3 #RadicALL Ways to Reinvent America’s Most Popular Restaurant Leftovers

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Stopping Food Waste: Can Save You Your Hard Earned Money. Check out our simple restaurant leftover hacks designed to keep you going.

Feel good be making new creations from your restaurant leftovers: get creative a learn what it takes about becoming a “Sustainable Foodie.”

Next time you dine out, think ahead and pick out a menu item you might be able to turn into a new recipe.

Creating new meals from old ones is a great way to get test your limits and have something to share with friends.

Food Tribe knows a thing about Restaurants, Foodies and Sustainability: our #RadicALL campaign is all about developing a lifestyle for healthier people + planet.

Food Tribe is a 360 platform for foodies, restaurants, and food and beberage brands. 

Our mission?

To connect good people to good food.

This post highlights some of the ways foodies everywhere are becoming more mindful by to refreshing restaurant leftovers.

Meet Hailey: She Can Help You Make New Meals from Your Leftovers is still one of our most popular posts.

Hailey of Homecooked LA reminded us of the importance in refreshing your leftover #eeeeeats to avoid contributing to the food waste problem.

We thought we’d take it a step further and offer you some new ways to recreate popular menu items.

So if you follow posts like Zero Waste Chef, you’ll want to keep reading.


The Sticky Factor

Becoming a Sustainable Foodie doesn’t have to be a big deal - in fact, making a few simple changes will lead to a better planet, and can even save you money. 

Foodies, Take Out Enthusiasts and People Who Love to Eat

  • America loves food - the average American will spend $70,000 on takeout and eating out over their lifetime

  • If that sounds like you, you might be among the Americans who dine out up to 5x a week

  • Eating out is a way to take a break, enjoy life, and appreciate the flavors, tastes, and cultures that make our planet so special.

Join the wait list  for our Facebook group for sustainable foodies.

Join the wait list for our Facebook group for sustainable foodies.

Here’s the thing. Foodies today have more information about food than at any other time in history.

Which means that we have a responsibility to understand the consequences of our food choices - the decisions we make everyday regarding where our food comes from, how we consume it, and how we get rid of it.

Which is why Food Tribe is so heavily influenced by the UN’s Sustainable Development goals.

As an organization, we’ve decided that our vision and activities will be in line with the UN’s key goals.

“Sustainable foodie” is a definition we’ve been exploring as a team ever since our Eating for Planet: RadicALL Holiday Restaurant Takeover event.

Since then, we’ve been using the UN’s sustainable development goals as a way to help define what a sustainable foodie really is:

Food Tribe’s Defintion of a Sustainable Foodie

Animals: Sustainable foodies care about healthy animals, safe living conditions, humane treatment

Economics: Financing operations who support workers rights, focused on the triple bottom line are important to sustainable foodies

Waste: Avoiding waste at all costs. Leaving no materials on this planet that can’t be trace free.

Agriculture + Sustainability: Food systems designed to make the best use of land space, protecting important ecosystems that allow the healthy recovery of the planet.

The Ocean and the Air: Two systems paramount to the continued existence of our planet. Sustainable foodies make food choices which ensure the healing of our oceans and sky’s.

People: Are the caretakers of this planet. If they don’t have what they need to protect it, why are we here? Sustainable foodies make food choices that help ensure lasting prosperity for their neighbors.

Local Focus with a Global Twist: Understanding the importance of local systems to support an international food system.

Eating Out, Wasted Food and The Cost to People and Planet


One easy way to get the process started in becoming sustainable foodie is to focus on connecting the dots between eating out and eating at home.

In this country we throw away 40% of the prepared foods that make it to our plates.

So why not learn how to make new meals from leftovers to avoid throwing away the extra?

Nearly one-third of that food waste happens because we purchase, cook or serve more than we consume.

Learning how to make new meals from leftovers is an easy + surefire way to minimize wasted food.

Dining Out and Eating At Home


One of the easiest things a sustainable foodie can do is to think about the meal you’re going to order before you arrive.

From there, here are a few ways to be smart:

  • Call ahead and let them know you plan on bringing your own Tupperware or storage containers

  • Order purposefully - think about what you want to eat and think if you’ve got the ingredients back home to make a new meal with what could be leftover

  • If they offer the option, be sure to get your receipt via email or text to avoid wasted paper


Once you’ve gotten a little better about the WAY you order from restaurants and your favorite coffee shops, cafes, diners and grocery stores, we can start thinking about some ways to reinvent your restaurant leftovers.

For this example, we’re going to discuss the most popular menu items in America.

