• January 31, 2013

    Creative Sandwich Fillings – Leftovers reinvented!


    I went into the office the other day with my shirt on backwards.  It was a simple, knit pullover – so ordinarily, this might be understandable. However, it was a maternity pullover.  So we’re talking heavy runching and gathering, with an excess of fabric where the belly goes. How do you get that wrong?

    I noticed the boo-boo when I went to the washroom a couple of hours into my day and, upon doing the standard how-does-my-butt-look-in-these-pants backwards glance in the mirror on my way out the door, I noticed that the back of my shirt looked like a giant deflated balloon.  Very attractive.

    I fixed it, and carried on with my day.  It was only when I got home and changed that I noticed a smear of peanut butter on the actual back of the shirt.  My powers of deduction tell me that while I had it on the wrong way, I got my breakfast all over myself, didn’t notice, switched my shirt around, and spent the remainder of the day with peanut butter between my shoulder blades. This is when I to bed where I was safe and sound, with a bowl of avocado frozen yogurt and season one of LOST.

    Lesson learned: two brains in your body does not offer the guaranteed mental prowess I’d hoped it would, even when you just know your kid’s gonna be a genius.  

    With the limited mental resources I am experiencing, I find myself leaning heavily on super-convenient, fast meals. Especially at lunch.

    I am not a big leftovers person.  I eat something once, really enjoy it, and move on! I don’t want to see last night’s salmon on my plate again the next day. I’m okay with it only if it’s reincarnated as something different. Which is why I love minced sandwich fillings!

    My grandmother (not this one, the other one) would make me minced pork sandwiches, studded with bits of tangy relish, slathered between pillowy soft slices of white bread.  She’d always cut them into triangles (which I’ve figured out tastes better because it optimizes the crust-to-surface-area ratio. Draw a square and cut in triangles, then draw another one and cut in squares – see what I mean?).

    These days, I make delicious sandwich fillings with leftover fish, pork, beef or even beans! I don’t limit myself to bread, either – I enjoy it on crackers (as photographed), on toast, wrapped in a tortilla, scooped up on/wrapped up in lettuce or endive leaves, or with sturdy veggies like cucumber slices, radish slices, celery sticks, etc.

    There are lots of optional flavour boosters, too.  I’m partial to relish with pork, horseradish and green onions with beef, capers and lemon with fish… but there’s lots of room to be creative.  And I often cut the mayo with some thick greek yogurt – it’s just as creamy, lighter and adds a really pleasant tang that cuts the richness of the meat.


    • Leftover beef, pork, fish, chicken or beans
    • Mayonnaise (or a combination of mayonnaise and greek yogurt), to taste
    • Optional additions, like green onions, shallot, olives, capers, pickles, relish, horseradish, etc.
    • A squeeze of lemon, optional
    • Salt and pepper


    1. Pulse leftover protein and any large optional additions (like shallot, whole pickles, whole olives) in a food processor until coarsely minced (you don’t want it to be pureed).

    2. Stir in mayonnaise and any optional additions that are already in small bits (like relish, horseradish, capers). Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    3. Serve between slices of bread, or on crackers, toast, wrapped in a tortilla, scooped up on/wrapped up in lettuce or endive leaves, or with sturdy veggies like cucumber slices, radish slices, celery sticks, etc.


    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Review this recipe

    Notify of


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    August 14, 2019
    Easy Couscous Salad with Lemon Dressing & Fresh Herbs

    This quick and easy couscous salad recipe is fresh, healthy and deliciously addictive. The bright lemon dressing is made from only 4 simple ingredients.

    Peach Salad with Mozzarella August 13, 2019
    Fresh Peach Caprese Salad

    A delicious, fresh peach salad with basil, olive oil and creamy mozzarella, plus delicious variations you don’t want to miss.

    August 8, 2019
    9+ Genius Israeli Couscous Recipes You Seriously Have to Try

    FacebookPinterestTwitterIsraeli couscous – aka pearl couscous, is the larger, chewier version of what we call ‘regular’ couscous. A lesser-known ingredient in North American kitchens, this tiny pasta shape is made from semolina flour, then toasted, creating a deliciously nutty flavour.