Leveraging Your Leftovers: Healthy Recipes for Leftover Day

recipes leftover day healthy bariatric dietitian

We don’t always have the energy to cook well-thought out meals, and sometimes that can leave us wondering how we can maintain a properly nutritious diet. Fast food and quick services meals seem all too appealing, but we know these meals can often lead to temptations for eating not-so-healthy options.

Don’t just throw away yesterday’s dinner. Box it up, and take it to work the next day for lunch or reheat it to make a great hot lunch at home — you’ll save time and money! To make the most out of what’s still sitting in your refrigerator, check out these healthy recipes for leftover day — all recommended by bariatric coordinator and registered dietitian Sarah Muntel, RD:

Club Wraps

For the “trying to make things interesting to avoid a fast food lunch” day:


  • 1/2 cup mustard-mayonnaise blend
  • 4 flour tortillas (10 inch)
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced smoked turkey
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced honey-roasted ham
  • 1 cup shredded smoked provolone cheese or 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded leaf lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small purple onion, chopped
  • 8 bacon, slices cooked and crumbled


  1. Spread mustard-mayo blend evenly over 1 side of each tortilla, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  2. Layer turkey and next 6 ingredients evenly over tortillas; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roll up tortilla; cut in half diagonally, and secure with wooden picks.

Source: www.food.com

Quick Tip: Cut the fat by subbing low-fat mayo, low-fat cheese and turkey bacon. Swap to whole grain tortillas for extra health benefits.

Easy Tortilla Pizzas

For the “I am looking for a healthy option for frozen pizza” day:


  • Tortilla(s)
  • Cooking spray
  • Tomato sauce or pizza sauce
  • Shredded cheese (mozzarella and Parmesan, for example)
  • Desired toppings (sliced ham and chopped pineapple is shown above)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray your tortilla(s) with cooking spray.
  3. Spread a thin layer of tomato or pizza sauce over the tortilla.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the pizza sauce.
  5. Add the desired toppings.
  6. Place the tortilla pizza onto a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Source: www.momables.com

Quick Tip:  Don’t forget your veggies!  Add a side salad to this lunch.

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad Recipe

For the “I can make this ahead and take it to work for a great lunch” day:

Makes 8 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta (about 1 pound)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups pitted Greek olives (about 6 ounces), chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon peel
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain orzo; rinse with cold water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir in orzo. Refrigerate until serving.

Source: www.tasteofhome.com

Quick Tip: Add grilled chicken to the salad for extra protein. Chopped veggies and hummus can be a great side dish.

Want to check out even more healthy recipes recommended by Ms. Muntel? Check out “Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day,” an article in the Spring issue of Your Weight Matters Magazine, the official quarterly publication of the Obesity Action Coalition.

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