Makeover Your Leftovers: Beef Sirloin Tip Roast Turned Lunch

It’s no secret that I love leftovers. For one thing, it’s the easiest and most efficient way to use up what’s left of the previous night’s dinner – wrap up your leftovers and take them for lunch the next day! Plus, some of my favorite foods are best made in large batches, such as chili, beef stew, meatloaf…it’s pretty hard to cook just one serving of something when you’re cooking from scratch, unless you’re making eggs or a single piece or chicken or fish. But in my personal opinion, if you’re going to go ahead and cook you might as well make enough to use for a couple of meals, right?

The thing is, sometimes eating the same exact leftovers gets pretty dry. A steaming bowl of chili is delicious two or three times, but by the fourth or fifth serving? I find myself wanting something else. Same goes for meatloaf, or pork tenderloin. While I don’t always have the creativity to come up with new ways to eat the same old thing, this is where my husband is particularly gifted. He would be an excellent candidate for the Leftovers edition of Chopped – he can look at a refrigerator full of odds and ends and come up with some creative meal that has me scratching my head and thinking, “where did this come from?”

And so it goes with the Beef Sirloin Tip Roast we made for dinner the other night. We had a surprising amount of beef left over, and Kevin almost immediately knew what he was going to make for lunch the next day. Introducing – grilled roast beef and cheese sandwiches! | grilled roast beef and cheese for two

Of course the picture doesn’t do it justice, and although the bread is gluten free this meal is definitely not paleo or Whole30 approved. It is, however, a great way of using up leftover roast beef and a nice change from simply eating the same old meat and vegetables three days in a row. It’s also super simple; and paired with steaming bowls of homemade split pea and ham soup it was a perfect cold weather meal. | grilled roast beef and cheese with soup

Technically this meal doesn’t even justify a recipe, but I’ll walk you through our steps just for posterity. First, set a small skillet to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating up, butter two slices of gluten free bread (tip: using mayonnaise to grill the bread is even better, but we didn’t have any made). Then, microwave a few slices of roast beef just enough to warm the meat but not cook it. Once the skillet is hot, lay one slice of bread butter or mayo side down in the pan, then layer some sliced or shredded cheese, the roast beef, some more cheese, and the other slice of bread, butter side up. (To kick your sandwich up another notch, add some sliced tomato and avocado.) Grill on one side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, then very carefully flip the sandwich to the other side. Grill until golden brown and the cheese is melted. | grilled roast beef and cheese


Easy Summer Cobb Salad

Oh, the joys of summer in Virginia. The forecast this past week was a high in the upper nineties every day, with 1000% humidity and a chance of thundershowers. Also every day.

Makes you want to go to the pool, doesn’t it? Or at the very least, sit in a very air conditioned room with a tall glass of water/ice tea/white wine/refreshing beverage of choice.

It’s a good season for salads.

paleo cobb salad |

I was pleasantly surprised when a perusal of my kitchen revealed *almost* all of the ingredients for a cobb salad. I didn’t have any bacon, so I subbed kalamata olives to get an equally salty flavor, and instead of blue cheese I chose fresh baby mozzarella – but the main points of this salad are classic Cobb: mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, hard boiled eggs, and roasted chicken. Not only is it pretty, but this salad is incredibly filling – this is a salad that definitely passes for an entree! I can only eat a salad as a meal if it has enough protein to keep me full until the next meal (usually dinner, as I’ll eat a salad with some protein for lunch at work). With the double protein hit of the chicken AND the hard boiled egg, this salad is a winner.

paleo cobb salad |

Plus…have I mentioned it’s pretty?

I feel like I’m totally cheating, posting a “recipe” for a salad, but I’ll do it for posterity sake. Enjoy!


serves one


mixed greens

cherry tomatoes

fresh mozzarella

2 hard boiled eggs

roast chicken

kalamata olives

1/2 avocado, diced


Lay your mixed greens on a plate. Top with stripes of each ingredient. Drizzle with your favorite dressing. Eat!

paleo cobb salad |

Napa Chicken Salad

So this past weekend The Husband (who has informed me that I am now allowed to refer to him on the blog by his first name – which is Kevin) and I started the slow foray back into strength training. Ouch.

napa chicken salad 2

It’s been a while (if you want to be exact, the last time I did any sort of strength training was back in July) since I’ve done strength training, and my body was definitely feeling it! The good news is that we warmed up by running one mile on the treadmill, and I nailed that mile in 7:55.

That’s right – seven minutes and fifty-five seconds. That’s the fastest I’ve ever run one mile in my life – and that includes back in elementary school when we had to run the mile in gym class and were supposedly so much faster because we were kids with endless amounts of energy. We had some kids (my middle sister included) who finished in six or seven minutes…while I rolled in at a solid ten minutes or so. In all fairness, I probably could have run a faster mile, maybe if a bear was chasing me or something. But in elementary school, I really did not like running. In fact if I had been able to, I probably would have faked sick on the “run a mile in gym class day”, except that the kids who missed running with the whole class had to make it up later. Alone.

No, thank you.

Anyway, after our one mile warm-up, we knocked out a circuit of step-ups, walking lunges with weights, air squats with weights, and two types of crunches. We started our day a little late, so after we got home, stretched, and showered, it was time to start thinking about lunch. Kevin roasted a chicken on Friday night, so we decided to turn our leftovers into a delicious lunch:

napa chicken salad

There is no real reason for this being called Napa Chicken Salad aside from the fact that I once saw a chicken salad recipe that included grapes and was called “Napa Chicken Salad”. I just happened to have some seedless red grapes in the fridge, so it seemed like a good enough idea to me!

napa chicken salad ingredients

Along with the grapes, I took some celery, homemade mayo, and some savory salt-free seasoning, and voila! I added my ingredients in with some shredded leftover roast chicken, and lunch was served!

napa chicken salad 5

True story: I ate the chicken salad out of the above pictured bowl when I was finished photographing it, and Kevin ate what was left in the bowl, straight out of the bowl. Yeah – we’re classy like that.

I can’t even really call this a recipe, since really all the ingredients are to taste. The beauty (I think) of chicken salad is you can do so much with it – I sometimes add chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds, Kevin likes to add diced apple or curry seasoning. No matter how you make it, though, you’re bound to love these leftovers!


Ingredients (all to taste):

Roast chicken, shredded

homemade mayonnaise

diced celery

grapes, halved

savory seasoning (or your favorite spices)

salt and pepper to taste


In a bowl, toss all ingredients and mix well. Season to taste.

napa chicken salad 3