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Recipe of the Week: Fantastic ways to use your Fourth of July leftovers


I have written about what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, but what about leftovers from summer holiday meals like the Fourth of July or Labor Day?

If you enjoy eating leftovers, by all means cook some extra burgers and hot dogs on the grill, then warm them in the microwave or on top of the stove over the next few days. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture you can safely eat leftovers that have been kept in the refrigerator for up to three to four days; if you doubt you will eat them by then, put them in the freezer the first day.

By the way, if you are preparing hot dogs you won’t be alone; according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council Americans will consume 150 million today alone.

Another use for leftovers is in tacos. Barbecued pork, grilled fish, steak and chicken are easily warmed and added to taco shells with leftover salad ingredients including tomatoes, lettuce and cheese.

Leftover buns can be frozen or made into homemade croutons by cutting them into cubes, sprinkling them with olive oil, then spreading them on a baking sheet and topping them with garlic powder, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan or dried herbs if you like. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Store in airtight container and they will last about two weeks.

A simple stir-fry recipe can use up leftover vegetables and meats, while a frittata using leftover meats, cheeses and vegetables is a tasty breakfast, lunch or supper.

Here is a frittata recipe from

The Perfect Leftovers Frittata

2 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil

8-10 large eggs

⅓ cup full fat milk or coconut milk, optional

1-1 ½ cups cooked protein of your choice – bacon, sausage, shredded meat, smoked salmon, etc.

Cooked veggies of your choice – spinach, roasted red peppers, kale, zucchini, potatoes, etc.

Cheese, of your choice, optional

Any other leftovers you might want to add

Herbs and spices, to taste

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Adjust your rack to the middle of the oven.

2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and milk (if using). Don’t overbeat. Stir in any cooked (but not hot) ingredients that you want to add in, veggies, meat, herbs, seasonings, etc. Mix in cheese if using and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Stir in to combine.

3. To a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat add your butter (or other fat) and melt. Evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan, shaking the pan to evenly distribute the mixture. Add any remaining ingredients on top.

4. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until its edges begin to set, about 3-5 minutes. As it cooks, use a rubber spatula to very gently lift up the set portions of your frittata around the edge and let any egg mixture that is not set to run into the space you’ve created.

5. Place the frittata in the preheated oven and cook 8-10 minutes until barely set. (check after 5 minutes, to avoid overcooking). Time to cook can vary on the size (and type) of the pan, amount of eggs, how thick it is, etc. So just watch it.

6. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw egg runs into the cut you made, bake for another few minutes. Once set remove from the oven, remember it will continue to cook in the hot pan. (If you are looking for a brown top or want to add cheese and melt, give it a minute under the broiler, but be REALLY careful to not overcook and dry out your frittata.)

7. Allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter or serve right from the pan. Cut into wedges. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.

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