Sexy Move: Leftovers for Dinner

I haven’t written about cooking for a long long time… the short version being that women are driven crazy by the question, “What’s for dinner?” and supplying a food source is always a good thing. The basic rules for my recipes are that it has to be brain dead easy to make, come out great and that kids will eat it.

Here are some of my approaches to leftovers… you’ll need a good non-stick fry pan, high heat, and not much else.

Bacon and Onion Salvation

(1) About half a standard size pack of bacon, slice up into one inch lengths (or slightly less) and toss into the pan.

(2) One medium sized onion. Peel it and chop into small pieces. Add to the pan. Cook the bacon and the onion until the point the bacon is starting to crisp and the onion carmelize a little.

(3) Chop and add whatever leftovers you have to the pan. (Jennifer: By “whatever leftovers”, he means some meat and some sort of vegetable, maybe some potatoes, not last night’s pizza) Cook until it’s all hot. No seasoning needed whatsoever. Works amazing with any kind of leftover meat. Using bacon will cover any weaknesses in skill you have.

Serve with red wine.

Kelbasa and Mushroom Blitz

(1)  Chop the Kelbasa into half inch circles. Toss into the pan.

(2) Rinse and pare the mushroom stalks off, but you can probably keep the mushrooms whole.

(3) Chop and add whatever leftover vegetables or starch (potatoes, rice) you have to the pan. Cook until it’s all hot. No seasoning needed as the kelbasa is plenty juicy and will coat everything in flavor. Once you see the mushrooms starting to shrink you’re all set to remove from heat. Works great even when you don’t have any leftover meat. You can have a frozen kelbasa in the fridge for emergency dinners.

Yeah I know the kids won’t eat the mushrooms. That just means more for me!

Serve with red wine.

Chinese Renaissance

(1) Take leftover chinese takeout and add all the rice to the pan and get it started heating up.

(2) Take the remainder of the chinese takeout and chop it up and add to the pan. Pay no heed to the dishes, simply add it all in one great heap. It’s all chinese food so it all will work together, just trust me on that. Seriously, chop a spring roll up. Add noodles. The chicken and cashews. The dumplings. The sesame chicken. The garlic beef. Everything goes in the pan together. No seasoning needed. Heat and eat, BAM and you’re done. It will be different every time you make it.

Serve with plum wine if you have it, othewise a white.

Hibachi Style Stir Fry

(1)  When you have leftover rice of any kind, throw it all in the pan with a little oil.

(2)  Season the rice with some soy sauce and hot sesame oil / mongolian fire oil.

(3)  chop and add vegetables / leftovers.

(4)  When everything is cooked properly, push it all to one side of the fry pan so you have half the fry pan clear.

(5)  Whip two eggs and dump in the open fry pan area, it will cook VERY QUICKLY, so keep the egg moving and scramble it as fast as it cooks. Just rake the egg into tiny pieces and as soon as it cooks, mix it all in with the rest of the food and serve. This is a 30-60 second move at most. Otherwise the egg will over-cook.

Serve with beer.

Things to Think About Adding

Peanuts. Seriously, peanuts turn a dull dish into something that says, “Hey wow, there’s fucking peanuts in here. That’s awesome.”

Peppers. Not the bitter feminist green peppers, I’m talking the yellow, orange or red ones. They are sweeter and you can eat them raw, so undercooking means you just pretend you meant to do it that way. They are bright and festive looking.

Meatloaf. Cut into small cubes. It will do better than you think.

Sweetcorn. Just slice it straight off the cob and it will break up nicely in the pan. Can use canned if you want it.

Minced garlic. Want.

Potatoes…. roast  or baked leftovers. Chop in half inch bits.

Green beans. Nuff said.

Curry. Oh. My. Gawd. We have a red curry that is taking over our life. True story.

Plan B Soup and Pasta

(1) Can of soup in a pot.

(2) Add whatever leftover bits and pieces you have to the pot and heat.

(3) Pour the soup + leftover mix over pasta and serve. I’m just going to hope you know I meant cooked pasta.

Serve with arrogant confidence.

Jennifer: I testify that all of these are amazing dishes. Our eldest daughter once joked that she wanted us to buy chinese food but not eat it, just so Dad could make the Chinese Leftovers Stirfry Of Goodness the next day. 







  1. OMG, Athol, y’all need some serious cooking intervention! LOL
    “Using bacon will cover any lack in skill you have.” That makes me want to cry.

    We often have leftovers, but I don’t doctor them up with bacon and onions to get the boys to eat them.
    Don’t get me wrong…there’s not a better smell than onions frying in bacon grease…

    I guess y’all are not foodies. Food and the preparation, serving, and consuming of it are a big piece of the Alpha/Beta spectrum for me. For us, the preparation and serving of food are analogous to the sex act. Sometimes we are the cook, preparing a meal for our loved one, serving up the various courses, providing the sustenance.
    Other times, we are the diner, consuming the meal, savoring the flavors, getting off.

