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What to Do with Summer Cookout Leftovers
Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer in America and the first of our summer holidays that traditionally require a cookout. Sometimes we don't eat all the food we buy for these parties, so what can be done about the leftovers? Here are a few suggestions other than just reheating them and eating them straight:
1) "Uh-Oh, Spaghetti-O's!" I've found that a can of plain Spaghetti-O's can be the answer for many of these leftover options. Adding cooked leftover hot dogs or kielbasa to plain Spaghetti-O's can make for a decent leftover meal, especially if the variety that comes with sliced franks (which may actually be tofu) is hard to come by in stores. Spaghetti-O's can also be used as a dip if you add shredded cheese while heating it up. It's perfect for leftover chips like tortillas and flavored nachos.
2) The Salad Option. Leftover deviled eggs can easily be added to a salad of leafy greens. Candied fruit is also good, or fruit that is candy like Craisins or Raisinets. For an even healthier choice, chickpeas are a great source of protein if you're out of leftover meat products. Don't forget that ketchup and mayo can be blended together to make an improvised French dressing.
3) "Where's the Beef?" Hamburger meat can be used for all sorts of things. If you don't want another burger or meatloaf sandwich, you could make meatballs or break it up and put it into spaghetti sauce. If you had steak instead of regular bugers, you can stir-fry that with some vegetables of your choice (recommended are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or summer squash).
4) Make a Donation. In the event that you did overestimate how much you needed to cook, you can donate what viable food you can to your local food bank or soup kitchen. Those less fortunate than you need to eat too, and many of them are war veterans. Honor those who have served our country by serving them. After all, that's what these holidays are really about.
There are more summer holidays coming up, so when you shop for your next picnic or cookout, consider your choices wisely. Think about the things you run out of most and what can make good accompaniments to the things that usually remain. If it's within your budget to do so, maybe you can set some items aside for donation ahead of time.