THIS Is The Best Way To Deal With Leftovers

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images.
Weeknight cooking can be exhausting, to say the least. Before you even make the meal, there's the annoying preplanning process: figuring out what to make, shopping, etc. Then after your feast, there's the whole leftover conundrum. Let’s be honest, we don't always want to eat the same Monday night meal for every lunch and dinner to follow. So, what is one to do with all those leftovers?

Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine have come to our meal-prepping rescue, with their new cookbook, Plated: Weeknight Dinners, Weekend Feasts, and Everything in Between. A whole section of the book is dedicated to easy meals and what to do with the surplus. These dual dishes are so inventive that you'll never want to toss another container of leftover food again.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Roasted Carrot & Chickpea Salad Over Quinoa
Serves 2 + 2 leftovers

Ingredients
1 lb carrots, with tops
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/4 bunch fresh mint
2/3 cup red quinoa
1 tbsp harissa paste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat for the quinoa.

3. Peel the carrots and trim the leafy tops, leaving 1/2 inch of the stems. Halve lengthwise. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Thinly slice the mint leaves.

4. Add the quinoa and a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

5. While the quinoa cooks, on a baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with 1/2 tablespoon of the harissa; 1⁄8 teaspoon of the cumin; 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast for about 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the carrots with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon harissa; 1⁄8 teaspoon cumin; 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the chickpeas have roasted for 10 minutes, add the carrots to the baking sheet and roast until the chickpeas are crisp and the carrots are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Set aside half the roasted carrot-chickpea mixture and save for leftovers. Let cool, then store, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

7. While the vegetables roast, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

8. Drizzle the quinoa with the dressing, top with the carrots and chickpeas, and garnish with the feta and mint.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Leftovers: Coconut Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 1/2-in knob fresh ginger
Leftover roasted chickpeas and carrots
1 tbsp canola oil
½ cup coconut milk
3 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Peel and mince the ginger. Roughly chop the roasted carrots, discarding any stems.

3. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat until simmering. Add the ginger and carrots and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the soup simmers, place the leftover chickpeas on a baking sheet and warm in the oven to re-crisp, about 10 minutes.

5. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Or transfer to a blender or food processor and blend, taking care to avoid splattering.) Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the crispy chickpeas.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Herb-Marinated Steak With Tomato, Onion & Herb Salad
Serves 2 + 2 Leftovers

Ingredients
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
2 lemons
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb skirt steak
5 beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, or 2 cups grape tomatoes (whatever’s in season)
1 small red onion
1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 bunch fresh basil
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Roughly chop the rosemary, oregano, and thyme leaves. Roughly chop the garlic. Zest 1 lemon and halve both.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the rosemary, oregano, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, juice of 1 lemon, and the crushed red pepper. While whisking, slowly add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add to a large resealable plastic bag along with the steak, shake to coat, and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

3. While the steak marinates, cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch wedges (or halve them, if using grape). Halve the onion and slice it as thinly as possible. Pick the parsley and basil leaves from the stems.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the juice of the remaining lemon and tablespoons olive oil to make the dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

5. Heat a grill to medium-high or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the steak from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. When the grill or pan is hot, add the steak and cook until browned on the outside and medium-rare, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

6. While the steak rests, add the tomatoes, onion, parsley, basil, and feta to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Before serving, set aside half the steak and half the tomato salad and save for leftovers. Store separately in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

7. Serve the steak with the salad alongside.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Leftovers: Steak Gyros With Yogurt Sauce
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 large pitas
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Leftover steak
Leftover tomato, onion, and herb salad
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Toast the pitas. Season the Greek yogurt with salt and pepper.

2. Top the pita with steak and salad, dollop with the Greek yogurt, and serve.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Creamy Polenta with Mushroom Ragoût
Serves 2 + 2 leftovers

Ingredients
1 cup water
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2-lbs mixed fresh mushrooms (we like cremini, oyster, and shiitake)
2 shallots
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups whole milk
2 cups polenta
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the dried mushrooms, remove from heat, and soak for about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, strip the thyme leaves from the stems. Cut the fresh mushrooms into 1/4-inch slices. Thinly slice the shallots. Roughly chop the parsley leaves.

3. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Roughly chop and pat dry.

4. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the dried and fresh mushrooms in a single layer and immediately season with salt and pepper. Cook without moving them until they begin to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter, thyme, and shallots. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and browning, and the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.

5. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid to the pan and continue to simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

6. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, milk, and a large pinch of salt to a boil over high heat. As soon as the liquid is boiling, while whisking, slowly add the polenta. Immediately reduce the heat to as low as possible and whisk slowly and continuously until the polenta is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed (cooking time may vary; check package instructions). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

7. Taste the ragoût and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley.

8. To serve, divide half the polenta evenly between 2 bowls and top with half the ragoût.

Stir the remaining polenta and ragoût together to save as leftovers. Spread into an even layer in a medium baking dish and store, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Leftovers: Polenta Cakes with Fried Eggs
Serves 2

Ingredients
Leftover polenta with mushroom ragout, chilled
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Cut the chilled polenta into 3-inch squares. In a large nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the polenta cakes in a single layer and cook until browned and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Fry without moving until the whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes. Slide the fried eggs over the polenta cakes and eat hot.
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Reprinted from Plated by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine. Copyright © 2016 by Dine In Fresh, Inc. Photographs Copyright © 2016 by Robert Bredvad. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Plated: Weeknight Dinners, Weekend Feasts, and Everything in Between by Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine, $15.05, available at Amazon.
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