5 Ingredients: Twice-Roasted Smashed Baby Potatoes

Sometimes leftovers just have to be turned into something else in order to get eaten. That’s how this little side dish came to be. twiceroasted2But it’s a total winner – no reason to reserve it for leftovers alone – you can plan to make it… amazing! This would have been a Quick Side, but if you don’t have already-roasted potatoes on-hand, you have to do a little extra planning and work. Just a little ahead-planning is all you need, and if you forget to pre-plan, just do the first roast and save them to actually eat the next day so you can quick-roast them and be good to go!

My mother in-law made these delicious simple roasted baby potatoes last week – just an easy basic roast: olive oil, salt, pepper, roast until fork-tender. I planned to serve the leftovers alongside salmon this week, but that meal did not come to be. I didn’t want to waste them – they were delicious. But they weren’t going to get eaten in their original form without a little reinvention. The double roast makes the extra tender and delicious on the inside, but also crispy on the outside. I finished with a 2-minute quick broil and it sealed all that delicious goodness in. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1lb baby potatoes (we used a combination of golden and red)
* olive oil
* salt
* pepper
* grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DO
Preheat your oven to 425F.

Wash and dry your potatoes, then place them in a large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Then lay them on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to mostly cool.

Once the potatoes are handle-able, use a fork to lightly squish them down a bit – not so hard that they break apart, but just enough to slightly flatten them. If the olive oil is mostly absorbed and cooked in, drizzle just a bit over the potatoes, then sprinkle them generously with Parmesan cheese.

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Return the smashed potatoes to the oven and roast another 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and turn the broiler on high. Broil just 2 minutes and serve hot – YUMMMMM.

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Made by Kid: 15-Minute Flatbreads

We’re heading out of town for the weekend, and My Tiny Sous Chef is going to hold down the fort at home with my parents. So I wanted to have an easy dinner we could make together quickly so we could also maximize our evening time together. These did all of that – fast, simple, and using infinitely interchangeable ingredients. Plus, as a bonus, My Tiny Sous Chef literally did everything but the oven parts on this, and was totally proud of herself. Which was just the perfect bonus. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDflatbreads3
* pre-made naan bread
* olive oil
* pre-cooked chicken sausage, cut into thin slices
* yellow pepper, diced
* red onion, diced
* leftovers of these potatoes, sliced
* shredded cheddar cheese (white and orange)
* goat cheese (optional)

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 300F.

Place the individual naans on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with a little olive oil. Then top with any combination of your topping ingredients, to your own liking. As an optional base, spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the naan instead of the olive oil, then top with the sausage and veggies.

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Bake for just enough time to warm the naan and melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and cut into portions.

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Total time is probably 15 minutes. While the flatbreads are in the oven, throw together a fresh salad, and voila! Dinner is served!

Thanksgiving Leftover Quesadillas

Are you just about finished with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Us too. But we still have a few things left that have to get used. Are you tired of your leftovers yet? Maybe a little? That’s why you have to do a full transformation to use them up. At least I do. Otherwise I’ll disappoint my Mama with the food I waste because I can’t eat the same thing every day for a week just to use it up! Can you?

I knew tonight was going to be a busy one when I was menu-planning for the week, and that we’d still have leftover Turkey Day goods, so this idea basically came up with itself. Fast? Check. Easy? Check. Kid-friendly? Check. Healthy? Check. Breathes new life into the same old leftovers? Check. Boom. Boom. Boom. Here you go.thanksgivingquesadillas1

WHAT YOU NEED
* whole wheat flour tortillas
* sliced cheese (I liked the idea of Swiss or Provolone with the Thanksgiving flavors)
* leftover roast turkey
* leftover veggies (we used the rest of these sweet potatoes and my mother in-law’s spinach and mushroom casserole)

WHAT TO DO
Shred the leftover turkey and warm up any veggies (quick microwave warm-up or in a pan on the stove — whatever is easiest).

Place one tortilla in a large pan over medium heat and let it start to warm up. Place a layer of your preferred cheese on the tortilla and let it just start to melt before adding layers of veggies, and then a layer of shredded turkey, another layer of cheese, and another tortilla. Pat your quesadilla down a bit so that it all melts together, then let it cook for a minute or so. Flip it over and do the same on the other side (pat it down, cook for another minute or two). Aaaaaaaand… DONE.thanksgivingquesadillas2

I mean, I’m sure I didn’t *actually* have to tell you how to make a quesadilla. But that’s not the point here! The point was to reenvision your leftovers, people. To think outside the roasting pan box so that your leftovers feel new again! Like putting Thanksgiving dinner between tortillas!thanksgivingquesadillas3

Meatless Monday: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

So what do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Besides the traditional and totally perfect-and-amazing Thanksgiving dinner sandwich, of course. This year I decided that I would take the glorious leftovers that inevitably come home with us after Thanksgiving dinner in a new direction, and re-envision their possible resurrections. When I asked My Tiny Sous Chef for dinner requests for the week, her first suggestion was lasagna. veglasagna4BOOM. There’s the first repurposing solution! Leftover roasted vegetables find new life in the layers of a simple and delicious lasagna casserole. And the result was a perfect blend of seasonal nostalgia and homey comfort food. Can’t beat that! Plus, easy to prepare ahead or make the night-of. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* pre-baked lasagna noodles
* 15oz package of part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* leftover roasted vegetables (I used broccoli and savory roasted sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner)
* 1T dried oregano
* 1t salt
* 1/2t pepper
* 1T garlic powderveglasagna1
* 1 jar tomato sauce (whatever your preference will work great here – simple marinara or a chunkier version with veggies or seasonings – and anything in between. Basically, whatever’s already in your pantry!)
* sliced mozzarella cheese (can also use shredded, fresh – whatever you like)
* grated Parmesan cheese

WHAT TO DO
Preheat your oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, and seasonings.

veglasagna2Put a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8X11 inch baking dish/casserole. This keeps your lasagna from getting dry or burning on the bottom. Place lasagna noodles on top of the sauce, creating an even layer. Put about half of the ricotta mixture over the noodles, and spread evenly to cover. Add a layer of your roasted vegetables on top of the ricotta mixture.

Cover the vegetables with about half of the jar of tomato sauce. Cover the tomato sauce with a layer of mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top layer of mozzarella and place your lasagna into your preheated oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melty and bubbly and turning golden. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving to allow to set.

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Serve with a big, fresh salad (sorry I can’t loan you My Tiny Sous Chef who happens to be an expert salad maker!) and a warm, fresh loaf of crusty bread. What you’ve got there is a reinvention of a perfect Thanksgiving side dish into a perfect post-Thanksgiving weeknight meal. Mmmmmmmmmmm…