Food & Drink

Dinner For Breakfast: How To Refresh Your Leftovers

If you've ever eaten a cold slice of pizza in the morning, then you've already enjoyed dinner for breakfast. Eating savory foods for breakfast isn't a new concept. Many cultures typically eat filling foods like rice, fish or meat for breakfast. It's really only Americans who enjoy the sugar-laden cereals or doughnuts and coffee for breakfast. We're doing breakfast all wrong!

More surprising is the fact that less than half of us eat breakfast in the morning. The saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is actually true, but unfortunately not everyone pays attention to it. Eating breakfast is important because it sets your energy levels for the day. But those sugary foods (including the instant oatmeal you think is healthy) don't do us any good. So instead, reach for those dinner leftovers sitting in the back of the fridge -- and turn them into breakfast with a few tweaks.

Bits and pieces of leftover meals need not be tossed in the trash when you learn how to incorporate them into new dishes that become your breakfast. There are many ways to enjoy a savory version of your favorite breakfast dish, for example, a scrambled egg breakfast burrito. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Leftover stew: You've got leftover pot roast or any type of stew. Turn it into: a breakfast hash. Chop up an onion and dice up a potato and saute. Then add your leftovers to reheat. If you like, top it off with a fried egg for a hearty breakfast.

2. Leftover rice: You've got leftover rice from Chinese take-out or just a side dish. Turn it into a breakfast rice bowl. Warm the rice in the microwave and top with a fried egg. Season with salsa or hot sauce.

3. Leftover vegetables: You've got leftover sauteed or roasted vegetables. Turn them into an omelet. Reheat some vegetables in a skillet and add your beaten eggs and cook until set.

4. Leftover roast chicken or grilled steak: You've got some meat left on your roast chicken or an extra steak. Turn it into a breakfast casserole, a.k.a. strata. Toss chunks of leftover meat with cubes of dried or toasted bread cubes. Add beaten eggs and some milk, and then bake at 350 degrees until set. You could also make individual servings in small gratin dishes.

4. Leftovers from Mexican night: You've got tortillas, salsa, some meat filling and shredded lettuce. Turn them into a breakfast burrito. Wrap the leftover fillings in a tortilla along with some scrambled eggs.

6. Leftovers from Italian night: You've got leftover meat sauce or meatballs. Turn them into a mini breakfast pizza. Top a toasted English muffin with meat sauce or sliced meatballs. Top with shredded cheese and bake until bubbly.

What are some ways you enjoy dinner leftovers for breakfast? Leave a comment.