    Now back to me being a food snob…Im not into Paleo, but I can put a damn good meal on the table, and it will be fast, not-too-expensive, and taste fucking awesome.

  2. Bacon is its own food group. Just thinking about it makes me want to go all Homer Simpson. Best thing to do with bacon – Bacon and Eggs Spaghetti, which is a cheap-o, Americanized version of Spaghetti Carbonara.

    “Chinese Leftovers Stirfry Of Goodness” That made me laugh. :) I always order Chinese for my birthday. I’ll have to try this, then.

  3. Fantastic ideas!

  4. Food in a relationship is underrated.

  5. Trimegistus says:

    I’m always a little baffled when I talk to other men who can complete a 1040 long form, change the oil in a tractor, explain the Infield Fly Rule, play Skyrim, manage a department or a business, and play the guitar — but say cooking is “too complicated.”

    Cookbooks are really simple. That’s why we use the term “cookbook” to describe any simple rote instruction set. All you need is the vocabulary, and that can be learned in an afternoon. Any man can be Anthony Bourdain to his family after about a week of practice. You just have to get over the idea that paying attention to food is “girly.”

  6. @Athena…

    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah there’s not a better smell than onions frying in bacon grease… blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…

    Fixed it for you. :-)

    Seriously though, the post is for guys that have zero cooking skills. We aren’t playing Iron Chef here.

  7. Sorry, I was up late celebrating husband’s birthday. In my wine-induced haze I temporarily forgot I’m supposed to be taking a break from posting. Also forgot you don’t appreciate my comments in the first place. ;-)

  8. Gotta agree with Athol here, the smell of bacon and onion…. I just ate, and even the thought is making me hungry all over again. Soooo delicious. Bacon is one reason I could never, ever be vegetarian.

    Bacon and onion burgers. Back and onion omelet. Bacon and onion casserole. *Homer Simpson drool*

  9. For those of you for whom “wheat” is a dirty word, they sell this multicolored “pasta” made from processed veggies that’s pretty good. I’m sure someone who’s well-versed in Paleo could tell me all about how it’s still horrible and a caveman would never blah blah blah, but it’s still a step up from dollar-a-box shells.

    Bell peppers are a staple of mine in whatever I make. Did you know that the color makes a difference? Orange > Yellow > Red > Green in terms of how much vitamins and crap you’re getting.

    For a slightly more advanced cook, figure out how to make lasagna. Now substitute whatever leftover meats or veggies you happen to have lying around, finely-chopped, for whatever meat or veggies your recipe calls for.

    This is more a poor bachelor move than something that should be a staple for a family man, but hunt up a copy of Roger Ebert’s “The Pot and How to Use It” (currently six bucks on Amazon; your local library probably has a copy if you’re thinking that six bucks could buy about twelve thingies of ramen) to learn how to make all kinds of stuff in an electric rice cooker.

  10. @Ben I made a lasagna with spaghetti squash instead if noodles, it worked out great! Spaghetti squash is magical.

  11. Women want a man that brings home meat and berries… Dinner for any one night, buy the best steaks you can afford, place on hot flaming grill( that you previously assembled with your shirt off ) for 4-8 minutes on each side. Serve when hot and pink in the middle with a side of stawberries, rasberries, blue berries, etc. Add red wine to complete the meal, milk or water for the children…

  12. Cooking is really just chemistry that you get to eat. So if you were ANY good at chemistry labs or even good at following directions, there are thousands of cookbooks to help a beginner. In a pinch, order some of the spice blends from Penzey’s and throw them on cubed taters or pasta with butter and boom! good eats!

  13. If you have a meat loving wife like mine here’s the easiest way to make her happy. Two USDA Choice steaks from wal-mart (cheap), on the grill. Cook some onions and mushrooms. Two beers. Not only did I shop for the food, but I prepared it. It’s simple, tastes great and makes her happy.

    I just read Chuck’s comment above. Chuck, great minds think alike.

  14. eugh. My SO would throw me out if I offered up this to our babies. And rightly so.
    This is maybe good advice for men who don’t cook and have families that don’t generally eat home cooked food, but for women who know how to put a decent meal on the table this is cooking they will indulge if they’re into you anyway, but not to turn their heads.
    Please post up more ‘Chef’!

  15. This is Jen says:

    Athol, stop eating all that crap!! Corn, wheat, soy. All bad

    Bacon, onions, meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, . All good

    Make lots then you have leftovers to doctor up.

    do it!

  16. I have to ask Athol… what happened to your paleo eating? A number of these are not paleo.

  17. A word of warning about re-heating/storing cooked rice.

    The problem is the initial cooking of the rice and then subsequent re-heating. With take-aways you don’t know for certain how well the rice has been cooked, or if it has been reheated already.

    But I like bacon!

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