Leftovers Go Caribbean

I have certainly had my very lean days, and I am NOT just talking about my waistline either, where money was very tight.  Eating leftovers was often times my only option if I wanted to eat at all.  There were times when I would eat the same meal for a few days straight because that is what I had.  But I get bored having them the same way over and over again.  So I recreate them as much and as often as I can.  Recreating leftovers has become a fun game for me.  How can I creatively recreate from what I already have?  How many ways can I recreate from what I already have?  HMMMMMM!  Let the games begin!  Obviously, I love leftovers, I just don’t always like them the same way as they were when they were first-overs.   This is why my alter ego, “The Queen of Leftovers” and I have become such close, tight friends, and will be remain forever friends as well.

My latest leftover recreation took a turn to the Caribbean when I used my leftover tomatillo salsa Pan-fried Cod with Tomatillo Salsa to make some Caribbean rice.  We go down to the Caribbean A LOT, for diving, and no matter where you are, the basic Caribbean diet is rice, beans and chicken.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, it is chicken, rice and beans.  In then the Caribbean it is said as a joke, but there really is some truth to it as well.  Usually, the first item mentioned will be the primary ingredient, so if rice and beans are mentioned first, there is very little chicken used, whereas if the chicken is mentioned first, you are using more of it.  We were lucky this time, and it was chicken and rice for us.   No beans this time.  🙂

The first of the leftover tomatillo salsa was used when we went to InVINtions and Tocabe.  Tocabe, The Native American Way  We used it on top of the bannock or fry bread.  YUM!  What a good combination.  But I still had some left.  Of course, not really enough to have on its own, but just enough to use it for some rice to spice it up.


I added some corn, red onions, tomatoes, red bell pepper and cilantro.  I diced the red onions, red bell pepper and tomatoes fine, and chopped the cilantro fine as well.  Then all of the vegetables were sauteed in olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, with a little salt and pepper added as well.


I already had some rice cooked, which was added to the corn mixture as well as the rest of my tomatilla salsa.


Once everything was mixed together, I let it all cook for about another 5-7 minutes to heat up the salsa and the rice.  Then I added the tomatoes and cilantro right before serving it and mixed everything together thoroughly.  I did not want either the tomatoes or the cilantro to break down.


Before making the rice mixture though, I made a simple Caribbean  style honey mustard vinaigrette to marinade the chicken in.  I marinated the chicken for about 1 hour before we grilled it up.


Zesty Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp basil

1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 TBSP garlic

2 TBSP Spicy mustard

1/3 cup honey mustard dressing

1 TBSP honey


Mix everything together to use as either a marinade or a dressing for a salad.

Once everything was ready, I sliced the chicken to make some Caribbean pitas with avocado and served it with the Caribbean rice and a glass or two of a cool, crisp chardonnay.  Just because we cannot travel to any place exotic at the moment does not mean we cannot enjoy the exotic flavors from around the world.  🙂


Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

13 thoughts on “Leftovers Go Caribbean”

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