Quantity Cooking: Cook Two Days Worth Of Meals At Once
Simple ideas for quantity cooking to cut time in the kitchen by cooking two meals at once.
Preparing two meals at once can be very easy if you take a few minutes to be organized. Depending on your preferences and needs you can simply do the preparation for the second meal or you can completely make it and save it in your refrigerator.
The first step is to make out a tentative menu for the week or month. You don't have to follow this day by day, but know in advance what meals you will be making in advance. Then go through the list and see which recipes have similar ingredients. The simplest thing to do is to chop extra vegetables. For example if only ½ onion is needed, chop the whole thing and save the rest for another recipe. If none of the recipes need the onion within a few days, place it in the freezer for later. This also works well for cheese. If you prepare several ingredients ahead of time for a particular meal, store them or bind them together with rubber bands so you won't have to dig around for one ingredient.
Also think ahead about leftovers. You may only have a small amount to work with or you can purposely make extra. For example, I once planned on making Italian sausages. I cooked the sausages and topped them with cooked green peppers and onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. I chopped extra peppers and onions when I was preparing the meal, and set them aside for later, although I wasn't sure what I would use them for at that point. It turned out I had two left over sausages, hardly enough for a meal. Or was it? Later in the week I sliced the remaining sausages and heated them in a pan with chopped onions and peppers had had been set aside. Meanwhile, I boiled pasta. I then added chopped stewed tomatoes and sauce to the meat and vegetables. I then served it over the pasta and topped it with Parmesan cheese. There, now you have two meals out of one.
I also sometimes plan on making extra. For example when making spaghetti and meatballs, I make a double batch of meatballs and sauce. I serve half the batch with spaghetti. The remaining meatballs and sauce I freeze for meatball sandwiches (meatball, and spaghetti sauce on hot dog or hoagie buns topped with mozzarella cheese), or another batch of spaghetti.
If you use your creativity and take a few minutes to think ahead mealtime will actually be much shorter.