We have had three different sets of houseguests over the past four weekends which means many big meals and frequent restaurant eating. It also means that during the week, my refrigerator has been in a happy place called Leftover Land. I am a leftover junkie. Whether it is a half piece of pizza or five bites of chili, I save it. My behavior stems from two serious catalysts: I absolutely hate wasting things, especially food, and I am hypoglycemic and eat a little something about every three hours. Two bites of a leftover steak have been known to push me from panicked delirium to placid clarity in minutes.

At the end of each weekend, I have come to love Sunday dinners when I take full stock of what is in the refrigerator and cupboards try to whip it all into something new fangled and delicious. With the furrowed brow and concentration of MacGyver trying to rig up a bomb with chewing gum, I chop, mix and garnish up those leftovers to create the most presentable and fresh meal possible. (did I just date myself with that MacGyver reference?)

Some of my best inventions come in the form of an Asian-inspired rice bowl. I realized that it is a formula that can be passed on, and so I will. Below are some basic guidelines but I encourage you to be creative. Leftovers live on!

Leftovers Rice Bowl
Gather up any or all of the below ingredients you may have.

Step 1 Ingredients:
minced garlic
diced ginger
chopped onion

Step 2 Ingredients:
Tofu cut in small chunks
Diced or chunked leftover Meat (chicken, steak, pork..almost anything will do)

Step 3 Ingredients:
Rice (leftover rice works best)
Soy Sauce or
Ginger Soy Sauce or
Peanut Sauce

Fried egg
spring onions


Start by heating oil in a wok or hot pan. Sesame oil adds a great flavor but any oil will do. Add any of the Step 1 ingredients you may have and cook a few minutes. Add Step 2 ingredients and continue to cook. In general, add raw items first or things that need the most cooking before the leftovers. When all is heated through, add the rice and whatever sauce you have on hand and mix together. Serve in bowls and top with garnish(es).