“I don’t cook because I don’t have time” is the most common excuse I hear as to why my clients eat out and “cook” processed foods. But what if “cooking takes too long” is nothing more than a big lie. What if we have bought into the lie that processed food and restaurant food is quicker? What if I told you dinner can be made in less than 20 minutes every day? Not processed garbage, but real, honest to goodness, nourish your body, delicious, and good for you fresh food? How you ask? The simple answer, repurposing.
If you put a little bit of planning into it, you can make two main meals a week that will become seven simple and delicious meals. This can be accomplished by using the crockpot to cook your two starter meals and then repurpose the leftovers for the next two to three days. Here is an example of this in action:
Roast Beef in the crockpot with onions, carrots and potatoes (make way too much).
Vegetable beef soup on the fly. At the end of eating your roast on Sunday, grab a large soup pot and toss in some shredded beef. Grab a knife and quickly cut most of the carrots, potatoes and onions into smaller bits. Pour in the juice from the roast. Put a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator. Put the rest of the roast, potatoes and carrots in a separate container for Tuesday and Wednesday’s meals. When you get home from work on Monday, throw the pot on the stove, turn on the burner and dump in some shell pasta and a little water. Boil it for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is tender and enjoy.
Grab two red and two green peppers and two onions. Quickly slice them up and sauté them in a little olive oil. Toss in some of the remaining shredded beef to warm it through. Toss into a wrap or tortilla and dump on some salsa. Enjoy.
Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Oil a pie plate. Grab the last of the roast and shred it into the pie plate. Cube up the last of the carrots, onions and potatoes and put them in the pie plate. Whisk together 6 eggs with salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper. Pour over meat and veggies. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you like, you can sprinkle a little cheese on top for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Slice in four pieces and enjoy.
Throw an entire bag of black beans in the slow cooker filled with water and cook all day (or drain and rinse 4-5 cans of black beans). When you get home, drain and rinse the beans. Retain 2 cups of beans for tonight. Put the rest in your refrigerator. Sautee three sliced onions, four minced garlic cloves and four sliced peppers. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of cumin. Serve a scoop of the pepper mixture in a tortilla with a scoop of beans, sliced avocado, salsa and a squeeze of lime.
When putting Wednesday’s dinner away, toss two cups of black beans, the rest of the pepper mixture and four cups of vegetable stock into a soup pot. Put the lid on and refrigerate until you get home from work on Thursday. Then pull it out and put it on the stove on high. Grab a sweet potato, dice it and throw it in the soup with some cayenne pepper, 4 sprigs of cilantro and a cup of salsa. Boil until potatoes are cooked through. Remove cilantro sprigs and enjoy.
Mash the remaining black beans with cumin, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a leftover tortilla and top with sliced avocado, and a little thinly sliced red onion. Enjoy (with some Sriracha!).
It really is just that easy. All it takes is some planning ahead. Cooksmarts.com is a great site for more ideas in this area. Check out their great guide to food repurposing at http://www.cooksmarts.com/articles/guide-repurposing-leftovers/.
The moral of the story is you can eat healthy even in the busiest of lives. All it takes is a little planning ahead and a little creativity. Your mission, should you chose to accept it (and you should), is to do a little planning for the upcoming week. You will love how easy and delicious your mealtime will be!