20 Jun Summer Mantra: Cook Once, Eat Twice
Intern Laura Bartee takes the helm of Robinsbite with her Cook One, Eat Twice advice.
The arrival of summer brings recreation, outdoor activities and vacations. But it also provides less time to prepare healthy meals at home. Using the mentality of cooking once and eating twice, it can be easy to make foods in bulk that can be re-purposed in different meals throughout the week. Since no one wants to eat the same meal twice, try these quick tips to provide unique meals using pre-cooked ingredients.
1. Grilled Chicken: Spend one day a week grilling chicken breasts, tenders, boneless skinless thighs or drumsticks seasoned with your favorite marinade or spice blend. Leftover sliced meat can be used in fajitas, on a salad or as a pizza topping.
2. Crock-pot Chicken: If you don’t own a grill, opt to cook chicken in a crockpot. Use any cut of frozen or fresh chicken including bone-in, boneless or even a whole chicken. Pour water or broth in your crockpot, add meat and cook on low for approximately 8 hours. The chicken will be tender enough to shred and can be added to burritos on whole wheat tortillas, or used for a sandwich night with either barbeque pulled chicken or chicken salad.
3. Prepared Vegetables: Roasted or grilled vegetables are easy, quick and keep for several days in the refrigerator. To roast, slice and toss any vegetable in olive oil, salt and pepper and cook at 425° F until tender. Or throw vegetables onto the grill next to the chicken to save time. Try sweet potatoes, broccoli, butternut squash or mushrooms. Add leftover vegetables to sandwiches, pasta salads or eat plain as a side dish.
4. Ready-to-eat Produce: Once a week wash and pre-cut your produce. This produce will be available to grab for snacks or for lunches throughout the week. Try grape tomatoes, snow peas or celery as dippers for hummus. Shred carrots or squash in your food processor to throw into soups or salads. Slice and refrigerate cantaloupe, kiwi or pineapple so it’s ready to enjoy anytime.
5.Pre-cooked Whole Grains: Instead of making one portion of grains, pre-cook a large batch of brown rice, quinoa or bulgur wheat either on the stove or in a rice cooker. Store grains in the refrigerator and serve on salads or mix in roasted vegetables for a simple side dish. These grains can also be eaten as a substitute for oatmeal in the mornings for breakfast.
Healthy eating can still be made a priority in the busy summers when you batch cook foods once or twice a week.
What are your tips for cooking once, eating twice?