In our time-crunched world, it seems like we are always rushing to get dinner on the table before the family runs off to soccer practice, swimming lessons, PTA meetings and evening classes. A great way to get dinner on the table quickly is to “cook once and eat twice”. Cooking once and eating twice is an economical and easy way to feed your family good food fast. This doesn’t mean eating leftovers everyday. Instead you will be preparing pork cooked twice fresh food that only takes a fraction of the time, using main dishes that are put together with a few basic ingredients that are used in many different meals. Cooking once and eating twice is less work than starting from scratch every time, because the most difficult and time consuming part of putting your meal together is already done.
Cooking once and eating twice requires a little bit of planning. For example, when you are putting together a shopping list, think about several ways you could use chicken breasts. The first day, cook all of the chicken at once, seasoning it several different ways for variety. Maybe the first day you have Teriyaki Chicken with rice pilaf and green beans. Later in the week you could have Chicken Alfredo with broccoli and chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.
Lasagna, enchilada casserole, meatloaf and macaroni and cheese all do well in the freezer. Simply make an extra casserole dish, wrap it tightly with foil and freeze for up to a month. To heat, pull the casserole out of the freezer in the morning and let it thaw in the refrigerator during the day. When you get home, heat the oven and put your casserole in to bake. By the time you make a salad, set the table and slice up some French bread, your hot, hearty dinner will be ready to serve.
Try boneless pork chops or roast beef, cooking twice as much as you need. Pork chops smothered with barbeque sauce makes a great sandwich to serve with coleslaw and baked beans. Roast beef can be sliced and stir-fried with a package of frozen vegetables or made into fajitas.
Beans are easy and inexpensive. In the morning before you go to work, put a pound of dried beans on to cook in the crock pot. Just rinse them and cover them with water by about 3 inches. By the time you get home, you will have beans to use in burritos, serve with rice and salsa, mash for refried beans or use in chili. Beans also freeze well for later use.