We try not to do takeout meals often at our house except for our weekly pizza. There’s always a lot of packaging waste with takeout food and the nutrition value is usually poor. Somewhere along the line however, we started the tradition of getting Chinese takeout on the first day of school. And yesterday was it.
I’ve been paying much closer attention to the amount of food waste that my family of four produces lately. As I wrote about in The Shocking Statistics of Food Waste, about 30% of the food produced in America gets thrown away. The environmental impact of wasted food is immense.
As I cleared the table after dinner last night, I thought about the three cups or so of white rice that came with our takeout that nobody touched. Nobody ever touches it. It usually gets put in the refrigerator only to be thrown away a week later.
It’s perfectly good rice so I decided to spend a little time finding some recipes that could use it up. Here are five recipes that you can make using leftover, cooked white rice next time you faced with one or more of those uneaten containers.
- Garlic Rice – This is a simple Philippine fried recipe that calls for adding pantry staples plus some ground pork, but after reading comments made on the recipe from users, the pork can be omitted and vegetables such as mushrooms and green peppers can be added.
- Calas – A sweet rice fritter made with leftover rice, flour, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Like the garlic rice above, this too can be made with things you most likely already have in your pantry.
- Tomatoes Stuffed with Rice – If you’re looking to use up your leftover rice and the baskets full of tomatoes you’re bringing in from your garden, here’s a Giada De Laurentiis that will help you. I’ve never made a recipe from Giada that I didn’t like.
- Anything Rice – This recipe takes your leftover rice, some eggs, onions, green peppers, and anything else you have leftover in your frig and creates a meal out of it.
- Rockin’ Rice Pudding – Tyler Florence’s recipe for rice pudding using three cups of cooked rice. Hmmm. I have three cups leftover from last night. Guess what I’ll be making tonight!
One other tip – Cooked white rice can be frozen after it’s cooled, so if you can’t use it right away, put it in an airtight container and freeze it.
The majority of these recipes use things that you probably already have in your refrigerator and pantry. Instead of tossing your leftover rice, next time use it up and make a very inexpensive meal.
Do you have a way to use leftover, cooked white rice? Share it in the comments, please.
Read more about using leftovers:
- What to do with Leftovers? Scramble Them!
- Nine Money Saving Tips for Eating Greener
- Leftover Mashed Potatoes? Make Potato Pancakes
[Image courtesy of Wikimedia]