According to GrubHub, here were the most popular delivery items in 2018:

  • bean burrito (276% more popular)

  • poke (205% more popular)

  • chicken slider (189% more popular)

Thinking things through, it makes sense that the 3 most popular delivery items are also the most common to save - right?

Keep reading for our thoughts on ways to reinvent these three menu favorites.

3 #RadicALL Ways to Reinvent America’s Most Popular Restaurant Leftovers


Americans spend $70,000 on takeout in their lifetime—CNBC journalist did an AMAZING job of putting together a few tips on ways to repurpose your restaurant leftovers with the help of Joel Gamoran - National Chef for Sur La Table and host of the cooking show “SCRAPS.

  1. Make a plan. based on the ingredients you have

  2. Use ingredients that go bad first.

  3. Think creatively to use scraps you’d normally throw out - stale bread makes great breadcrumbs.

  4. Don’t be afraid to mix cuisines.


Here’s the thing - being a sustainable foodie isn’t just about looking cool on social media. The reason why Food Tribe is so invested in our #RadicALL campaign is because learning about what you eat is cool.

In addition to helping you get healthy and happy by doubling down on your love for food, you’ll also:

  • Save money

  • Respect people who aren’t as lucky as you

  • Create a better planet by taking care of the resources available to us all

RadicALL Restaurant Hack #1: Bean Burrito

  • Bean Burrito History: Bean Burritos are a part of every staple of Mexican restaurant you can think of. Next time you order in, no pressure to finish the whole thing - save your future wallet and don’t throw it away.

  • Why Bean Burritos are Tough: Bean burritos are a tough one to recook - tricky to reheat due to the tortilla and the sticky nature of the beans, its a bummer to have to throw away your favorite flour tortilla wrapped behometh of a meal.

  • What Food Tribe is Recommending: Food Tribe recommends two ways to repurpose your burrito:

    • Bean Soup with Crispy Tortilla Points: Scoop out your bean burrito into a bowl. Add another can of refried or your favorite beans. Mix with water, cream, and your favorite Mexican spices. Put on the oven and smix until all ingredients are liquid. While soup is cooking, slice your old tortilla and cut into triangles. Put onto a cookie pan and place in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish soup with tortilla points and serve.

#Radicall Restaurant Hack #2: Poke

  • The History of Poke: is diced raw fish served either as an appetizer or as a main course and is one of the main dishes of Native Hawaiian cuisine. Traditional forms are aku (an oily tuna) and heʻe (octopus). Heʻe (octopus) poke is usually called by its Japanese name Tako Poke, except in places like the island of Niʻihau where the Hawaiian language is spoken. Increasingly popular ahi poke is made with yellowfin tuna.

  • Why to Reinvent Leftover Poke: The reason why Poke is a tricky one is typically due to what you get mixed in it. Popular flavors for Poke include The rice and fish are then seasoned with sauces like soy sauce, ponzu sauce, limu (seaweed), rice vinegar, Hawaiian sea salt, creamy and spicy mayo, and salty furikake. All accompanying ingredients are sliced and diced in bite-size portions. Which means that depending on what you get, might influence the way your #restaurantleftovers taste over the next few days. So next time you order in - be sure to consider what ingridients will hold in the fridge. We haven’t tried freezing poke yet - if you try it, be sure to let us know how it goes.

  • What Food Tribe is Recommending: That being said, we still think we can give it a shot. For the most part, here’s what we get when we order Poke: Rice, Sauce, Edamame, Ginger, Proteins and Seawood. Very basic poke which can then be jazzed up if I don’t end up eating everything.

    • Poke Fried Rice: This receipe is fairly straight forward. Take your leftover poke, and make a simple-fried rice. Be sure to include freh seafood like shrimp and scallops. A fried egg and chopped green onions are also going to be your best bet. Your options for cooking your fried rice are abundant: grab a wok, throw in the microwave, or maybe dust off your rice cooker.

#RadicALL Restaurant Hack #3 Chicken Sliders

  • About Chicken Sliders: Chicken Sliders are some of America’s most favorite of sandwiches. These guys are mini-sandwiches: your chicken can be fried, bbq’d or even grilled - the options are abundant when it comes to this favorite american finger food.

  • Why Chicken Sliders are Tough to Rehead: The thing about your chicken sliders is - what do you make from the leftovers? If you’re not careful and you order (or make) too much food - what should we

  • What Food Tribe is Recommending: Here’s what we think. Interested in making a second meal from your chicken sliders? Remove produce you think won’t make it and then freeze them. Typically, a nice combination of a slight microwave + putting in the oven for a few minutes is the best way to reheat your sliders to delicious perfection.

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Terence Latimer