To keep from dropping the ball at dinnertime, try the technique of "cook once, eat twice".
Cook once, eat twice
Give yourself a break. By planning ahead you can make some of the dinner tasks you are trying to juggle easier. Spend a few extra minutes planning paired menus where you "cook once, eat twice."
Here's how it works. Plan meals based around main foods prepared in larger amounts for use in one recipe the first night and an entirely different recipe within the next night or two. This is different from making large batches and eating leftovers.
Examples of cook once, eat twice foods
Here are some quick and easy examples of "cook once, eat twice" meal ideas to get you started. Adapt according to your family preferences and then add your own ideas. Think of these as Act 1 and Act 2 at the circus, with something different for each performance!
CHICKEN OR TURKEY
Act 1: Cook up a batch of basic chicken or turkey stock. After poultry is cooked remove from pot and cut meat from bones. Set aside and refrigerate for another meal. Put bones back in the pot and continue to simmer. To make soup add one or more of the following to the stock: rice, pasta, cut-up potatoes, corn, celery, carrots and onion.
Act 2: Combine the cooked chicken or turkey, cut into strips, with lettuce and vegetables of your choice along with low fat salad dressing for a main dish salad.
DRY BEANS AND LEGUMES
Act 1: Cook a pot of beans on Sunday. Add to Minestrone Soup or Chili. Set aside enough for another meal. Label with date and freeze extra in portioned containers for later use in quick and easy meals.
Act 2: Serve cooked beans in tortillas along with chopped cabbage or lettuce, green onions and tomatoes and top with salsa and grated cheese.
BEEF OR PORK
Act 1: Bake a roast the first evening and enjoy part of it.
Act 2: Slice the rest of your roast for French dip sandwiches or cut into tiny pieces and serve with lots of vegetables, potatoes, rice, or noodles.
From the King County Solid Waste Division:
- Prep Now, Eat Later
Prepare perishable foods soon after shopping. You’ll make it easier to whip up meals later in the week, saving time, effort and money.
- Recipe Resource
Recipes that can help you save time, waste less and stretch your grocery budget!