Jazzing up Leftovers, the plant powered way…

Leftover Makeovers for Busy Folks - Mexican Rice
Print Recipe
Mexican/Spanish Rice is a family favorite and go to recipe. I am always looking to turn leftovers into another delightfully delicious and easy to make meal. It just so happens that Mexican Rice lends itself nicely to what I like to call a Leftover Makeover. All it takes is a quick look in the cupboard and fridge for handy "add-ins"! Inspiration is often no more than 10 minutes away.
Servings Prep Time
4.5 cups 10 min
Servings Prep Time
4.5 cups 10 min
Leftover Makeovers for Busy Folks - Mexican Rice
Print Recipe
Mexican/Spanish Rice is a family favorite and go to recipe. I am always looking to turn leftovers into another delightfully delicious and easy to make meal. It just so happens that Mexican Rice lends itself nicely to what I like to call a Leftover Makeover. All it takes is a quick look in the cupboard and fridge for handy "add-ins"! Inspiration is often no more than 10 minutes away.
Servings Prep Time
4.5 cups 10 min
Servings Prep Time
4.5 cups 10 min
Ingredients
  • 2 cups leftover Mexican or Spanish Rice link provided below in Recipe Notes.
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1.5 cups canned chickpeas or any other bean
  • 1/3 cup low fat or fat free bottled dressing
  • to taste salt and pepper
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl put 2 cups (leftovers) of your favorite Mexican/Spanish Rice Recipe.
  2. Frozen Corn: Microwave for 2-3 minutes - Canned Corn: Drain and Rinse. Add to Bowl
  3. Chickpeas: Drain and rinse. Add to Bowl
  4. Salad Dressing: Add your favorite low or no fat bottled dressing to bowl.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste and combine all ingredients
  6. Serve cold or warm up in microwave.
Recipe Notes

My Vegan Annie Recipe for Mexican Rice works well as the Leftover component.
If you have a favorite recipe of your own, by all means use it.

  • If chickpeas are not to your liking or you don't have them on hand, another kind can pinch hit. Think kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans.
  • Frozen Peas could work instead of corn.
  • This dish freezes well for a later date.

Serving suggestions

  • Warm in the microwave or serve cold.
  • Use as a filling for burritos, wraps and pitas.
  • Add to mixed greens and raw veggies, nuts and seeds as a main meal salad.
  • Add a side of vegetable.

 

Leftover Makeover – Mexican Rice served with a side of broccoli

I thought I was super busy when I was raising my children back in the day. And I was. For much of it, I had what I considered to be the luxury of staying home, although I did work as both a teacher and caterer as well as in retail for a good portion of that time. I have always had an interest in cooking and baking, so testing out new recipes and providing food for my family was a hobby of sorts, as well as a responsibility.

Things are a bit different for families today. Whether or not one has children, couples are extremely busy. The cost of living is higher in many areas, so it is not uncommon for households to require two incomes. And for professional and personal reasons, many women are returning to work within a year or so of the birth and/or adoption of a child. I see people scurrying around and I know they have a lot of demands on their time vis a vis work, extended family and so on.

I particularly feel for young people with families who are juggling two jobs, kids activities and childcare, home upkeep, laundry, social life…
Something has to give and I am guessing that topping the list is the food prep associated with complicated recipes.

Mexican Rice – the Leftover Component
Stirred Up and Ready to Serve

So, in an effort to encourage already busy people to try plant powered cooking and to further help those who are already plant powered, I am going to share some of my make do and leftover makeovers as they present themselves.

My first offering is Leftover Mexican/Spanish Rice. It is an easy to make dish and can be enjoyed  right away or stored in the fridge or freezer. I used my own Vegan Annie Mexican Rice as the base, but truthfully any recipe will do. Simply grab your leftover Mexican/Spanish Rice, print up my Leftover Makeover Recipe and go to town.

Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips

The responsibility of cooking for oneself and/or family does not have to be a burden.

Skip past the complicated recipes and look for those that are simple to make, easy to adapt and leave some yummy leftovers to makeover into another meal.

Keeping on hand staples like canned beans, canned and frozen veggies and fruit, pasta and grains, bottled dressings can turn a chore into a pleasure.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

Share...Share on Google+Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this page
Plant Powered Leftover Makeovers for Busy Folk – Mexican Rice

2 thoughts on “Plant Powered Leftover Makeovers for Busy Folk – Mexican Rice

  • January 11, 2018 at 7:50 am
    Permalink

    I have been the camp cook in the past sometimes cooking breakfast lunch and dinner for weeks on end and the best advice I can share is when cooking always think in terms of two meals. So, when cooking say beans and mexican rice, cook enough so that the leftovers the next day can be made into burritos or tacos. Cooking double portions is about the same time for preparation and only a little lengthening of cooking time, but not much.
    For dry black beans, soak one cup overnight and then boil in the same water the next morning, add i tsp of salt and a tablespoon of oil for mexican style. It will yield 2.2 cups, which is enough for two people for two meals. 2 dry cups will yield 4.4 cups enough for 4 people two meals, and so on…
    The black beans in this way only take about 45 minutes-1hr to simmer and you do not need to watch or stir them too often. You can turn them on while having your morning coffee, tea, and breakfast, and/or getting the kids ready.
    Cost of 1 cup of dry black beans, even organic are cheap Maybe $.25-$.50/cup.
    And some of the best plant-powered protein and fiber 🙂

    Reply
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:12 am
      Permalink

      Hey Jimmy,

      What an interesting job and I do love your tip about making extras. I used to do this when our kids were at home and now that it is just the two of us, I do so by default. Leftovers, or left-unders as my daughter used to call them make great lunches and even breakfasts and mid afternoon snacks.

      Thanks for the tip about cooking beans in the soaking water. I have always changed the water, but will try it this way as I am always looking for ways to decrease my use of the earth’s resources. Beans cooked from dry are certainly much less expensive than canned and can be as convenient. I often will cook up a large batch and freeze them in 2 cup mason jars with some of the cooking liquid added.

      We eat beans every day. As you said they pack a big nutritionally punch in the nutrition department and they are so versatile – soups, stews, sauces, rice and pasta dishes, dips and the list goes on.

      So, let’s all have at it. Beans, beans, the musical fruit…….

      For more info about the benefits of using beans daily, please go to my home page, click the Guest Post tab and read Jimmy’s article entitled, Beans and Rice versus Ground Beef (a veganic view).

      Thanks and take care,
      Anne

      Reply

Leave a Reply