Use leftover pulled pork to make this banh mi from the new cookbook Love Your Leftovers. Get the recipe – and my take on the book – below!
Shawn and I are terrible when it comes to eating leftovers. I try to bring them to work with me for lunch, but after a day or two I get tired of eating the same exact thing. Unless I made something amazing, Shawn generally won’t even touch them (he says he’ll bring them for lunch, but he never seems to remember.)
That’s why I was so excited to hear about fellow food blogger Nick Evans’ new book, Love Your Leftovers. The premise is simple, but brilliant: cook a big batch of something, then add a little more work to it each night to completely transform it so it doesn’t seem like leftovers. It might seem like common sense, but it’s not something I ever think to do on my own.
The “mother” recipes – things like roast chicken, salmon, and black beans – are flavorful enough to eat on their own the first night, but really shine when you use them to create the spinoff recipes.
I decided to put Nick’s crockpot pulled pork to the test. We ate it three ways (in carnitas tacos, as a topping for BBQ pulled pork pizza, and in Banh Mi sandwiches) over the course of a week and definitely didn’t feel like we were eating leftovers. I even ate some of the taco filling/toppings over rice and beans for lunch one day. I could have happily kept going for another night or two, but we ran out of pork. I’d call that a success!
Unfortunately, I set myself up for a little bit of disappointment since I didn’t understand the concept 100% before getting so excited about the book. To be clear, this isn’t a “cook once eat twice” sort of deal. Although some of the main recipes would be fine on their own as dinner, others are components like lentils, tomato sauce, or baked potatoes. You’ll definitely have to make something to go along with them.
You’ll also need to put a little effort into the transformations – even with the head start you’ve given yourself, the spinoff recipes take 30-40 minutes to make. Still, 40 minutes for something like chicken and dumplings that tastes like it’s cooked all day is pretty good. Just know what you’re getting into.
The recipes that I tried were all really solid and I loved the little touches like quick pickled onions for the tacos and the addition of smoked gouda on the pizza (I usually go for cheddar on BBQ pizza, but smoked gouda is definitely the way to go!)
Planning my week out around the pork made choosing and preparing weeknight meals so much easier. And since so many of the other ingredients I needed overlapped between these recipes, it cut down even more on the amount of food we wasted for the week!
- 1 baguette (14-16 inches long)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cups leftover pulled pork
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 1/3 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
Pickled banana peppers
- Fresh cilantro
- Heat the oven to 400ºF.
- Cut the baguette in half, then split it down the center. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until slightly crispy.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, or until soft. Add the pulled pork, fish sauce, water, and pepper. Bring to a simmer; cook until the liquid is absorbed, 4-5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and Sriracha. Spread both sides of the bread with yogurt sauce. Top the bottom slice with pork and vegetables; top with a second piece of bread.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of Love Your Leftovers. This post contains Amazon affiliate links (if you make a purchase after clicking my link, I’ll earn a small commission.)