Three Types of Food that Can Make Encores
As much as I enjoy cooking, I hate doing more work than I have to. I’ve made a point to start making dishes that easily become something else for the next meal (or two or three). I’m not talking about just recycling leftovers, though. I like making meals that at least look completely from scratch. I save plenty of money this way, too: not only do I get the price drop that comes from buying ingredients, rather than prepared meals, I get an added benefit from buying fewer ingredients. So what recipes do I rely on?
I make pizza dough in triple batches — I’d make more, but I just don’t have a bowl big enough! It keeps in the fridge for a couple of days, but I routinely freeze my dough, so that I have a little more time to turn it into:
- Pizza, in endless varieties
- Focaccia (which, in turn, can be part of sandwiches, a side dish, or half a dozen other things)
My tomato sauce recipe is fairly simple, and based on cheap canned tomatoes. I have plenty of jars and I make fairly large batches at a time. But, since I don’t actually do anything to preserve my sauce, it is fairly common to have several days worth of meals involving the stuff in a row.
- Pasta, of course
- Pizza sauce
- Tomato soup (same ingredients, basically, with a slightly different method)
- Chicken sort-of-Provencal (add in a few more chunky vegetables to your sauce, and only a professional chef will notice the difference)
- Calzone sauce
If you’re planning to eat chicken breasts most of the week anyhow, it’s hard to justify not cooking it all up at once. I use a Foreman grill, drag a book and a chair into the kitchen and knock out a bunch of cooking at once. I let the chicken cool down and then chop it into chunks.
- Pasta topping
- Pizza topping
- Calzone filler
Pizza is, I admit, a regular dinner at my place. It might have something to do with the fact that I enjoy cold pizza for breakfast, and don’t mind it showing up for lunch, either. Factor that in with basically all the ingredients can be used for other meals, as well, and I’m sold!