I don’t actually hate cooking. I do hate having to do it all the time. After raising four kids and being married a loooooong time, let’s just say I’m kitchen weary.
Whenever I can, I save time in the kitchen. We still eat ground beef and chicken so there are possibilities here to save some time and money.
Why prepare and clean up after two meals when you can do so for one?
Here’s the idea in a nutshell: If you know you are going to have one of those weeks, plan to have the same base to your meal for multiple meals.
Chicken is a great start. If you are cooking chicken breasts for tonight, make twice the amount. Serve tonight’s chicken fresh with salad and side dishes and wrap the remaining chicken for tomorrow. Tomorrow, while the chicken is still fresh and you haven’t had to deal with all the freezing and unfreezing nonsense, chop that chicken up and have it in a chicken salad. Two meals and you’ve only made a major kitchen mess once. In the hotter weather, it’s a blessing to leave the oven off as long as possible.
Ground beef is another candidate. I don’t know about you, but once it has been frozen, thawed and recooked, it just doesn’t taste the same to me. This idea retains the fresh taste without freezer bags and all that other nonsense.
Cook up a ton of ground beef for spaghetti tonight. (Make sure you buy the leanest kind you can afford and drain off the fat once cooked.) Serve spaghetti and salad and put the remaining plain ground beef into the refrigerator for taco salad tomorrow night. The ground beef still tastes fresh and with taco seasoning, you won’t even remember that you cooked it yesterday.
Do you have a rice steamer? (If you don’t, why don’t you? They are awesome time-savers. Here’s a link to the one I have: Black & Decker Rice Steamer) One day, fill that steamer up with rice and serve a fresh rice-based dish for dinner. I don’t like leftover rice very much, but the following day you could make fried rice or a rice and bean combo. Second day rice seems OK if it’s cooked into something, not just warmed up in the microwave.
What are your cook once, eat twice ideas? Let’s share so we all save time for more fun!