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I think we have all had a time where we forget to pre-plan meals, or neglect to. I do it even though I have written about the importance of pre-planning! I found myself in exactly this position last week while at work. Because I was in class at the University all day and had to go straight to the fire station, I wasn’t able to take food to work with me. Of course, right when I got to work a seemingly “slow” day at in the fire district became relatively busy and I found myself running a few calls on the ambulance back to back. By the time I got back to the station it was after 8:00pm and I realized I had no food for dinner and didn’t want to go to the store. Hoping to find at least a salad I could eat in the refrigerator, I was able to find quite a lot more!IMG_3963The shift that worked before me had left some roast leg of lamb and I also found some asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and butternut squash. It would have been easy to throw the lamb in the microwave, and cook up maybe the asparagus or the squash, but I decided to throw it all together and make a butternut squash and leg of lamb hash. Here’s how I made it, but first, just remember that by getting creative, with proportions, variations, spices, or cooking methods, you can take random refrigerator leftovers and turn them into quite a tasty dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini,
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow squash
  • 4 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch long pieces
  • 2 cups leg of lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • italian seasoning, to taste

 

  • Start off by sauteing the onion in a medium saute pan with the coconut oil over medium-low heat.
  • When the onions are translucent, add the butternut squash and cook until almost cooked through (approximately 10 minutes).

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  • When the squash is lightly browned on all sides and almost cooked through, add in the remaining vegetables and season to taste with the salt and pepper.IMG_3967
  • Add in the cubed lamb and cook for about 5 minutes, seasoning to taste and enjoy!

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As you can see, this is a lot more appetizing than microwaved leftovers and some vegetables. We subconsciously deem something as being more tasty if it is presented pretty, so taking the time to add some variation to your meals, even if it is leftovers, can help keep you out of a rut and allow you to experiment a bit in the kitchen. So the next time you are faced with a leftovers and no meal plan, get creative and invent your own dish!

We all know it helps to get ideas from others, so share your thoughts! What is one meal you make out of leftovers?

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