You’ll be cooking a lot over the summer holidays, there’s no doubt about it. As well as everyday meals, there’s also special occasion meals, family gatherings, friends and their kids coming over for playdates. Everyone’s on leave, so you’ll probably see much more of your family and friends than usual, and what’s a meetup without some food? To make sure you get some times to step away from the stove this festive season, look into some quick dinner recipes that can be cooked up with minimal effort and best of all, used the next day for lunch.
Here are our tips on how to make dinner do double duty and keep everyone happy and fed for more than one meal.
Use meats that taste good cold
Some meats just lend themselves really well to being eaten cold the next day. Simple recipes like roasted chicken or beef are great options if you’re planning on reusing the meats in various ways.
For example, roast chicken is delicious as a hot meal with vegetables and potatoes. When you’re cooking it, add in an extra chicken and keep some potatoes back after boiling. The following day, serve the cold chicken alongside a green salad and use the potatoes in a potato salad. Or, fry the potatoes in a pan with some garlic and salt and eat with the cold meat. If you still have meat leftover, use it in a sandwich, chicken salad or pasta salad for lunch on day three. The best part about this is that you only have to use the oven once, so you save time and electricity.
Choose dinners that reheat well
Sometimes, you don’t want to ‘repurpose’ your food, you just want to reheat leftovers and eat them the next day. While roast vegetables lose their delicious crunch when they’re microwaved, and fish can taste a bit rubbery, other foods almost taste better the next day. Pizza and Chinese food come to mind!
Sishebo recipes are a good choice for reheating, as the flavours meld together as the food sits overnight. It’s also far easier to reheat something with a thick sauce, and a dish which can be easily microwaved in one bowl instead of having to be reheated in separate parts.
Think outside the box
You can use the main ingredient from dinner the night before to make a gourmet lunch. Imagine how good soft, slow-cooked beef casserole pieces would taste in a pie. You can even prepare it at the same time and just reheat the pie the next day.
Or, what about making a big joint of pork? The next day it could be shredded with barbecue sauce to make sandwiches or wraps, or it could be fried up and put in a stir fry, or you could even use two minute noodles, an egg, and some spices for a quick and easy Asian-inspired meal.
If you are making sauces for pasta, sishebo, curry or similar, make extra and freeze the sauce. You can then defrost it and pour over vegetables or meat another day for lunch.