Top ten foods that work better as leftovers

Sometimes, even here in king-sized America, you just can't eat the whole thing. Maybe it's because you're actually paying attention to portion control, or maybe your Mom still fixes meals to feed an entire farm crew who's been toiling in the fields since before dawn. Either way, there will be leftovers.

And really, leftovers have gotten a bad rap over the years. Sure, sometimes leftovers sort of suck. Some things just don't have much of a shelf-life: eggs, French fries, respect for Lindsay Lohan. But sometimes, leftovers are just as good as they were the first time around. And sometimes? They're better.

10. Turkey I can't be the only one in the world who chooses to eat one token slice of turkey on Thanksgiving, so as to leave as much leftover white meat for sandwiches, right. Fill up on sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and pecan pie during the big event. And then later, serve it up sliced thick, on white bread, with mayo, sweet pickle, and cranberry sauce. I'll give thanks for that. 9. Curry The thing about curry is that it gets a little more mild, and a little sweeter, the next day. It's a whole new curry experience, and all you have to do is wait. Pretty good deal. Only drawback? That naan bread is DOA, man. 8. Chili Like curry, the flavors of chili deepen over time. And it reheats like a dream, which is good, since you probably don't want to eat this stuff cold, like you can with some of the foods on this list. Another option? Chili Mac, baby. Midwest cuisine FTW! 7. Spaghetti Spaghetti also reheats pretty well, depending on what sauce you used--cream sauces tend to be a little more delicate, whereas tomato-based sauces just get better and better. But spaghetti is surprisingly good to eat cold, too. Nothing you probably want to do at the office...but in private, like masturbation or watching VH1? Count me in. 6. Potato Salad The flavors of potato salad actually mix better given some time to sit in the refrigerator. Some people actually make potato salad--and this is true for pasta salad, and several other potluck salads too--the day before, just for this reason. Sure, you'll feel like your grandma for prepping food this far in advance, but suck it up, Donna Reed. 5. Fried Chicken Speaking of great potluck food: Cold fried chicken is just plain awesome. Granted, it's greasy and messy and awful for you, but for lunch the next day, it can't be beat. Unless you're eating at your desk at work--because those fried dough crumbs will be sitting there in your keyboard for years. Trust me on this. 4. Lasagna Lasagna is a better the second day--the noodle layers suffuse with the flavors of the sauce and the cheese ... we don't know, it's magic or something, because this stuff is insanely good. If you haven't tried it, do yourself the favor, because never before in your life will you feel closer to Garfield the Cat. Wait, that's not a ringing endorsement. Okay, just try it and forget the Garfield thing. 3. Stew Homemade stews (and soups, too) are another dish that thickens and sets given more time -- the spices become more infused, the vegetables and meats suck up the broth a little more, and the whole concoction becomes a greater version of what it had been the night before. And again, cold stew? Pretty damn good. 2. Meatloaf Like turkey, meatloaf is perhaps better as a sandwich than in its original dinnertime form. Yes, it's sort of a crappy name. Outside of bread, one really doesn't have a hankering for a loaf of anything, really. Fair enough. But put that aside for a moment, and consider: a slab of cold meatloaf, swimming in ketchup, on sliced potato bread? Classic diner food for a reason: because people have never tired of eating it. 1. Pizza In college, this is called breakfast.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen