Why Quesadillas Are the Best Way to Turn Leftovers Into Lunch

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I love recycling leftovers, but I don't like to see the same thing on my plate so soon after eating the original. Making my leftovers into a quesadilla is quick and easy, a no brainer! The one you see here is made with leftover shrimp creole, a sprinkle of cheese, a few pickled jalapeños and a handful of kale micro-greens. Is it pretty? Nah. Delicious, and perfect to enjoy with a good book? Absolutely!

My lunch has an added bonus: I always smile when I think of the scene in Napoleon Dynamite when his grandmother tells him, "Make yourself a dang quesadillah!" Exactly. My kids have seen the movie and I've been known to tell them the exact same thing when they ask for a snack. And it cracks me up every time.

You know what kids love? When you make a dorky joke, refuse to cook for them and cackle like the dork that you are. (That's a joke. They don't love it. Not at all. Which makes me enjoy it more! They've been giving me a time this week, so please forgive me.)

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My favorite wraps, made with millet, flax, spinach, bran and rice flour, taste like decadent junk food when pan-fried in a little olive oil. How does this miracle food go from healthy ideal to mouth-watering treat? I do not know. I keep waiting for Sami's Bakery to admit they aren't healthy at all, do not contain 12 grams of fiber per wrap and are actually made with scraps from Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Until then, I'll feel wildly healthy whenever I eat one.

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Anything tastes good in a quesadilla wrapper and the possibilities are endless. Sautéed kale and lavender goat cheese make a nice, light meal. Succotash, a slice of leftover bacon and a sprinkle of cheese is also a favorite. If I'm in the mood for breakfast, a western style egg scramble and a dash of Sriracha hit the spot.

I work at home, so I always get first crack at leftovers. Just about anything works. Chicken divan is divine and fish tacos don't mind being transformed into a quesadilla one little bit. If I have no leftovers? (With a teen, a pre-teen and a hungry second grader, it happens.) I can use frozen vegetables and a creamy Brie. Yum, yum, yum.

Do you transform your leftovers for lunch? Please share your tips! And is anyone else mentally pronouncing "quesadilla" Grandma Dynamite style with an English "l" and an "ah" at the end?

(Images: Anne Postic)

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Main, Advice, Children, Lunch, Quick

Anne Postic writes about cooking for her family on The Kitchn. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and three very handsome sons. She loves talking cooking, travel, parenting and art, though not necessarily in that order.

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