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Delicious simple meals using left-overs

Rice, pasta, couscous and other grains are ideal for people who are unable to shop regularly, because they have such a long shelf life.

For fluffy rice always start with cold water. Use two parts water to one of rice. Heat the water and rice to boiling then turn the heat down low and put a lid on the pot. Check after ten minutes when the water has been absorbed and you should have the perfect rice.

For lovely pasta use as much water as possible and add the pasta when the water is boiling. Make sure the water is boiling so the pasta does not stick together.

The following recipes can use leftover ingredients.

Fried Rice Or Pasta

Cook the rice, grains or pasta: drain well and leave to cool. Make a stir-fry with your favourite ingredients. (Cut these up more finely if you are using rice, and more chunky, if you are using pasta). You may need to add extra seasoning (garlic, sauces, herbs & spices) as starchy foods seem to absorb a lot of flavour from the dish When everything is cooked toss in the rice or pasta and mix well while heating.

Baked Rice Or Pasta

Layer cooked rice with finely chopped vegetables and or/meat and top with cheese or a mixture of breadcrumbs, herbs, oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven on a medium heat until the top is golden brown. Pasta can be used in the same way. Try tossing the pasta in a sauce first (white sauce or tomato based) for extra flavour.

Rice Pilaf

Couscous or any other grain can also be used for this recipe. In this dish, the ingredients and seasonings are all added to the grains before cooking. Try dried fruit, finely chopped citrus peel and toasted nuts or seeds. For example mix uncooked rice with chopped chicken, onion, sultanas, cinnamon and curry powder, add the cold water or cold stock and cook as for rice on its own.