≡ Menu
Tasty Food Photography eBook

What to do with bento leftovers?

Do you waste a lot of food? What do you do with all the leftover bread after you cut out the shapes? These are the questions that I receive a lot when they see my bentos. So I thought I will share some of the ways to use up the leftovers from the bento-making.

1. For sauces & meat, I will try to freeze them in tiny portions so that when I need them, I do not have to defrost them entirely. I just take the amount that I need. So there will be no leftovers. Click HERE to see how I normally freeze my spaghetti sauce. If you don’t have the Lock-Lock box, the ice-cube tray will work too.  Also, check out Lunch in a Box  for a great write-up on freezing individual portions of meat.

2. Bread – this is probably the food item that I get the most leftovers.

  • Mommy’s breakfast!! : )  Since I prepare the bento in the morning, the leftover bread makes a great breakfast for me.
  • Croutons. This is what I usually do with the leftover bread. Cut them into little pieces and save them in a container for a couple of days. Then toss them well with olive oil, garlic powder, parsley or any herb that you like, lay them out on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or till golden brown. I usually just bake them in my toaster oven.
  • Bread Pudding. I am not a big fan of bread pudding but if you are, this is a great way to use up those bread.

3. Cheese

  • Macaroni & cheese – When I make macaroni & cheese, I don’t use the cheese powder that comes in the box. I usually use the cheese slices. So when I have leftover from cheese cutouts, this is usually where it ends up.
  • Cheese & Ham omelette – Add some leftover lunchmeat, you’ll have  a great omelette for breakfast.
  • Cheesy Nachos (check it out HERE)  – Since I mostly have cheddar cheese leftovers, I will add some mozarella cheese and mix them together. Lay a layer of nachos on the baking sheet, top off with the cheese and bake it in the oven for 5-10 mins or till the cheese has melted. Remove and serve with salsa and you will have a great mid-afternoon snack.

4. Lunchmeat

  • Mommy’s lunch!!  😛  Need I say more??
  • Omelette – As mentioned above, add lunchmeat & cheese and make a yummy omelette.
  • Quiche – Add some eggs, cream, bacon, spinach and you’ll get a yummy weekend breakfast.
  • Fried Rice – You can never go wrong with fried rice. Add lunchmeat and lots of vegetables for a great fried rice.

Phew, I think that’s all I can think about. If you are worried about wasting food in bento making, I hope that this list is helpful. Happy Bento-ing!! (Is there such a word?? :P)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
(Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Elaina March 4, 2009, 2:58 pm

    I found your site through another blog and have been a silent reader for about a month now. I really love your bentos!! You’re so creative. I like the idea that you use your leftover cheese for mac ‘n cheese. My question is what type of cheddar cheese do you use? Sharp, medium or mild?

    I usually use either the medium or mild since my girl doesn’t like the strong cheese smell. But you can use any one that you prefer. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  • LCOM March 4, 2009, 8:03 pm

    What a great list! I guess most leftover cut out from the bread will end out in my tummy as well. Haha…

    I guess most mommies will end up eating leftovers anyway, bento or not, right? 😛

  • Art of Eating March 4, 2009, 8:28 pm

    Mommy will not let food go into waste instead will take them for themselves. So rewarding huh…


  • Rachel C March 5, 2009, 11:58 pm

    :)…very good tips, thanks for sharing

    You’re welcome!

  • Mike Foster March 6, 2009, 12:51 am

    I was raised to always eat everything my plate and what I couldn’t consume I always save for later. Leftovers, especially in these tight times, can be used in creative ways…this post was helpful.

    Social Networking Blues

    Yes, leftovers can be very useful too.

Leave a Comment