I have never liked leftovers. While my two brothers would happily, dare I say, gratefully, eat leftovers anytime my mom served them, I always rebelled: “It’s too fishy.” “It’s too meaty.” “It’s too left-overy.” Hey, I was six. My diction was limited.
Although I’m a lot older, I still don’t love leftovers, because as we all know, they ripen with age. When it comes to stews, that’s a glorious thing. When it comes to fish sticks, not so much.
This past February, which was American Heart Month, I cooked a lot of pork tenderloin. (In case you haven’t heard, February was a big month for pork: The American Heart Association recently certified pork tenderloin as a heart-healthy food with its iconic red check mark.) So I had a lot of leftovers. And — Mom, get this — I ate leftovers, leftovers so good I thought I’d share them with you here.
Here are 11 wonderful ways to enjoy leftover pork tenderloin:
1. Thinly slice and heat it, and nestle inside of a crusty oblong roll with sauteed onions, mushrooms, peppers, and mozzarella cheese or barbecue sauce, cole slaw, and Monterey Jack cheese.
2. Dice and saute it, and add to home-made fried rice.
3. Chop and heat it, and add to rice and beans.
4. Thinly slice it and add to pasta. Try rigatoni with sauteed pork, white beans, spinach, olive oil, and lots of grated Parmesan cheese.
5. Chop it into small pieces and add to your nachos.
6. Dice or slice it, and use in place of bacon for a breakfast scramble.
7. Thinly slice it and add to quesadillas or tacos with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, and guacamole.
8. Thinly slice and saute it, and add to a bowl of ramen noodles or miso soup.
9. Thinly slice it and add to a hearty salad of romaine lettuce, sliced apples, almonds, and a mustard vinaigrette.
10. Slice into thin strips and add to a cold Asian noodle salad with sprouts, carrots, sugar snap peas, mangoes, and a soy-ginger dressing.
11. Slice and heat it, and serve over hot creamy polenta with tomato basil sauce and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.