This post was originally published on Beyond the Gold– NY International Ballet Competition’s blog. It’s on how you can cook and eat homemade meals all week without spending your life in the kitchen. It’s easier than you might think….!
I happen to love the phrase, “Cook once, eat twice.” But in my kitchen, it’s cook once, eat four or five times. I love to eat well, but I am not willing to spend a lot of time cooking during the week unless it’s a family event. So, here are some of my tips for cooking/prepping once and eating many times- these are very simple ideas, but I hope they get you thinking!
I usually pick a day when I cook three or four main ingredients and then have them in the fridge as building blocks for the week. My trick is that I cook them in the simplest way possible, usually steaming for veggies and greens and basic prep (without flavoring) for beans and grains. That way, every time I eat, I can add different flavors to create a whole new dish.
For example: Ingredients:
- Kale: steamed
- Wild Rice: boiled
- Cannellini beans: soaked for 24 hours, then boiled until soft.
Warm or cold
- Mix kale, wild rice and cannellini beans
- Toss with tahini, splash of lemon, ground black pepper, salt
- Slice up and add cherry tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts (toast them if you like)
- Add cold kale
- Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
- Cannellini beans and wild rice
- Add feta, cucumber, kalamata olives, tomatoes
- Toss with olive oil, vinegar, fresh oregano/basil, salt and pepper
- Saute cannellini beans and wild rice with sesame oil, salt and pepper
- As a side, sauté the kale in sesame oil with some sesame seeds
In addition to these simple ideas, you now have a green, a grain and a protein, all ready to be eaten in any other creative way you want.
Some other staples that are great to cook ahead of time and keep on hand as building blocks are:
- Quinoa (good cold, hot and as a breakfast cereal)
- Brown Rice
- Kasha (Buckwheat)
- Steamed broccoli
- Roasted red peppers
- All beans: so good hot or cold and very easy to dress up in different flavors