Far too often, I menu plan, shop, and prepare a meal to find out at the last minute that someone in the family won’t be at the table. Outside commitments, busy work schedules, and even the “I’m not hungry, I had a late lunch'” are the primary saboteurs to our sit-down, family dinners. OK, so tomorrow we have left-overs, no biggie, right?

Unfortunately, wrong. You see, I’d already planned for left-overs. My cooking strategy has been to cook new dinners on nights #1 and #2, and then serve their left-overs on night #3. But if we have left-over left-overs, we then have night #4’s dinner and, inevitably, disgruntled eaters. What to do?

I’ve started being a bit more creative. More frequently, I’m cooking plain ham or chicken which will return in the future either disguised in a sauce or infiltrating a casserole. (I have to be careful with casseroles, however. If too many disparate foods touch each other I get the “Ewwww!” response from my scrutinizing children.)

So here’s my latest left-over re-creation: chicken salad. Tuesday night’s (and Thursday night’s) left-over roast chicken is now Friday’s chicken salad. But I am heartened to say, it is not any old chicken salad. I made it according to the Chicken Almond Salad recipe from The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook written by Madison chef, Terese Allen.

(Notice in the picture the left-over deviled eggsWaste not, want not.)

Continue reading