3 Ways to Use Up Leftover Carnitas, and Untraditional Meals {WIAW}

Good morning Open-mouthed smile

Phew! Yesterday was a biz-zee one. I had quite a bit of work to do for online clients in the morning. Then I headed into the gym to study for my ACE Group Fitness Instructor exam for a few hours before training clients until 8:00 p.m. (which is late for me!)

And yep, I’m still studying for that group fitness cert!


I’ve got until April to take the exam, so I’ve been putting in 4-5 hours a week to study for it.

My problem? I find it so damn hard to study for it during typical work hours. During the work day, I should be…working…correct? That’s what feels natural. I feel weird sitting at my kitchen table at 11:00 studying for an exam. Naturally, I feel like I should work during work hours, and study during off hours.

But then I don’t feel like studying on the weekends or evenings. Alas, my only choice is to suck it up – or come up with a new solution. I decided to the latter, which I’ve found to be somewhat more productive – study at the gym! That way I’m at the gym, able to pick up new clients if the opportunity presents itself, while also preparing myself for the exam. Win-win? Let’s hope.

Hmm. Where was I?

Oh right –  carnitas leftovers!


So on Sunday when I cooked our carnitas in the slow cooker, I didn’t think about exactly how much food a 3.5 lb. pork loin would produce. Answer: a (pork) butt load.

Although I had two plates-full and Shane had five (5!) tacos-worth on Sunday night for dinner, we still had more leftover carnitas than we knew what to do with…well, almost. I prevailed. I figured out a way to eat carnitas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Rough, I know Winking smile)

Three Ways to Eat Leftover Carnitas

Note: none of these are measured because this was a meal for one. Translation: add how much of each ingredient that your heart desires.

#1. Leftover Carnitas 1 Pan Meal #1: Moraccan Pork and Veggies


coconut oil

onions and mushrooms, sliced

cooked carnitas

splash of chicken broth

bigger splash of coconut milk

dash of basil

Fry up the veggies in the coconut oil until soft. Add a little more oil and then add the carnitas and cook until heated through. Push to the side of the pan and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together, bring to a boil, and then simmer for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens up a bit.

I enjoyed this dish for breakfast Monday morning after completing a full body strength work out + 15 minutes on the stepmill.


…with some kabocha squash, which I lazily just popped in the microwave for 6 minutes. (I wouldn’t recommend doing that – It was kinda dry – but got the job done. I’ll probably do it again actually.)

#2. Leftover Carnitas Meal # 2: Mediterranean Wraps w/ Tzatziki Sauce


coconut oil

sliced onion






cucumber, chopped


Sautee the onion in some coconut oil in a pan over medium heat until soft. Add the carnitas and cook until heated through. Add a sprinkle of dill. In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients for the sauce

#3. Leftover Carnitas Meal #3: Carnitas Sweet Potato Hash


coconut oil

onion, chopped

spinach/kale/other greens

sweet potato, cooked and diced



Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until soft. Add the kale, sweet potato, and carnitas and cook until heated through. Remove from the pan onto a plate. Add some more oil to the pan, and cook the eggs until the whites are cooked through, yolks still runny. Place on top of the carnitas mixture. Season with salt and pepper.


Yep, I had that entire (very large) plate-full of food for lunch yesterday. It could also be eaten for breakfast. And it was delicious.

In the past three days, I’ve had carnitas four times, and only the first time was it in a Mexican dish. I didn’t get sick of them once, thanks to all the variations!

With that, I’m going to go eat some breakfast…sans carnitas Winking smile

What’s your favorite food to eat as leftovers?

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  1. I need to learn to make more as we tend to never have leftovers (there are three of us) and so each day it’s starting again.
    which be tiring :-)
    Miz recently posted..Im in love with Sweet Relish!My Profile

  2. You’re definitely making sure nothing goes to waste! I like to roast a chicken and use the leftovers for days to come – sandwiches, stirfries, soups…lots of possibilities.
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..WIAW: Saturday Snacking.My Profile

  3. That sweet potato hash is super gorgeous. Leftovers are just the best.
    Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted..Roses and ThornsMy Profile

  4. Great ideas with the leftover pork! Everything sounds delicious. I love having leftover shredded chicken to put in and on everything! Leftover chili is also the best… It tastes even better for leftovers!

  5. I often use leftovers like that as a salad topper. My salads tend to look like a bowl of garbage after all is said and done… lol
    Amy @ Second City Randomness recently posted..New Year, New ChapterMy Profile

  6. these all sound good, if I ate pork. I am envisioning them as chicken and they sound like recipes I would love to try!
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots recently posted..The Gray Goose Cafe Restaurant ReviewMy Profile

  7. I LOVE leftovers so much! One of my favs is “salsa chicken” in the crockpot, cover boneless skinless breasts with salsa, cook all day & shred. You can do tacos, salads, nachos, anything :) Similar to the pork. Good luck with your studying!
    Katie @ KatieEnPursuit recently posted..Technically It Was Warm Enough for Those Daisy Dukes…My Profile

  8. Um this is my life right now. I made a 6.5lb pork butt on Friday and still have at least 1.5 pounds left. Carnitas forevvvvver…
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Greek meatballs with mint & dried apricotsMy Profile

  9. I love leftovers in almost any form! Except for microwaved chicken. Blech.
    That has looks amazing!
    Kacy recently posted..Comment on No bullshit wedding talk, Part III by lowandbholdMy Profile

  10. Everything looks amazing! Especially with the egg. You’ll do awesome on the group fitness, if you passed your personal training you’ll ace it no problem!
    Danielle (@CleanFoodCreativeFitness) recently posted..What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

  11. I don’t know if it’s my absolute favorite, but I had leftover lasagna last night and it’s on the brain. It’s so good I can eat it straight from the pan cold…which now that I think on it may be a dangerous idea!
    Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Are You Crazy?My Profile

  12. So many great ways to have leftovers. Yum!
    Lindsay recently posted..tell gravity to suck it.My Profile

  13. Haha, I kind of laughed at the fact that you don’t recommend microwaving kabocha, but will do it again;)
    Going from working to studying is such a hard transition, I find it so hard to get back into the “studying” mindset. It feels weird. Hm favorite leftover food would have to be soup or chili!
    Lisa recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday – Baked OatsMy Profile

  14. Spaghetti squash with some broccoli and leftover chicken with liquid aminos is super easy (and tasty) to reheat for lunch!

  15. I found studying at the gym for my CPT to be really helpful too. In fact, I’m thinking about continuing it a bit to stay on top of that knowledge while I’m not training anyone.
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Stop. Press Play. Watch. (Eat?)My Profile

  16. Yum! The sweet potato hash is a great idea for leftovers, I would’ve never though of that. Good luck studying! I think you’re new plan sounds like a win-win for sure.
    Meghan @ After the Ivy League recently posted..Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

  17. I <3 carnitas!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Love Grown Hot Oats Giveaway WinnerMy Profile

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