I love cooking and eating homemade dinners.
I also don't have time to cook dinner everyday. I am not home until 6:30pm a few days a week. My kids take the bus at 6:30am, which means bedtime is 7pm at our house.
It's difficult to make dinner, eat dinner and help everyone with their things in 30 minutes.
So I'm learning to prepare ahead. This is hard for me because I prefer to "wing it!"
Last week I prepared ahead for the evening grind by batch cooking on Sunday. Batch cooking is intentionally making enough dinner for leftovers. I like to call it "cook once, eat twice (or thrice)." My sister calls it "leftover lane."
Whatever you call it, leftovers can save your sanity if you are a working parent with minimal weekday cooking time.
Can you count how many times I served leftovers last week in the following menu?
Lunch: chili (made a triple batch) + crackers + apples
Sunday dinner: ratatouille over polenta + bread + apple slices + green salad
breakfast: German pancakes + apple sauce/butter
Lunch: leftover ratatouille
breakfast: triple batch oatmeal pancakes
lunch: leftover pancakes + fruit
dinner: grilled salmon (no recipe, just grilled it for 6 minutes without any seasonings)+ leftover pancakes from breakfast
breakfast: no flour pumpkin muffins (Novembers cooking class!!)
lunch: leftover pumpkin muffins
dinner: leftover chili + baked potatoes + apple cake
note: we ate muffins for snack too and hardly had room for dinner!
breakfast: peanut butter oatmeal
lunch: leftover salmon + leftover chili (still lov'n the chili!)
dinner: broccoli cheese soup + bread from the store + apples
breakfast: egg strata (trialing recipe for January's class)
lunch: tortellini tomato + sausage soup (from our best bites, love this recipe!)
dinner: cheese quesadillas + leftover broccoli cheese soup
breakfast: shaped Halloween pancakes (blogpost coming later in the week)
lunch: leftover sausage soup + bread + apple slices
dinner: mushroom stroganoff over whole wheat egg noodles + canned pears
breakfast: pumpkin muffins, apple muffins
lunch: leftover sausage soup + leftover noodles from stroganoff
dinner: meaty lasagna (planning to eat leftovers for dinner Monday)
I used leftovers as the main part of my meal 12 times last week. I don't usually write in my breakfast and lunch menu because I don't want to bore you. But I included it this week to show you how leftovers can save your sanity.
I challenge you to make a double batch of something you love and serve it for dinner twice instead of just once this week. If you love leftovers, let me know in the comments!