Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Time-Saving Tuesday

Each Tuesday we'll be bringing you time-saving tips.

This week's tip was mentioned in yesterday's Meal Plan Monday. Cook once, use twice (at least!) If you know you're having BBQ grilled chicken on Sunday, put extra plain (or lightly seasoned) chicken breasts on the grill and plan to have salads topped with grilled chicken or chicken fajitas later in the week. It doesn't take much more time in prep, and no additional cooking time to make extras, and now you've saved yourself the time and energy of cooking at least one other night of the week. Typically most of us have a little extra time for cooking on the weekends so if we can do it then it will make the dinner hours during the week much more calm and peaceful.

Other ideas for cooking once, using more than once:
-turkey breast or roasted chicken one night becomes chicken/turkey and rice casserole, chicken/turkey pot pie, enchiladas, chicken/turkey pasta salad, noodle soup, fried rice, baby spinach and strawberry salads topped with chicken/turkey, fajitas, soft tacos, white chicken/turkey chili, chicken/turkey pesto pizza--the possibilities are endless!

-make a large flank steak one night, serve thin slices over salad another night, or make fajitas

-a spiral cut ham becomes ham and potato casserole, ham and bean soup, ham and broccoli quiche

-Making something with ground beef? Brown twice the amount needed and freeze the extra. Now chili, tacos, or sloppy joes will only take minutes to prepare on a busy night.

-make twice the amount of mashed potatoes your family needs on Sunday night and serve the "planned overs" with dinner on Tuesday night

-make extra rice to serve later in the week or freeze the extras for nights that you need a quick side dish

-extra shaped pasta used for a dinner one night quickly transforms into a cold pasta salad for lunch (or add cooked chicken or pepperoni) for a quick dinner.

We'd love to hear any ideas you have for cooking once and using twice! We're always looking for new recipes to try as well, so please share your time-saving tips!