

    Those of you that have read my other posts about food know that I keep a leftover veggie bag in the door of my freezer. In this bag goes all of the leftover veggies that we don’t eat at dinner (I only put in the ones left in the pot, not the ones off of our plates). Once this bag is full (I use a baggie but you could also use a reusable container to further save money) I make these 2 things with them. To call them recipes¬†is a bit of a stretch because you are working with the leftovers you have on hand but they will give you a kind of outline as to what to do ūüôā

    Leftover Veggie Soup

    *Note* I make this as a next day meal after I cook Pot Roast AND have my veggie bag full



    Leftover Pot Roast with Veggies from the day before 

    Leftover Veggie bag from your freezer

    Can of V8 Juice

    Seasonings (We like Onion Powder,Salt, Pepper,Garlic Powder and a couple packets of Stevia to make the soup sweet)


    1.Take your leftover Pot Roast with leftover veggies¬†(I always cook potatoes and carrots in with my roasts) from your fridge and cut everything into bite size pieces, removing the fat and disposing of it. If you are lucky and have a good roast there won’t be much fat to remove.

    2.Place these cut up pieces in a pot and cover with V8 Juice

    3.Place leftover frozen veggies in the pot

    4.Cook on Medium until everything is unfrozen (about an hour) The longer you cook the soup, the more intense the flavor. We prefer the soup at around the 3-4 hour mark. Just make sure for longer cooking times to add in water that is lost through cooking.

    5.Season to Taste

    **Footnote: You can also cook this in a Crockpot by placing all of the prepared ingredients in the Crock and cooking on Low for about 6-8 hours.

    Leftover Chicken Pot Pie

    This is also a next day meal, just like the veggie soup. The day before I make the Pot Pie we have Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken. The leftover chicken for that meal can be made into lots of things but for the purpose of this post I will just focus on making Pot Pie out of it.

    EASY Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

    1 whole roasting chicken
    olive oil
    seasoning salt, to taste

    1-Make 4 or 5 loose balls of aluminum foil and place in bottom of crock pot. (you can also wrap potatoes in foil and set the chicken on top)
    2-Clean chicken inside and out. Rub with olive oil.
    3-Sprinkle generously inside and out with seasoned salt.
    4-Put chicken back-side down in crock pot (on top of foil balls).
    5-Cook on high 4-6 hours

    You will thank me if you try this recipe because it yields the most tender delicious chicken!

    So onto the pot pie….

    Leftover Chicken Pot Pie


    Leftover chicken pulled from the Rotisserie Chicken

    1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup




    Leftover Veggie Bag from your Freezer

    Seasonings (Once again we like Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper  because they are cheap ;))


    1.Place Chicken and Leftover Veggies from Freezer in a pot and cover with water

    2.Cook on Medium Heat until unfrozen and Warm

    3.While Chicken/Veggies Cook begin Crust (recipe below)

    4.Once Chicken/Veggies are Warm put in Cream of Chicken Soup

    5.Thicken with Cornstarch that you’ve mixed with milk in a small bowl. If you put the Cornstarch straight in it will create yucky little starch dumplings, so make sure to mix with the milk

    6.Once you’ve gotten it thick, season to taste

    7.Place filling on top of pie crust that you’ve prepared

    *8.*I like to make double the Pie Crust and place it on top of the Pot Pie because my family’s favorite part is the crust. It’s up to you whether you do this step or not. If you do, just double the recipe in step 3 and save half of it back.

    9.Cook Pot Pie on 400 for about 20-30 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure that it doesn’t burn. You want a nice golden brown top.

    Easy Pie Crust


    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons milk


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Place all ingredients in 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and side of crust.
    3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Use as directed in favorite pie recipe.


    I hope this post has made sense to you. I’ve had lots of people ask me for these “recipes” and this is the first time I’ve sat down and tried to write what it is I do to cook these things from leftovers. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask away in the comment section. ūüôā