Cooking once and getting more than one meal out of the effort never gets old. I’m not talking about reheating leftovers. I have to admit, I’m not a huge leftover fan, unless we’re talking about something in the stew, chili or soup family. Most other meals are good the first time, and lose something in the process of reheating.

Still, whenever I can make a dish and transform some element of it into an entirely different meal, I’m in. Such is the case with this Steak Salad With Peanut Curry Dressing. This meal can actually leapfrog over the course of a week into three different dinners.

Follow me on this one. Start the week with a simple grilled steak dinner. You could serve it with a baked potato and a basic green salad. Just make sure to grill extra steak and tear and wash extra lettuce. Two days later, make a double batch of Peanut Curry Dressing and prep twice the amount of carrots, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes. Assemble the salads, store the extra dressing and veggies in the refrigerator, and dinner is done.

Now, toward the end of the week, cook whole-wheat spaghetti, according to package directions, drain, rinse and toss with the remaining dressing and vegetables. In less than 20 minutes — the time it takes to cook the pasta — dinner is done.

Genius? Well, it might not qualify me for Mensa, but on a busy school night, when I have sports games to attend and work deadlines to worry about, getting a fresh, healthful dinner on the table in minutes makes me feel pretty smart.


Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.