No-one’s got time for endless hours of food prep – at least no one I know. Or maybe just me. Either way………saving time in the kitchen allows much more time for other enjoyable pursuits, such as leaving said kitchen and venturing out to eat food other, more talented artisans than yourself have prepared.
The days are finally getting longer and my family is itching to spend more time outdoors in the evenings. As such, I’m getting my ducks in a row and starting to think of ways Dave and I can create ‘Cook Once, Eat Twice’ meals and incorporate them into our weekly meal planning a bit more often.
Obviously, time-saving is a big reason why anyone would meal plan or want to smash out two meals in one prep session, but it also makes economic sense. Bulk buying or meal planning so you can make use of larger cuts of meat can save you heaps at the grocery store and encourage seasonal eating which is always less expensive and exactly what our bodies crave at any given time of year.
Saving on energy costs is yet another way to benefit from your brilliant meal-planning and forward-thinking – pat yourselves on the back! Heating an oven to cook one meal and utilising ONE oven rack makes no sense. Turn that sucker on and load it up to maximise your power usage. Even better, level-up your Kitchen Super Hero status by cooking during your off-peak, FREE Hour of Power from Electric Kiwi. If you haven’t switched yet do it! The 9-5pm off-peak slot is perfect for us SAHMs, or get up at 6am and get dinner ready before the kids wake.
Let’s get into it, here are 5 family-friendly meal ideas that will help you cook once but eat twice!
5 Ways to Cook Once, Eat Twice!
- Meatballs – instead of purchasing a 500g pack of beef, chicken or pork mince, lookout for specials and pick up a kilogram pack. Whip up an extra-large batch of meatballs, freeze half or go meatball crazy two nights in a row. Think spaghetti, stir fry, meatball subs, on top of fried rice, with a banging salad, or try my own delicious Thai Chicken Meatball Recipe here.
- The Kiwi Roast – Pop a roast on the weekly menu, bulk the meal out with heaps of seasonal veggies and a salad and you’ll be good to go for two nights! De-bone the meat and get creative with some hearty pizzas or pies on night two.
- Tacos/fajitas/stir-fry – Using schnitzel cuts of meat is a great way to lighten up your family’s servings of animal protein – a little goes a long way. Lightly pan fry or bake your schnitzel (beef, chicken or pork), divide in two and season half for tacos or fajitas while the other half is ready for inclusion into your fave stir-fry or stroganoff recipe. Try my Shrimp Fajita Recipe here.
- Chili – Try a vegetarian version and have a meat-free meal once a week! Chili is amazing just served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese, but try it in a quesadilla on night 2, or on a pizza, in a toastie or – my fave – pick up some large roasting potatoes, twice roast them and top with your chili! Soooo good!
- BBQ Chicken Salad / Pasta Bake – I always buy in bulk when I see chicken breast on sale for $9.99kg. Dave has started slicing the breasts in half through the thickness as this saves on cooking time and helps decrease our portion sizes. Marinate your chicken and cook on the bbq for a quick, easy, light meal. Serve with a fresh, green salad and you’re ticking all the nutrition boxes. For night two, cut up your leftover chicken and combine with some seasonal veges (try grating courgette and carrot if your kids are picky eaters), pasta and your favourite sauce for a hearty pasta bake.
If you’ve got any amazing Cook Once, Eat Twice meal ideas please add them in the comments below, as I absolutely LOVE expanding our easy-dinner menu xx
To take advantage of Electric Kiwi’s free daily Hour of Power, make the switch here, it’s fast, easy and they do all the work for you – isn’t that a change lol!
Image credit: Nicole Abalde.
Thanks so much to Electric Kiwi for partnering with us this winter, love your work guys!