Food from last night can receive delicious, creative makeover for today - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Food from last night can receive delicious, creative makeover for today

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Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:40 am | Updated: 3:52 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Don’t talk about leftovers to Judy Toth. The chef, caterer and owner of Simply Impressive Cooking School, located inside her northeast Mesa home, never sends her husband to work with a cold scoop of last night’s dinner between two slices of bread.

“If I sent him to work with a plain sandwich, he would fall over and die,” Toth says of her husband, Steve Toth Jr., who works for the city of Mesa.

Instead, she creates a new meals with a few creative tweaks to whatever is in the fridge, often starting with the previous night’s meal. “The words I use for this kind of lunch is ‘planned leftovers,’ meaning I make extra and plan to use it for another meal,” says Toth. “That way it’s not really a leftover at all.”

For instance, broiled chicken becomes chicken salad with chunks of apple. London broil gets sliced and spread across a salad of vegetables and greens. And sandwiches get some oomph from pesto mixed with mayonnaise or a spoonful of apple cranberry chutney.

“So you cook once and then get two meals out of it,” she says. Besides, “I don’t know many people who spend 30 minutes cooking a lunch.”

She takes some pride in that her husband’s co-workers often come over to check out his daily lunch. “His leftovers are better than many people’s dinners,” she says.

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