Cook once eat twice

There are many foods that can be prepared all at one time then show back up on your family’s menu as totally different dishes.

My first thoughts are always what is in season from our large family garden and what is on special at the market. Before I know it, a menu is forming. I make some notes to take with me for the shopping trip. Your list of purchases may include things such as eggs and produce; we are blessed to have those here on the farm. The final menu would be determined on how some of the meats looked and such. Always make a quick look through the pantry to be sure you have all the ingredients needed – you do not want to get in the middle of making potato salad to realize you are out of mustard.

Think of the building blocks of your family’s meals or try some new ideas. Then fill in the blanks with foods that lend well to preparation ahead at time.

Meats/Eggs

Boneless skinless chicken breast – allow ½ breast per person – recipes below
Flank steak (also called London Broil)
Fillet of Salmon
Extra ground beef patties
Pork Shoulder roast
Pork tenderloin
Eggs – make enough hard boiled, for potato salad and deviled eggs

Starches:

Potatoes – Make extra eggs for potato salad to serve later in week
Pasta – your favorite cold salad and Baked Chicken Pasta – recipe below
Rice
Couscous
Bulgur Wheat – recipes below

Bulgur Wheat Recipes

Hot Bulgur Wheat Pilaf
2 c. bulgur wheat 1 c chopped green onions (tops too!)
3½ c chicken or beef bouillon ½ c chopped parsley
¾ c butter 1 TBSP lemon pepper
1 c chopped celery and leaves Salt
Use heavy skillet with lid. Sauté onions, celery and parsley lightly in 1/2 cup of the butter, then add bulgur wheat and remaining butter. Stir until all is blended, lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Lower heat and add bouillon carefully. When mixture starts to boil, lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook slowly with tight lid, don’t open, until all liquid is absorbed, about 35-40 minutes. Let sit for about 5 minutes. More liquid can be added if not done or too dry. Serves 8.Reserve half from the Pilaf recipe and make Tabbouleh Salad later in the week.
Chilled Tabbouleh Salad
Half of above prepared bulgur wheat ½ c lemon juice
4 ripe, medium size tomatoes, chopped into small cubes ½ jalapeno pepper, de-seeded, chopped fine (optional)
½ tsp allspice 5 TBSP good olive oil
½ c finely chopped fresh mint Salt and Pepper
4 or 5 finely chopped spring onions (with the green parts) – chopped into ¼” lengths
In a large bowl, place bulgur wheat, tomato, parsley spring onions, salt, pepper, allspice, lemon juice, olive oil, mint and jalapeno. Toss well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for a future meal – toss daily and recover. Serve in lettuce leaf cups and enjoy! Serves 4.

Chicken Breast Recipes

Grilled Chicken Breasts
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast
Split chicken breast into 8-pieces (½ breast each) Grill your chicken breast through fully (if you don’t like to grill you can sauté, bake or broil them).
Variations:

  • Grill half the breasts with BBQ sauce, or a spicy rub
  • Use Italian dressing to baste – all chicken during grilling

Reserve ½ breasts per person for usage in Baked Pasta Recipe

Baked Chicken Pasta
Chicken reserved from grilled chicken breast above – shredded or cut into cubes 8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cooked pasta ½ c Parmesan cheese
1 jar favorite tomato sauce Extra Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for top
1 egg – beaten well
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix together tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and well beaten egg. Add pasta and toss together well. Spread into a 13″x9″ baking dish. Cover all of top with mozzarella and parmesan. Bake 30 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes prior to serving.

With a little planning, creativity and a lot of fun, you too can cook less and enjoy your time with your family more.

For further meal, recipes or menu ideas – feel free to e-mail me at: dorifritzinger@ymail.com

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.