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Volume III
September, 2012

Newsletter Home / Kitchen Remedy

Stretch Your Dollar by Lunching on Leftovers

By Calli Rhoades

Eating lunch out every day is a very expensive habit. Even if you stick with the less expensive (and often less healthy) options, the cost adds up to a pretty massive total day after day and week after week. Even if you limit your spending to $5 a day (which doesn't buy much these days) the total for work days throughout the year comes in right around $1300.

I don't know about you, but a plane ticket to a nice warm beach and a hotel to lay my head down at when I get there sounds like a much better use for my money. How about that bathroom redo I have been dreaming of? Maybe some new furniture! Oh no, I have been daydreaming again. Better stop that and get back to the point here. The bottom line is that eating lunch out uses money that I, and probably you, would rather use for other things!

You can make wonderfully delicious lunches at home for pennies on the dollar. As an added benefit, YOU get to have the control over what goes in to your lunch sack, not a food distributor, restaurant chain, or the teenager they hired to serve it to you. Taking control of your lunch box gives you the option to make them healthier and less expensive as you desire.

A fantastic way to save even more money is to plan for lunches when you plan your dinners. Yep, that is right, I am actually suggesting that you PLAN to use leftovers for your lunch.

Can you hear my husband groaning and complaining about that suggestion from there? He is what I call a leftover snob! I made him a promise that I would provide him with some awesome recipes to change his mind about leftovers for lunch. I hope if any of you fit in the leftover snob club you will give these recipes a try and see if maybe we can change your mind about those lonely leftovers and save them from impending Tupperware doom!

Chicken Wraps with California Dried Plums and Apples

4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
4 whole-wheat, spinach, tomato, or flour tortillas
1 cup chopped California dried plum
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped celery
12 ounces shredded or diced grilled chicken breasts


Spread 1 ounce cream cheese on bottom half of each wrap. Scatter dried plums, apple and celery over cream cheese; arrange chicken on top. Fold in sides, then roll up from the bottom, burrito-fashion, to completely enclose filling. Serves 4.
(Recipe and photo courtesy of

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Saucy Roast Beef Sandwiches

1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1//2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard
16 ounces sliced roast beef
4 hoagie buns or other sandwich bun

Simmer first 6 ingredients for 15 minutes then spoon into buns and enjoy.

*If packing for a sack lunch, simmer, then store meat and refrigerate. Reheat and then spoon into bun. Serves 4.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Steak Salad

1/2 head Romaine lettuce , cut into bite-size pieces
1 large head Belgian endive , thinly sliced crosswise (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 red onion , thinly sliced into rings
3 cups arugula, fresh baby
12 cherry tomatoes , halved
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese , coarsely crumbled
Red Wine Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound beef steaks (such as New york, rib-eye, or filet mignon), pan fried and chilled

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil


In a large bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, Belgian endive, red onion, baby arugula and cherry tomatoes, and half of the cheese. Toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the salad on a platter.
Cut the steaks crosswise into thin slices. Arrange the steak slices atop the salad and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Drizzle more vinaigrette over the steak slices and serve.

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Serves 4.

(Recipe and photo courtesy of

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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Chile Verde Burritos

Use pork leftovers to make this great chile verde. Heat it and wrap it in a tortilla for a restaurant-rivaling lunch from home!

1/2 shredded cooked pork loin roast , in bite size pieces
2 cans , green chile red enchilada sauce
1/3 cup or less jalapeno chiles , depending on how tough you are
3 packages pork gravy (add water as directed on package)
flour tortilla
sour cream
Sliced olives
Monterey Jack-Colby cheese
tortilla chip


Combine pork, enchilada sauce, jalapenos and gravy in pan. Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes. Stir frequently.
Heat tortillas until warm. Add 1/3 cup Verde and roll up into burritos. Smother in additional Verde and garnish with cheese, sour cream and olives. This Verde is also great on the side for dipping tortilla chips.

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Once you have all that extra lunch money hanging around you may need ideas on how to spend it. Maybe you need a new Cook'n Cookbook or a lovely gift for a certain newsletter writer? Okay, okay, I might be pushing my luck just a little. However you spend your saved pennies I hope you thoroughly enjoy the recipes you create!

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