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A Third of Americans Forget About Their Leftovers—This Hack Will Help You Use Them

A new report found one in three Americans forget about their leftovers. This Leftovers Bowl formula will help you use them before they go bad, saving money and combatting food waste.

leftovers bowl formula
Written by
Stephanie Osmanski
How good are you about eating
your leftovers
? If your answer is "not great," you're not alone.
In a
new report
conducted by OnePoll on behalf of meal kit service Hello Fresh, one-third of the 2,000 survey respondents said they forget about their leftovers. But what if we told you there's a way to make them the star of the show—saving you money and combatting
food waste
If you've ever stood in front of the refrigerator wondering what to do with all the food
that's about to expire
, the "Leftovers Bowl" is for you. Created by
Gia Stanley
, the sustainable chef behind
Sustainably Gia
, it's a simple way to make something delicious out of what would have gone to waste.
"It's my favorite way to cut back on food waste," Stanley wrote on
. "This super easy, delicious ‘Leftovers Bowl’ allows me to give my leftovers a second life."

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The 'Leftovers Bowl' Formula

leftovers bowl formula
The formula for Stanley's Leftovers Bowl is simple. Here's what you need: 2-4 hot leftovers (examples: protein of choice, brown rice, sautéed mushrooms). Then 2-4 cold leftovers (examples: kale, red cabbage, salsa).
That formula can also be adjusted so any of your about-to-go-bad produce can be used. For example, in the bowl below, her hot items included brown rice, sesame-glazed asparagus, a sautéed mushroom and shallot mix, and BBQ tempeh. For her cold items, she used kale, red cabbage, and salsa. "The possibilities are endless," she says.
To make your bowl interesting and satisfying, try to incorporate different textures and colors. Also add in at least one protein source to make it filling. Stanley combined BBQ tempeh with a handful of different vegetables for a mixed variety of vitamins and nutrients.

What Makes This Bowl So Great?

While this formula always makes your Leftovers Bowl taste great, the best part is that it's also totally sustainable. After all, you are cutting down on food waste by making a smorgasbord of different options, all in one bowl.
Instead of throwing out those food scraps—
sending them to the landfill
where they won't break down—you’re making use of them. Aka the best kind of sustainability hack there is.