Many of us sometimes feel afraid of experimenting in the kitchen without some form of guidance or previous knowledge about certain ingredients, but finding a recipe for the exact combinations of leftovers can be a challenge.

Today, I just want to share with you some ideas to save left-overs in a simple way. Please note this is not a recipe, but a “InspiRecipe =  Inspiration for a recipe”, that perhaps can help you reduce food waste.

The inspection

The other day, I checked the fridge to see what leftovers we had that we could eat for lunch. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough ready-to-eat food, but I had a combination of random leftovers which I didn’t want to waste.

These were the ingredients – you’ll see why I said “random”:

  • 1/4 cup of oats pulp (from making oat milk at home)
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds.
  • 1 cup of brown rice (roughly, I didn’t measure it)
  • 3 old mushrooms


When I have rice/quinoa/pasta, mushrooms and/or legumes, my immediate thought is usually: fritters or burgers.

You are maybe wondering why the “or”, well, that’s key: I never set the expectations of what it is going to turn out because I usually use random ingredients. If the mixture has a good consistency that I can shape then I make burgers (or patties), if not I make flat fritters. I really don’t mind as I love both options.

I make them plant based, but you can add any other ingredient you have around.

Other ingredients

These are ingredients I usually have around, you can easily swap them or ignore some of them:

  • Chopped onions (you can use leek, spring onions or similar)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • Italian herbs (you can use any dry herb you have)
  • Bread crumbs or similar (if needed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil

One of the methods

These steps below are the ones I picked for the mix of ingredients I had:

  • I sliced the mushrooms and in a pan with a bit of oil, I cooked them with the onions, garlic and the pumpkin seeds for around 5-8 minutes until brown.
Cooking mushrooms

Cooking mushrooms

  • In a food processor, I mixed the mushrooms, chickpeas, oats, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Added a bit of bread crumbs for a better consistency and processed it again. At that point, I already knew this mixture would be better for some fritters, as it would be hard to give it a burger shape.
Mixture for fritters

Mixture for fritters

  • Placed around 2 spoons of the mixture in a pan with a bit of oil and cook them until brown. I got around 6 fritters.
Fritters ready

Fritters ready

We served these with a salad and they were delicious!!

Alternative simpler method

Another method I use for fritters is to cook vegetables in a pan (onions, tomatoes, leek, garlic, spinach, grated carrots, zucchinis…or any other vegetable you have) and then simply mix it with rice/quinoa/ pasta, and add 1 egg for consistency.

I like to use the food processor because I often don’t need to use eggs, but this is a quicker option.

Save the leftovers

I believe it is important to experiment, to be creative, to swap ingredients. I often don’t follow recipes step by step as I always tend to adjust them, sometimes a bit, sometimes a lot. Over the years, as I have been doing that, I have become more confident to experiment in the kitchen, to try new combinations and ingredients. Give this InspiRecipe a go and let me know how it goes 😉

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”-George Lichtenberg

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Thanks for reading,