A Lesson in Leftovers

by Sarah on April 15, 2011 · 7 comments

What to Do with Restaurant Remains and Refrigerator Remnants:
A Lesson in Leftovers

Step One: Upon returning home from the restaurant (or finishing your take-out meal), make sure to remove food from flimsy paper boxes……and store them in more durable containers. [The food will last longer. Well, I think it will, anyway.]Step One-Point-Five: Since, metal containers (and by that, I mean aluminum^) with secure paper lids are usually just fine on their own, so you can leave them be. [No air seeping in there.]

^Which is metal. Right? So I didn’t really need to clarify, did I? Except, I mean, I don’t think there is any restaurant out there sending you home with a box made of iron or something. And when I hear ‘metal,’ I think of something a lot more durable than aluminum.* Is aluminum a metal? Or is it just metallic? Is that the same thing? Now I’m confused. It’s too early in the morning for this. Someone go find me a periodic table.

*The best thing about aluminum is the way British people say it. Al-ooo-min-eee-um. Oh, and that it is the vessel for Diet Coke.Step Two: Seek out anything wasting valuable space in your fridge. [Exhibit A: The excessive amount of diced mango I had due to a crazy mango sale at Randalls. This needed to be eaten to make room for the watermelon just purchased (on sale at Sprouts) and waiting patiently to be cut up.]Step Three: Utilize anything your roommates offer to ‘gift’ you.
Right before they go out of town is a great time to make a killing on leftover produce.

Step Four: Combine.And that, my friends is how leftover Japanese steak made in a German style (from my dinner at Fabi + Rosi)….

….and leftover Asian vegetables in Ginger-Lime and soy sauce from Zen….…found their way into this delicious twisted remnant redux……that I guess I shall call Beef, Mango, and Asian Vegetable Stir Fry Spinach Salad.

Because who cares if there was no recipe……or that you didn’t actually cook anything?
This is what we call culinary creativity. :)
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The optional Step Five, of course, is to plate the pretty salad just to photograph it and then scoop it out of the wide-brimmed plate [slash] bowl and put it into faux Tupperware* so you can eat it for lunch and impress everyone in the Teacher’s Lounge with your impressive, lovely lunch. [And, in my case, shock them all with the fact that you do really eat meat (since they never have believed you when you've told them you do).]
*obviously you cannot afford the real thing, nor do you know anyone who has Tupperware parties, even though you secretly want to…And, if you’re really feeling like you’ve tackled this lesson, the final “test” is to send it over to Lindsay for her Friday “Lindsay’s Lunchbox” post, since you’ve been promising to do it for weeks, and it seems like the right time. It is her birthday, after all. Happy Birthday to The Lean Green Bean!^

^The blogger. Not the blog. Although, that can lead us into further discussions of whether you are your blog. Let’s not get to existential on a Friday, what d’ya say? After all, this was supposed to be a silly little post about leftovers.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi April 15, 2011 at 7:42 am

i love having leftovers :)

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean April 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

woohoo!!! want some of this salad. thanks for the birthday shout out :)

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Maria @ Oh Healthy Day April 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

That is my kind of salad. I have two giant mangoes that I got in my CSA box and I was wondering if you could come cut them up for me. Of course, I will give you half. You obviously do a great job of cutting up mango.

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Tricia @ Saving room for dessert April 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

You have the magic! Even your leftovers look amazingly fantastic! This only works if you don't eat every last bite before you leave the restaurant. Oh and it is also important to actually go out every now and then. Have a great weekend Ms. Sarah!

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Travelbug April 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

Bahahaaa great post
I'm british so of course the extra i in
alumin(i)um is totally necessary!
I want some leftovers please!
:)

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Meri April 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm

hahaha "to be… my blog… or NOT to be… my blog, that is the question."
Sorry, I'm cheesy.
My boyfriend has the best intentions and buys tons of produce, and then a few days before it's about to go bad will sheepishly tell me to eat it up. So then I cook it for both of us, because I'm nice like that :)

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Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life April 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I love leftovers! Since I'm not a picky eater and just love flavors, I love throwing 'em all in together and seeing what it tastes like. And your salad looks bomb. And yes, I just said BOMB like I'm cool enough to use that kind of lingo.
Sometimes leftovers are better than the first time around :)

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