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With a weekend of festivities ahead, there’s bound to be lots of family bonding… and lots of eating! Which in turn leads to an abundance of leftovers that make for the best snacking the next day! But when you’ve had enough of the same old, same old – it might be time to get creative with leftovers and create new, tasty dishes your whole family can enjoy. You’ll be saying ‘thanks a bunch’ at the ease of turning your dinner into lunch! Not to mention the joy that reducing food waste will bring you.  

Let’s take a commonly cooked, versatile ingredient – chicken! Reclaim leftover roast and repurpose it into something so tasty - your kids will say ‘you had me at chicken tenders!’ With hot and cold options there’ll be something to please everyone! 

Old-time banger, the Club Sanger

Did you know that Club Sandwich stands for Chicken and Lettuce Under Bacon? You’ve probably never cared to ask… with a flavor combination this good there’s no time to talk, just eat! Take 2 slices of any bread (but sourdough works wonderfully well if you’ve got it) and toast. 

 In the meantime, grill some bacon until crisp and set aside (repeat, set aside – do not snack at this point!) Spread your bread with mayo or aioli, and layer up with shredded leftover chicken, lettuce and bacon. So easy, so yum! A great option for lunchboxes – just drop a gel-cooler under the roomy sandwich compartment of our lunchbox to keep it fresh!

Oodles of chicken noodles

A quick and easy way to create a tasty lunch – just add noodles! Firstly, raid your fridge for any vegies and grate them – carrots and zucchinis work well. Next, raid the freezer – corn and peas are sure to please – prepare as needed! Then boil noodles and combine with shredded chicken and other ingredients. Now add a tasty sauce or dressing – think soy, garlic, sesame oil or anything else you can find. So much flavour in so little time! Serve it warm in our Insulated Food Jar. 

You can prepare from the morning and it’ll be ready to devour right up until the lunch bell sounds. Or serve it cold, in our lunchbox. Yep, that’s right – no need for separate containers! Simply remove the sandwich tray and you’ve got oodles of space for oodles of noodles. Just add a fork and it’s ready to go!

Finger lickin’ chicken fried rice

Gotta love a one-pot wonder! Like noodles, fried rice is a sure-fire way to use up any leftovers – we’re particularly fond of fancy stuff like prawns or prosciutto that can be used here (if they’re still floating around) to make it extra special! And it’s oh so easy. Simply chop it all up (the fancies, the chicken, the vegies – the lot!) and fry it off. Then add to your cooked rice, brown or white – either will do the job right. 

Add a splash of soy and… delish! What came first – the chicken or the egg? Get some extra protein in there with both. Simply beat eggs and scramble in your pan before you combine with other ingredients. Just like that you’ve got a finger lickin’ dish, packed full of goodness and bound to provide loads of energy for busy kids.

Gimme a Piz-za Chicken

A family favourite, you can’t go past a chicken pizza. Use anything you can get your hands on for the base – store bought, pita’s, bread or make your own with the most basic pizza dough recipe that ever existed; 1 cup Greek yoghurt and 1 cup self-raising flour – mix, knead and roll. So easy you can get the kids involved without fear of too much extra cleaning (one of the main benefits of using leftovers in the first place!) Now spread your base with sauce (it’s gotta be bbq!), add shredded chicken and any other toppings your kiddies choose – onion, mushrooms, capsicum, tinned pineapple and of course cheese. Now imagine the delight, when your kiddies open their lunchbox to pizza – it’ll be love at first bite! 

Go on - don’t be a chicken! Try one of these or your own recipes for a tasty, hearty and quick-to-prepare meal. And it needn’t be a one-weekend wonder - make dinner for lunch a habit, so it forms part of your approach to an ongoing, healthy lifestyle. Just let your pantry staples and leftovers guide you – just like the chicken - across the road, to the other side - where there’s less waste and more yum!

Marie Sarantos

A happy (mostly!) mama of three. Spends her days searching for the perfect balance between being a full-time mama, part-time b.box wordsmith and dedicated coffee consumer. Understands how hectic work and life can be and uses this mantra to live simply: The plan is, there is no plan, just stay as informed as you possibly can. Make choices to suit your family and you. And never apologise for seeing it through. Also, affectionately known as Mama Marie for her random acts of nerdy mumsiness and life mantras!


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