How to Transform Last Night’s Leftovers Into a Great Breakfast

Last night’s leftovers often become today’s lunch or dinner, but don’t overlook their potential to make a great breakfast. Getting creative with leftovers can save you time and money and boost your healthy-cooking skills—all while cutting down on food waste. Here are some easy ideas for building a tempting a.m. meal using common dinner-hour leftovers.

Make Delicious Porridge with Leftover Grains
Often the star of a Buddha bowl or the base of a stir-fry, leftover whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, or farro can easily be reinvented as a quick and hearty breakfast porridge. Simply transfer ½ cup of leftover grains to a pot, add a splash of your favorite plant-based milk to achieve your preferred consistency, and warm it on the stove over low heat. Add a pinch of cinnamon, some ground flaxseed or hempseed, and a handful of berries. Other ideas for toppings include maple syrup, dried fruit, nuts, and other seeds. For a recipe, try this tasty Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding.

Stuff a Sweet Potato
Stuffing vegetables such as squash, bell peppers, and potatoes is a creative way to bring variety to your meals, and it’s not just for lunch and dinner. Naturally sweet, and rich in B vitamins and fiber, a stuffed sweet potato makes a great breakfast food. Simply bake an extra sweet potato at dinner, then reheat it the next morning, and dress it up with nut butter and fresh fruit, as I did with this Berry-Stuffed Breakfast Sweet Potato recipe made creamy with almond butter.

Load an Omelette with Last Night’s Veggies
It’s easy to turn what’s left of last night’s veggies into the star of a breakfast omelette. Chop them into bite-size pieces and  throw them into this vegan Leftover Veggie Chickpea Omelette—an ideal destination for leftover steamed, roasted, or sautéed mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, and/or onions!

Slurp Soup Instead of Cereal
It isn’t the first thing North Americans think of at breakfast time, but many cultures around the world start the day with soup. There are several benefits to this practice: First, soup is quick and easy to prepare—simply reheat and eat! Soup is warming, hydrating, and filling without being too heavy. Finally, it’s a hassle-free way to get more vegetables into your morning meal. Whip up a batch of 30-Minute Chickpea Noodle Soup with Spinach or Sweet Potato Bisque, and cozy up to a cup of leftover soup on a chilly morning.

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About the Author

Headshot of Ashley Madden, B.SC(Pharm), ACPR, CHNC

About the Author

Ashley Madden, B.Sc.(Pharm), ACPR, CHNC

Ashley Madden is a full-time food lover and self-professed health nut. She’s also a pharmacist, holistic nutritionist, graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute, and healthy food blogger. Madden is adamant that health starts in the kitchen. She specializes in plant-based, gluten-free, and oil-free recipes, which you can find on her blog Rise Shine Cook. Her work has been published on Mind Body Green, One Green Planet, and Healthline as well as in Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and Thrive Magazine. Madden works with individual clients, teaches private and group cooking classes, and educates others about the power of a healthy plant-based diet and lifestyle. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
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