How to Cook Once, Eat Twice

Easy ways to mix up your meal planning while cutting back your work.

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Posted in , Jan 25, 2022

Eating roasted veggies

I’m a fan of labor-saving, healthy eating habits. So leftovers are a mainstay in my house, particularly for lunch. Knowing that I can eat well because I cooked last night makes me feel cared for and nourished.

But the thing about leftovers is, they can be a bit joyless. Even if we enjoyed last night’s dinner, it’s not always the same fresh joy to tuck into them the next day.

That’s why I love the idea of “cook once, eat twice.” This combines three of my favorite things—the convenience of getting multiple meals from one effort, the pleasure of having something different to look forward to in every meal and the ease of cooking by “technique” instead of recipe. Technique cooking is flavorful, versatile and easy to do in a big batch.

Here are my two favorite techniques for multi-meal deliciousness.

Roasted Vegetables
A big tray of roasted vegetables is the stuff great meals are made of. Cut seasonal vegetables into uniform pieces, season with kosher salt, pepper and the spices of your choice (try za’atar for a fabulous spice mix!), drizzle with olive oil, and roast for 15-20 minutes in a hot (425 degrees) oven for beautifully browned, crisp-tender vegetables that are ready to deploy in multiple meals. To name just a few:

--Roasted vegetable scrambled eggs
--Pasta with roasted vegetables and crumbled feta or goat cheese
--Roasted vegetable grain bowls
--Sandwich with cheese and roasted vegetables
--Roasted vegetable soup

Slow-Cooked Meat
Cooked low and slow, a batch of chicken, beef or pork made in the slow cooker gives you the foundation for multiple flavorful, protein-packed meals. Follow your favorite slow-cooker recipe to prepare stew meat, a whole chicken or a roast flavored the way you like it. Choose Asian flavors like teriyaki and ginger, a Southwestern profile of tomato and spice or anything else you can use as a base to build on for the meals to come. Some ideas:

--Tacos or burrito bowls
--Lettuce wraps with slow-cooked meat, fresh vegetables and a drizzle of dipping sauce
--Baked cheesy pasta with meat
--Salad topped with chilled slow-cooked meat
--Saucy stew, served over rice

How do you cook once to eat twice?

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