Ever get the late night munchies? Don’t just reach for the closest bag of chips. There are a number of things that you can throw together with the leftovers you already have in your refrigerator, and they may just turn your late-night snack into a late-night party — even if it’s just for one.
1. Turn Leftover Chicken into a Spicy Chicken and Bean Dip
As a healthier alternative to the traditional nachos or dip, you can throw this together very quickly, and it may be served with or without any added cheese. It has a spicy kick and the hearty protein content is better for you than a carb-loaded snack before bed. You may eat this alone or with crunchy veggies like celery and red bell peppers, and if you must have some chips, opt for baked instead of fried.
5-6 ounces leftover chicken (half a large chicken breast)
8 ounces refried beans (1/2 a 16 oz. can )
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, drained (10 ounce, in mild, original, or hot)
Top with a pinch of cheese and/or dollop of sour cream.
Shred the leftover chicken in a small bowl. Then combine shredded chicken, refried beans, and drained Rotel tomatoes in a bowl and microwave until hot (approximately 1 ½ to 2 minutes). Divide into 4 small bowls for dipping and top with cheese and sour cream if desired.
2. Leftover French Bread Loaf or Baguettes? Try Mozzarella Crostini’s
The Italian word crostini means “little toasts,” and is basically grilled or toasted small bread topped with a number of fresh ingredients, like mozzarella cheese, chopped or sliced tomatoes with basil, roasted garlic and salt, or thinly sliced meats – basically whatever you want. As a late night snack, however, you can put your own twist on this Italian treat by heating them up in the broiler as more of a mini-pizza, or serving them traditionally at room temperature.
Whatever bread you have left over from either a French or sourdough loaf, or baguettes
Mozzarella cheese (number of ounces will vary, depending on bread )
Roasted or sautéed garlic, or fresh garlic if you prefer
A couple leaves of fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Thinly slice baguette on a bias (diagonally) and brush with olive oil, placing face down on a cookie sheet. If you are using leftover French or sourdough loaf, you will still cut them thinly, however you may want to make an additional cut across the width to make smaller pieces. Bake in the oven for approximately 6-8 minutes. You may also grill your bread for added smoky flavor, or broil in the oven. When the bread is toasted a light golden brown, rub with a garlic clove and top with fresh mozzarella and your remaining fresh ingredients. Alternatively, you may also melt the mozzarella cheese at this point and place back into the broiler for a few minutes, and then top with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and chopped basil.
3. Fruit – Before your fruit goes bad, freeze it!
One very simple late night snack that is packed with vitamins and antioxidants is fruit. So, taking your leftover grapes and blueberries and placing them in the freezer can not only save your fruit from being tossed in the garbage, but can also make a great ice cream substitute when you really want a frozen treat.
Red or green seedless grapes
You may also try this with thinly slice bananas, but you will want to give them a spritz of lemon juice first to prevent browning.
Wash your fruit and dry thoroughly. Once dry, place individual portions in freezer bags and squeeze out as much excess air as possible. Then, place in the freezer, and when you are craving something frozen, just pull out a bag and start snacking. You’ll be surprised how satisfying and refreshing these two particular fruits are when they are eaten frozen.