My favorite type of leftovers are the versatile kind. One of the most versatile things I make is tacos. This may seem weird, but let me explain. If you take your cooked taco meat, diced tomatoes, olives, onions and shredded cheese, then you can make tacos. Did you also know that the next day you can take those same ingredients and wrap them up in tortilla shells, put them in a row in a square or rectangle pan, cover them with tomato sauce and then bake them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Just like that you have enchiladas. The other thing I like to make with these leftover ingredients is pizza. I will take a premade cheese pizza and sprinkle all, or just some of the ingredients, on top and bake the pizza a little longer than suggested on the box.

Another thing I like to make is spaghetti. I make my own spaghetti sauce with ground beef, tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced onion and diced olives. The first night I will cook noodles and have spaghetti. Now the next night I will make lasagna. This is really easy too. All you have to do is layer sauce, cottage cheese and oven ready lasagna noodles. You can make your layers as thick or as thin as you like, then just top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Another thing I like to make with the spaghetti sauce is chili. I just take the sauce and add a couple cans of beans (usually black and kidney), some cooked sausage, a can of corn and chili powder. The chili I will put on low or warm in the crockpot and let it simmer all day.

The next time you feel like cooking for one day, but want it to last for three, try one of these ideas.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.