The other night, I went out for Thai food with my bf. He had been craving fried rice. When the server came to our table, he eagerly ordered the house fried rice. Once the food came, it didn’t take long to realize that the fried rice was nothing special. In fact, it was probably the most bland dish I’ve ever tasted at a Thai restaurant. The only flavor I was getting was a hint of sesame oil, and sweetness from the occasional pea.
Here’s the rice. Doesn’t it look bland?
We agreed to share my more flavorful dish (veggies and mock duck in a spicy sauce), and I assured him that I could repurpose his fried rice into something more appetizing. After all was said and done, I made these cheesy kale rice fritters. They were much, much more flavorful. And pretty darn tasty.
Save Money On Food: Repurpose Leftovers
It may seem obvious, but eating leftovers can help you save money on food. This goes for leftovers from home-cooked meals as well as restaurant meals.
Personally, I find it hard to eat the same meal more than twice. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It forces me to use leftover in new and creative ways:
- Leftover chicken becomes a topping for barbecue chicken pizza
- Leftover Thanksgiving turkey becomes turkey chili
- Leftover chili becomes a topping for baked potatoes
- Stale bread becomes bread pudding
- Leftover roasted vegetables can be used in salads, in pasta dishes, on pizza, in scrambled eggs, etc.
Money-saving tip: ALWAYS take your restaurant leftovers home. Eat the same dish again, or make something else. Either way, you will get more bang for your buck, and you might even end up with a new favorite dish.
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Cheesy Kale Rice Fritters
Yield: 10 rice fritters
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
To save additional money, I used ingredients I already had stocked in my fridge and freezer to make these rice fritters. These are quite adaptable, so feel free to make these leftover rice fritters your own using ingredients you already have on hand.
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups leftover fried rice (or regular cooked rice)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Handful of kale leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
Salt and pepper
Oil, for frying
1: Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
2: Take 1/4 cup of the rice mixture and form into patties. Fry over medium-high heat in a bit of oil. Fry for approximately 2 minutes on each side, until the fritters are a nice golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Serve hot with extra melted cheese on top.