What to do with leftovers?

All that meat and bread has gotta go somewhere!

July the 4th means food for many of us. The traditions of the day are usually outdoor BBQ type stuff. Usually grilled meats of hotdogs and Hamburgers. But, like most holidays that have a big element of food, there are going to be leftovers. And faced with those leftovers, people get stumped as to what to do with them. But with some creativity and inspiration (I.E. you want to actually eat and saving money is good too!) the things that can be done with those leftover foods can amaze and fill a belly too.

Hot Dogs

That looks like a way to ring in a holiday!

It’s an American tradition of eating wieners. They are a long way away from European sausages, but we love them. A big thing with what to do with a lot of hotdogs around is first to try different toppings. If you are used to the standard mustard, ketchup, or relish, start there. Things like Cheese, bacon, whole pickles, and Salsa are things I use to break away from the norm. Toppings can add a lot of flavor to a meal so if things are getting boring, change that up and get new flavors to your palette.

Another route is a new recipe. Sick of dogs in the bun? Do something different with it! One of the recipes we have in our family takes the hot dogs, cuts them up, adds in diced onions and a tomato based sauce and you now have Hot Dog Casserole. There are plenty of recipes on how to mix the hot dogs into casseroles and other meals that aren’t that complex to make. Look them up and see what you can fin.

And sometimes, it can do you a favor by going basic. Depending on where these weiners came from. It is always an idea to just had a little pepper and stick it over a fire. That’s how these came out incredibly as a youngster at my grandmother’s house. A stick, her wood stove, and a little bit of pepper to sprinkle on there for taste and it didn’t need relish or any of that other stuff. Hell, if you want to go REALLY basic, why cook them at all? Well, food safety is an issue, but many times these are already cooked so you may not have that problem.



That actually looks really good.

Burgers are done so many ways that sometimes you have to be really creative with these leftovers. But, like Hot dogs, a lot can be done with them too. Getting out of the normal can be easy with different toppings. Salsa is a good one for me outside the usual ketchup, mustard, and relish. I’ve seen lots of places put fried eggs on their burgers as called them Gourmet. A lot of places use veggies and changing them around may make a difference. A difference can be found on the how you load them up.

If burgers themselves aren’t what you are thinking, that meat can be put to use as well. Crumbling burger patties into ground meat work well and can be turned into anything from chili to taco toppings to pizza toppings. Just remember to make sure it’s all cooked through!

And if you are really out of ideas and need something.  Cut it up and put it in something. Soups, stews, sauces, even a can of spaghetti-Os. When in doubt, mix it into something else.


The Buns

Rolls of all kids!

Having no meat left and packs of buns still sitting there is also a problem. Money was spent on those and you want to use them. Hot dog rolls can be used for more than just hot dogs. Being from Maine we use those rolls for Lobster sandwiches, but you do not need to even be that creative. If you got it, it probably can go in the hot dogs roll. Meat, cheese, hell even peanut butter and jelly. The sky is the limit here!

And the same goes for the burger rolls. They don’t need to be over complicated. If you don’t have burgers to use, put whatever you want in there. They make for handy sandwich bread replacements so go ahead and make a sandwich! They are called ROLLS after all so eat them as is for dinner. Some diets even ask for “meatless” burgers, and a number of burger joints actually have ways to make them, so it’s fully possible to make burgers without the actual burgers. It may not be widespread, but it can fill your hungry stomach and use up more of those pesky leftovers you will have sitting around.

The dude of food

Of course, you can also get a stopwatch and go Joey Chestnut on them. I don’t recommend it though!


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