Eating healthy can be challenging sometimes. After a long day it would be so much easier to order take out or grab a pre-made frozen meal. You tell yourself you'll get something with lots of veggies and not covered in cheese and it won't be so bad, right? The healthiest option is always to eat fresh, homemade food.
(Aside: This doesn't mean that take out is never an option. If, every so often, you want to order Chinese food, drink wine, and watch Netflix the world is not going to end. You're not going to slide down some slippery slope of unhealthiness to your untimely demise. But take out should be a special, once in awhile, thing. I'm of the opinion that when you make food choices out of desperation you're more likely to make not as good choices - notice I didn't say bad, because there are no "bad" foods. /Aside).
This is why I am a huge fan of leftovers. For most meals I'll usually make at least double of what I think I'll need, the leftovers make a great lunch to take to work the next day, or a foundation for a new meal for dinner later in the week. Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, leftovers will last for about 7 days. If you don't think you'll use them before then, you can always freeze them for up to 3 months. Sometimes reheating in the microwave can leave food soggy, so for things like vegetables or bread it's best to reheat in the oven or toaster oven. Leftovers should be reheated to 165 degrees (F) internal temperate to kill any possible microorganism - nobody wants food poisoning. This means a rolling boil for any liquid leftovers (sauces, gravies, soups, etc). If you don't have a thermometer, I highly suggest you get one for food safety reasons. Ikea has a great one that I use all the time, you can find it here. If you don't want to reheat by temperate make sure your leftovers are at least heated all the way through (but using a thermometer is really easy and super fast, I promise!).
For those of you who made the heatwave recipe from my last post, here's a recipe for those leftovers!
Greek Rice Bowl
1 chicken breast
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Bake chicken breasts in the oven at 375 degrees until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Mix yogurt, cucumber, oregano, and garlic powder (to get the most flavor out of your dried herbs rub them between your fingers as your sprinkle them over the yogurt mixture). Reheat rice to internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Scoop 1 cup rice into a bowl, top with half of a diced chicken breast, and top with 1/4 cup of the yogurt mixture.
The recipe only needs one chicken breast, but if you have more, make more! You can store the extras in the fridge and put them in a salad the next day, or mix them with some sauteed vegetables and noodles, or thinly slice it and top with with avocado on toasted bread. Your options are endless!
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.