When my kids were young and I was a working mom trying to put meals on the table, I came up with some recipe’s that made life a tad bit more manageable. It doesn’t matter if you working outside the home or not, time is precious. Doesn’t it seem that somebody has to be picked up from somewhere in the late afternoon? Or maybe you just can’t get out of the office or away from your computer! How many times do you throw in the towel and get take out?
The Left-Over-gourmet has a solution. I use the word gourmet lightly. I’ll be posting recipes and ideas on Saturday mornings for meals that you cook once and stretch into at 3 more meals.
Meal #1 Pork with wild rice, stir fried vegetables and fresh fruit.
Ok, you’re saying, pork doesn’t sound like a summer meal. Sure it is, and you can slow cook it in your crock pot. Buy enough pork loin for 2 meals, season with salt, pepper, garlic and mesquite. Put it in the crock pot on high for about an hour. Turn down to low for about 4 hours (depends on how much you are cooking). Always check pork with a meat thermometer to make sure it is done. Should be an internal temperature of at least 170.
Now for the rice. In my opinion quick cooking rice isn’t even an option. The problem is always the amount of time that long grain and wild rice takes to cook. What you don’t think about is the fact that it freezes really well. Pick your favorite rice. Mine happens to be the Royal blend which has a lot of flavor and a real nutty quality. Cook 3 times as much as you would for one meal. Trust me, this will work.
Squash is in season and I have more squash recipes than you can shake a stick at. This is one of the easiest and one of my favorites. If you have a garden you will love it. Take squash yellow, green, or both doesn’t matter, large small red onion and four green tomatoes. Heat some olive oil over a medium to high heat. Lightly sauté the onion and then add the squash and diced green tomatoes. I love adding green tomatoes because they give a little extra tang to the dish. Season with garlic (can’t cook without garlic), and lemon pepper. The measurements on this are really loose. Just make sure you make 2 times what you will use for one meal.
Summer is a great time for fruit so get to the closest farm and make a fruit salad with whatever fresh fruit is available.
This is a lovely meal. How are you going to stretch it into several quick meals? Well I’m going to tell you. After dinner take all that left over pork and cut and pull it into small pieces. Put it in a pot with the juices from the crock pot. Add a little more mesquite, some barbeque sauce (use your favorite, I don’t mind) now add a little bit of cider vinegar and some dried onion. Simmer this baby while you do the dishes. Hummmm, what about all that rice? Divide it into two freezer bags, cool it and put it away before you have your after dinner drinks. Ahhh, the pulled pork! If it’s enough for one meal put it into a freezer bag and viola, you have another meal for later this week or maybe next week. . . whatever . . . just get some rolls, make a salad and you have a quick dinner that everyone will love. I gota tell ya . . . pulled pork has it all over sloppy joes.
Back to the rice. Later this week you are going to be so happy you have that rice. It’s cooked already and have I got an idea for you. Take that rice out of the freezer and nuke it to defrost. Now add 1- 16 oz can of diced tomatoes with peppers and onions. Sounds pretty good. Oh it gets better. Now ad some garlic (there’s a pattern here – I can’t cook without garlic) and cumin. This concoction is starting to smell really good. Now add chorizo sausage. I get the chicken chorizo from Costco but you can add your favorite. If you don’t like chorizo you can add cooked shrimp. Finish this baby off with some fresh cilantro and you have meal number two.
When you are cleaning up from meal one don’t freeze the left over vegetables. Just put them in the refrigerator till later in the week. One night you can have a nice little vegetarian meal. Get a loaf of French bread. Split it down the middle. Open a small jar of pasta sauce and spread on the bread. Microwave the left over veggies just to heat them through. Now spread the vegetables over the sauce. Chop up some fresh basil and sprinkle over the vegetables. Smells heavenly! Top it off with some mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese gets bubbly. You have a beautiful vegetarian pizza – meal three.
By the end of the week you might not mind if you have pork again. Serve that lovely pulled pork on a toasted whole grain role with a salad and you are in business for meal number 4.
Now you cooked one meal that took some time and viola you got three more meals that you and your family could enjoy . . . and you didn’t have to stop for take-out. . . at least not much.
Hey – don’t forget about that third bag of rice. I’ll have a recipe for that one next time.