Planned Overs: A New Way of Thinking

….a new way of thinking about leftovers.  We’re a leftover sort of house–anything not eaten is stored away in the fridge.  These pre-cooked items are sometimes repurposed as breakfast, sometimes eaten for lunch, sometimes eaten for dinner the next day.  Popular leftovers are eaten first, the not so popular get eaten by me.  If they become fungus farms (that last little bit of Thanksgiving stuffing?!), they get eaten by the disposal.

I currently have a selection of three different former entrees:  beer-braised chicken burritos, spicy sausage, potato and spinach soup, and tuna with tarragon.

These three will most likely be served like they were to begin with.  But sometimes you have a little of this, a little of that.  That’s the time to type leftovers in the search window at Food Network for ideas or become the Iron Chef of your own kitchen stadium and whip up your own “succulent variations” using your leftover “secret ingredients.”

I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to stretch my food dollars these days.  More and more Food Network shows seem to be featuring leftovers.  Rachel Ray has a new program based on the idea of cooking one day a week and having dinners all week from the planned overs. Leftovers/planned overs are just too valuable to waste.  And why not?  Lots of foods are better the next day, after all the flavors have a chance to blend.  Who can resist the siren call of leftover Thanksgiving turkey?  It just begs to be a sandwich or enchiladas or tetrazzini or turkey noodle soup….  

I love having leftovers.  It means a night off from cooking, or a meal that can come together quickly when we have a tight turn-around between events.   Because of this particular quality of leftovers, my mom started calling them planned overs!  You know when your week is going to get crazy.  You make a big pot of somethin’ yummy early in the week and pull out the planned overs when the crazy starts.

How ’bout you, dear reader?  Leftovers=yummy or leftovers=blech?  Join the conversation by responding to the new poll on the left and/or by commenting to this post.

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2 Comments

Filed under food musings

2 responses to “Planned Overs: A New Way of Thinking

  1. My husband and I are both students, so I actually PLAN to make leftovers–that way we can pack ’em up the next day for lunch. It’s a time saver, and we get to have hot meals instead of PB&Js that make all the other kids jealous 🙂

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