Loving Leftovers: Spring Rolls & Veggie Bowl

If you don’t plan ahead, cooking can take a lot of time out of your life. Although I love to cook, I only do it a few times a week. If I had all the time in the world, I would love to cook a meal from scratch every night – but that’s just not realistic between work, going to the gym, and having a decent social life. Instead, I plan ahead to make 2 or 3 different dishes in bulk and eat leftovers throughout the week.

The leftovers approach is fine by me – I have no aversion to leftovers and find it the easiest way to cook for myself without spending all of my free time in the kitchen. But I recognize that leftovers aren’t for everyone. Sometimes I can get a little bored of eating the same thing over and over.

My best advice is to reinvent your leftovers. Here I’ve prepared two dishes with almost all of the same ingredients except a few (very easy) additions. First, I made spring rolls with farro, tofu, vegetables and a peanut-mustard dipping sauce. Using a fried egg, I reinvented the dish into a veggie grain bowl using the filling from the spring rolls. You could take it a step further by adding a different protein, a new veggie, or your favorite grain to the bowl. This approach will save you a lot of time in the kitchen while also keeping your meals exciting every day.

Read more about my approach to leftovers in this post from September. How do you keep your leftovers fresh and exciting? Leave a comment with some inspiration for me and other readers!

What you need for both recipes:

  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts chopped and sautéed with ½ tablespoon soy sauce until wilted (I used the leftover Brussels sprouts centers from this recipe)
  • 1 head red cabbage, chopped and sautéed with 1 clove minced garlic and ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Farro & Tofu Spring Rolls with Peanut Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Drain a ½ block of extra firm tofu between paper towels for 20 minutes (best results if you put something heavy on top, like a large saucepan, to press the tofu). Meanwhile, prepare the ingredients above (you’ll use only half for this recipe, the rest for the grain bowl). Slice the tofu into ½ inch slices and season with salt and pepper. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook tofu in pan for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set on a paper towel to cool and cut into 1 inch strips.

Moisten 1 spring roll wrapper according to package directions. Lay on a wet paper towel on top of a cutting board. In the center of the wrapper, place the farro, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, tofu, and cilantro (about 1/3 cup total). Roll according to package directions. Repeat to make a total of 6 spring rolls.

Prepare the dipping sauce by whisking ½ tablespoon peanut oil, ½ tablespoon soy sauce, and ½ tablespoon whole grain mustard in a bowl. Store these in the fridge wrapped individually in plastic wrap (otherwise the wrappers will stick together and tear).

Yield: 3 servings. Serving size: 2 rolls. Per Serving: $2.88, 343 calories, 11g fat, 68g carbs, 16g protein.

 

Veggie Grain Bowl

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Top the leftover farro and veggies from the spring rolls with a sunny side up egg. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

 

Yield: 2 servings. Per Serving: $3.01, 339 calories, 7.5g fat, 83g carbs, 18g protein.

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Maple Mustard Brussels Sprout Chips

It’s starting to feel a lot like spring in Boston – finally! We’ve had about 3 days above 40 degrees in the past 5, and the extra hour of sunlight really helps. Even though we’re expecting some snow tomorrow, I’m feeling hopeful that spring is on its way. My trip to Houston last week was unseasonably cold (35 degrees and raining) so I’m seriously craving some sun!

As much as I’m looking forward to spring and summer weather, I’m even more excited for spring and summer food. Everything is lighter and fresher. I recently signed up for a farm share (more on that in another post) and I can’t wait for it to start! I still have three long months until I pick up my first box.

In a past post I shared my love for kale chips – a perfect use for kale in the summer when it’s in abundance. I’m hoping my farm share will have lot’s kale so I’ll have no excuse not to make kale chips every day. This recipe – Maple Mustard Brussels Sprout Chips – is a winter twist on kale chips and is getting me ready for the warmer weather and fresher food!

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In this recipe I used Green Mountain Mustard’s Golden Grain mustard. As a born and raised Vermonter, I can’t resist Vermont-made products (or anything maple-flavored). This mustard is made from all real ingredients (you can pronounce everything listed on the label!) and is made from scratch in Richmond, Vermont. It’s great in this recipe because the whole grains stick to the Brussels sprouts, adding even more flavor.

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GMM has a variety of very interesting concoctions, like Clove Encounter (garlic and oregano mustard), Sweet Sombrero (jalapeno mustard), and Deli Dirt (everything bagel mustard). I added their Atomic Rooster Mustard (made with their own sriracha sauce) to my latest batch of grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches. The sriracha isn’t too spicy, but definitely packs some heat. You can tell it’s fresh from the pieces of red pepper in the mustard.

Like kale chips, these are best served right away. If you find a way to keep them fresh overnight, let me know!

Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and discard the outer leaves of ½ pound Brussels sprouts by cutting off the ends and peeling back the leaves. Continue to peel off the leaves, putting aside in a large bowl. Stop when the leaves become intertwined, making them hard to remove. Save the centers of the Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag in the fridge for use at a later time. They’re great to add to pasta or to use as a substitute for cabbage.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Green Mountain Golden Grain maple wholegrain mustard, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup (the real stuff!). Whisk until smooth and poor over Brussels sprout leaves. Using your hand, toss the leaves in the sauce until it is evenly distributed.

Lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove leaves that are crispy, and continue roasting the remaining leaves, checking every 3-5 minutes and removing the crisp ones. You want to remove them before they become completely brown. Best if served immediately.

Yield: 2 servings. Per Serving: $1.18, 110 calories, 8g fat, 9.5g carbs, 2g protein.

Disclaimer: Green Mountain Mustard provided two complimentary jars of mustard as inspiration for this post. All recipes and opinions are my own.