Tuesday Tip: Make the most of your leftovers

Hey MC&L crew 

I hope you're all good today. I'm on top of the world at the moment, I'm on the Bootcamp week and I must admit while my butt is screaming at me almost every time I move, I'm feeling a-ok. I'm so happy cos I let it slip badly and put 12 lb on - 12 ruddy pounds! (That’s almost 1/2 of the total weight I've lost.) But I'm not moaning about it, no siree I'm back in the game and its grrrrreat. It just takes you to make the decision to crack on and get back to it. It’s only day 3 and I feel slimmer already!!! I'm in the group with a few guys I've been in groups with before and the banter and support is great. So if like me you let it slip, GIRLFRRRRIEND GET A NOTE OUT ON THE MC&L FB GROUP AND GET SOMEONE TO JOIN YOU GET BACK TO IT UHHH HUHHH!! I said 'girlfriend' as in my head I was actually speaking with a New York City Bronx accent there. I of course mean the boys too! We're loving all the men joining in on the Bootcamps and of course the weight they're shifting and muscle mass their gaining - GO BOYZ! (Notice the 'Z' I'm still street, even though I'm wearing an Austin Read suit and typing  from my office in the Corporate Real Estate department of a Bank!!!)

Anyway I've just pulled this little beauty out of my photo archive (my phone is full of photos of food) because we got a 'Help I can’t do packed lunches' from one of our new members who thinks lunch is a sandwich, crisps, maybe a Twix and a can of diet coke. We all remember that right! But fear not new member, below is a cracker of a lunch and the best bit is I made it with leftovers and store cupboard ingredients. You know I will never shut up about the store cupboard; it’s what makes a good cook great and Tuesday tips are to make us all GREAT in our kitchens!


The packed lunch is a couscous salad bursting with flavour and health! As with most of my dishes you can substitute almost anything for what you have in, so don’t be scared with the huge list of ingredients I have. When I my first joined MC&L group I was so excited that I went ye-ha in Real Foods and bought a loads of seeds, nuts, dried grains and so on. I'm sure some of you have done the same so write in and let me know what you want to use more and we here at MC&L HQ will come up with some tasty dishes. God I can’t shut up today, I'll get listing!

I used:

  • about 50/60g of couscous
  • 2 broccoli florets (left over)
  • Roasted butternut squash (left over)
  • Mixed leaves
  • Organic sundried tomatoes in olive oil (drained)
  • Mini pimento peppers (jar)
  • Dried sage
  • Chai seeds
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • Pumpkin seeds

Cook the couscous according to the packet, for me I poured one cup of boiling water with some veg stock granules and a big pinch of sage in it, over 1 cup couscous that was sitting in a Pyrex dish. I then covered it to let the couscous to swell for 5 minutes. After I then used a fork to fluff it, and left it to cool. Then before I went to bed when the couscous was cold, I added the butternut squash I'd saved from dinner to it along with stuff I'd in the cupboard/fridge: a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, a big pinch of chai seeds; a chopped spring onion, few sun dried cherry toms (I found an organic jar of these in the health food shop); some mini pimento peppers for a bit of spice, also from a jar preserved in oil. And that is it guys I put it in the side of my packed lunch box with some salad leaves on the other side and the broccoli on top.

Hints tips and Lessons 

  1. I like to use cups for measurements with rice, couscous and quinoa, but you need to have quite a small cup to do that as a massive mug is too much. I used a pretty small traditional granny style tea cup for this, but as long as you apply the 1-to-1 ratio for couscous you'll be fine.
  2. Sage goes very well with butternut squash.
  3. Other things you might like to add to couscous are: any nuts or seeds; roasted peppers; any leftover veggies; olives; raw red onion chopped fine; grated carrots / courgette.
  4. You can substitute the couscous for quinoa, works a treat.

Other leftover ideas: 

Let it go cold then pop it in a wok with some oil (coconut is best), 
crack an egg or two into the side of the wok and keep it moving so that you break the egg up into small pieces, add some peas and spring onions - delish! Goes with chicken, beef, chilli, ginger, garlic, any herbs or spices (although not at the same time - learn what goes with what) and you can add any veggies to it. Total winner for leftover rice.


So anything can go into a frittata to bulk it up: tomatoes seeds removed; greens; any veg really, in the picture I used leftover leeks and broccoli. Whisk your eggs, add oil to the pan, add the eggs and leftovers, and then cook on a low heat. Turn your grill on pretty high then when the frittata is almost done take it off the hob and under the grill to cook the top. I like to chop mine into squares, using a pizza wheel, and add to a salad for my lunch.

Add some stock and make a soup - you can even freeze it in portion sizes.

So hopefully today's tip guys will show you that even just the tiniest bit of leftovers (2 broccoli florets) can be used again in a clean meal. Let’s try and reduce food waste!!!

Enjoy playing with your left overs!