Leftovers are never a bad thing. Whether it be home-cooked food or take-out, having delicious food twice without a dime or prep time is always a treat. But what about leftovers for breakfast? Leftovers can completely change your breakfast game. Because leftovers are made with the labour love and are therefore filled with flavour, very little is needed to make a bomb-dot-com morning meal. You also have the extra benefits of reducing the amount of time you take to make breakfast as half of it is already cooked, eliminating potential wastage of your leftovers and creatively adding an enormous amount of flavour in a short space of time. Win-win-win.
We take local and common dinners in Trinidad and use them in our morning staples. You'll be yearning for leftovers just to make these breakfasts. So whether you prefer a light meal to a heartier one in the morning, we’re sure you’ll be able to make your mornings much better with these ideas. And don’t worry if you constantly buy dinner, we know how to use that up too!
The obvious way to reutilise tomato choka for breakfast is to slab it on coconut bake—don’t get us wrong, we know this is a classic for a reason. But if you want to experiment a bit more, try adding it to scrambled eggs. While cooking your eggs on low-heat, in between the fully cooked and cooked stage, add your tomato choka and allow the eggs to fully cook. Adding the choka at this stage prevents the tomatoes from getting lost in the eggs but allows it to get partially absorbed and integrated. You can add a mild cheese, like mozzarella, if you want your eggs a bit cheesier.
Another brilliant way to re-use your choka is to add it into your grilled cheese—this works particularly well for kids who can be a bit fussy in the morning (cheese makes everything better right?). Layer your preferred cheese on top of whatever bread you wish to use, spoon the choka on top of it and then add another layer of cheese. We do this to prevent the choka from making the bread soggy and to up the gooeyness factor. However, if you are using a crustier bread like ciabatta and prefer less cheese, you can ignore that layer. Brush with butter or olive oil and press your grilled cheese in a hot pan or melt it in the toaster oven. You’ll have a delicious panini filled with a flavour-bomb. The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the richness of the cheese—it’s incredibly devourable.
Boiled eggs are the easiest way to add protein to any meal. Most Trinidadians add it to their potato or macaroni salad. If one too many eggs are boiled then they’re usually stuck in the fridge to make future sandwiches. We took the egg sandwich and put a tasty twist on it. It’s an egg salad on toast with the addition of curry powder. Grate or chop the eggs and add mayo, chopped chives, salt and black pepper. Mix well and then add in curry powder. When properly combined, the egg salad should be fluffy and a medium-yellow colour. Dollop onto toast and add any leftover cucumbers or lettuce in your fridge. It’s a protein-filled, yummy breakfast.
Whether you roasted it at home, bought a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket or treated yourself to some barbecue, there's always chicken left over. The best way to utilise them is to make chicken salad. Remember, we want to avoid the travesty that is microwaved chicken (chicken salad uses stripped cold chicken). But this is not the chicken salad where you add mayo and mustard and call it a day (although that’s delicious as well). To make it a more filling and nutritious breakfast, add dried cranberries or halved grapes and any nuts that you have on hand. Not only does it make you feel like you’re eating a gourmet breakfast but the textures and sweet and salty flavours ensure that your mouth is never bored. You can spice it up in other ways by adding corn, chive or apple and cabbage. (We are partial to the grape and nut combo.) The combinations are endless and it's a great way to use older produce in your fridge.
For ideas on how to use vegetable leftovers for dinner, visit propaeats.com