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By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Leftover Love

Uploaded: Mar 18, 2014

I love leftovers. You know, sloppy seconds.

Stop - I'm back talking food.

While some eaters have a strong aversion to eating day one food on day two, I welcome the opportunity. Actually I set myself up for the date by cooking things I know can be reused and recycled.

For instance?

Day One: cook your protein anyway (broiled chicken, grilled beef, baked tofu). Cook a pot or pan of whole grain (use a pan to bake grains ? a terrific variation). Finally prepare a veggie or two or three (roasting or sautéing with a variety of spices). See my Easy Seasoning list for quick ideas. Mangia!

Day Two: combine leftovers into something wild and crazy such as Roasted Veggie and Rice Casserole or maybe:

1. Roll them up in blanched chard leaves, top with chopped tomatoes, wine and bake

2. Mix into a grain veggie salad

3. Top with a quick Coconut Sauce

4. Stir fry into sautéed onions with wine and stock

5. Fill and bake in store bought pizza dough with cheese for a calzone

6. Combine with stock into a soup

7. Layer with cheese and greens into a stacked tortilla

Hard to imagine? Then come see these amazing transformations LIVE, in action at:

Leftover Makeover
Saturday, March 22, 10 AM ? 11:30 AM
Lucie Stern Center, Palo Alto

There's still a few seats left for this free cooking class sponsored by the City of Palo Alto. Taught by yours truly, we'll be entertaining you on Cloud 9 and with it, that award-winning olive oil by May Chevallier. May's organic olives grow in San Antonio Valley (Monterey County), but she's from Palo Alto so it's our very own home girl brand! Enjoy some rich tastes and learn some good tips. You'll go home smarter than you arrived, and if you're really lucky, with a raffle bag filled with great prizes!

Can't make it? See the website (or a Palo Alto water bill) for more free classes in April and May.

Roasted Veggie and Rice Casserole Serves 9
2 eggs
3 cups cooked rice or other grain
1 ½ cups chopped roasted veggies and raw greens
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or Daiya dairy free cheddar)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
¼ teaspoon garlic and/or onion powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon into 8X8 baking pan (glass preferred). Bake for 30 minutes or until firm.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by geek family, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Thanks for the tips! How about...
8. Throw in a spoon of curry powder, mix, and reheat. This works amazingly with anything with beans, tomato sauce, etc. In fact, it's a great way to totally change the spaghetti leftovers! We did it tonight. Leftovers were butternutsquash/tomato spaghetti sauce over beans mixed with curry powder and an egg on top.

Funny story. My mom, the queen of leftovers, made a rice salad once for a dinner my parents (who rarely entertained) gave for some VIPs from work - one may have been a colonel. The rice salad was one of the most divine and memorable things I have ever eaten in my life. The wife of the colonel pressed my mom harder and harder over the course of the evening to give her the recipe. My mom at first laughed and said she didn't remember, she had just thrown some things together. The colonels wife, thinking this was false modesty, would not be put off. After the party was over, apparently, she kept asking. So did I, I really wanted to know how to make that salad myself! Tearfully, my mom finally made absolutely clear that she REALLY didn't remember! She was so embarrassed not to be able to satisfy the colonel's wife, but she told me she tried and tried to re-create that salad and never could! It made sense that my mom prepared every week's leftovers for us as lovingly as for any VIPs, I should have known. But each concoction was a creation of the moment! That's the essence and - dare I say - thrill of leftovers.

Posted by Laura Stec, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Mar 19, 2014 at 5:14 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Geek Family - I'm quoting you in class - great curry tip. And "The Thrill of Leftovers," I love it! It's a title for leftovers blog #2. Thanks!

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Mar 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm

From the headline, I assumed we were still on Mr. X. :-)

As a bachelor, veggie guy with a day job, I do all my cooking on the weekends. I mostly make chilies, stews and soups. What's great about that is that is allows me to get beans, grains, and veggies together for a complete protein with all the veggie micro-nutrients.

The other great thing about chilies, stews, and soups is that you can make them with whatever you have on handle that day. Every week is a new adventure with new ingredients. Everyday is leftover day. :-)

Posted by BroIL, a resident of another community,
on Mar 20, 2014 at 8:21 am

Hmmmm... I love leftovers. Many dishes are better the second day (or for that matter the third), after they have cooled and then reheated. Someone mentioned chilies, stews and soups. All candidates! Carry on your wonderful cooking Laura!

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