Day 18: Making A Meal With Leftovers

A meal of carrots, squash, grains, beans, and cheese in a small cast iron skillet.

Making a meal with leftovers doesn’t always sound appealing, but when you do it well, it is the best thing ever! 

Cheesy Baked Grains And Veg


  • 1 cup cooked grains
  • 1 cup mixed veggies
  • 1/3 cup cooked beans
  • 1-2 tsp. ground curry or spice blend of choice
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese of choice
  • Fine sea salt


  • Set the oven to 350 F or 176 C.
  • Place the grains, veggies, beans, and 1 teaspoon of the spice mix into a bowl and mix until evenly combined. Taste and add salt and more spices if needed.
  • Pour the mix into a 6 inch cast iron skillet and top with the cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!


  •  For the mixed grains you can use rice, barley, einkorn, or any other grain you have on hand.
  • I used leftover veggies from some curry chicken tacos I made the other day, but you can use any mixed veggies you have. If you use frozen mixed veggies, cook them on the stove until they have thawed out.
  • If you don’t have cooked beans you can leave them out or you can use canned beans if you have them. Just remember to drain and rinse them before simmering them in plenty of seasoned water (you can use more of the spice mix and some salt) for about 30 minutes. 

You can make a delicious meal with almost any leftovers you have in the fridge. The main thing is knowing which components do or do not go together in terms of flavor and going from there.

  • The Base: This could be anything from whole grains, to pasta, to that half bag of lettuce you really, really need to use before it goes bad. I usually try to keep some type of cooked rice, grain, or bread in my fridge or pantry so that pulling a simple meal together is easy.
  • The Veggies: When making a recipe that has vegetables, consider making extra for a different meal.
  • The Protein: Beans, meat, or cheese? Which one to choose? How about all of them?! How about one or none? The choice is yours.
  • The Toppings: Cheese was the topping of choice for the meal in the video, but you can also use herbs, spices, sauces, etc. These are most likely not going to be leftovers unless you made a sauce a that you need to use soon.

Now, it’s totally fine if you don’t have all of these things in your fridge. You can always make a fresh batch of ingredients (like I did with the beans in the video above). You could also leave a component out altogether.

Just remember to have fun and be creative!

The end!

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