Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Life for Leftovers

I have a little problem with leftovers.  After about 3 days, they just feel old and stale and I mentally label them as contaminated.  I usually manage this issue by only preparing food for 3 days at a time.  For example, on Sundays I prep dinners for Monday and Tuesday.  And Mike's a master at using up leftovers in new dishes, so he can usually finish off anything that's left after that point with his lunches.

But this week my plans went awry with a nasty stomach bug and not having the kids here (it was a real blessing that the kids weren't here to get exposed to the illness... but that left me with lots of leftover food!).  So today I came home from work to find the fairly big bowl of potato salad made with gorgeous locally grown fingerling potatoes and a really delightful blanched pea and red onion salad that I made on Sunday.  That was 3 days ago.  And I'm just not as interested in eating this now.

I know logically that this food is probably fine, but I've spent the day brushing up on my Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum knowledge to teach a food safety training tomorrow.  And eating leftover potato salad just doesn't sound appealing after that!

So here's how my potatoes and peas found a new life:

I drained off the slightly creamy vinaigrette from the potatoes and tossed them with some onions in a hot skillet.  After the onions were translucent, I added the peas (they just had a bit of red onion and Earth Balance on them) and 1/2 can of light coconut milk and a generous 3 Tbsp. of Patak's mild curry paste.  After simmering for about 10 minutes, this was a whole new dish!

Plus, boiling for 10 minutes kills most of those scary bacteria I was reading about today :)


Jessica said...

I never would have guessed that started out as potato salad. Looks good - and agreed, bacteria be gone!

Catherine said...

I'm not the hugest fan of leftovers, either. I don't get skeeved about bacteria, I just get SICK of eating the same meal! Dan and I are still working on a huge batch of veggie burgers that I made ages ago . . . only one more round to go, thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are feeling better--stomach bugs are no fun :-(

Do you ever freeze your leftovers? Then you can take them out of the freezer later and they are "like new" and there is nothing scary about them!