Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grill Once, Enjoy Many Ways


I get a lot of raised eyebrows when people find out that I work full time, blog, raise a child and cook real food. Honestly it is do-able. But you have to not just like leftovers, but love to be creative with them. It helps if your family members pitch in over the weekend, when most of the week's meals are created. This is an example of how one Sunday dinner can be the basis for the rest of the week's meals.

Night one: Steak. This weekend, my husband put three steaks on the grill. Large ones. Of course we didn't eat them all, but that's part of the plan. Several veggie sides. We'll eat those the rest of the week, too.

Night two: I made quick caramelized onions and used those plus Sunday dinner's bread, some of the leftover steak, and white cheddar cheese for an open-face steak sandwich (recipe below). Because the steak was already grilled, dinner just took minutes under the broiler. Slice up a sweet potato for easy oven-baked fries and dinner is done.

Night three: we'll use the caramelized onions, more steak, greens, bleu cheese and dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette for a salad meal.

Night four: We'll have a quick meal of grilled cheese with the rest of the caramelized onions, cheddar, apples and stone-ground mustard. Steamed broccoli on the side.

Night five: Grocery store night, CSA pickup, time to restock. Saturday, is time to go to the farmers market and that afternoon the actual cooking starts again.

So, you see how steak, cheese, onions, and bread can be used in four completely different (and very quick) meals over a few week nights. No fast food, no sacrifices.

Quick Caramelized Onions
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.

For the salad, I always make my own dressing and have it on hand. It's a lot less expensive than store-bought dressing, and is just as good, if not better.

10 comments:

Rachel said...

thanks for the tip! I swear to god, it's like we live in identical, parallel universes. On Sunday, we grilled three very large porterhouse steaks. Ate one and a third, have been using the two leftover ones all week in recipes.

I remember the day I learned that sugar and balsamic vinegar was the key to fanastic caramelized onions. It was like that painting on the Sistene Chapel with the hand of god touching man. Sad but true!

While I'm thinking of it, do you have a good recipe for chutney that you've used? I'm feeling like making some chutney...

Carina said...

You've just planned our meals for next week. I'm also a big fan of a roast meal, then a week of leftovers. I can make a large lamb roast last quite a few days!

Rachel, check out the chutney recipe at www.animalvegetablemiracle.com It's also a great book...but they tell you how to make relish, sauce and chutney all in one batch. I'm a big fan of time savers...

Korinthe said...

I can believe everything but the part about making ONE little onion last three whole nights! Not a chance at our house :)

MamaBird said...

Um, love you! I am always on the hunt for recipes that build on each other over the course of days and days (ie roast chicken becomes enchiladas becomes broth for soup etc). This rocks...plus my DH adores caramelized onions (I'm with korinthe, we'd need a bagful of em).

Pam said...

I love this post! This is exactly what I'm trying to do, though I am not as successful with it as you. The steak sandwich looks wonderful.

Rachel said...

Thanks, Cazza!

I'm a huge fan of the Sunday roast-that-lasts-through-the-week myself. Leftover lamb rogan josh!? Yuummm!

katiez said...

It really is simple if you just put a tiny amount of thought into, isn't it? And might as well think about dinner on the drive to work, right?
I've never lived where fast food, deliveries or take-out were options...

Anonymous said...

Great, this is what we used to do.

But, with three boys... food that would have lasted forever simply vanishes.

I make a meatloaf with (no joke) 4 lbs of meat and it makes two meals and a bit for my family of five (plus one).

Expatriate Chef said...

Try the meatloaf recipe that has 1 pound of vegetable in it with three pounds of meat. Should reduce some of the food cost and put more nutrition in the mix. It tastes great, recipe is under Meatloaf Florentine in the index on the site.

Anonymous said...

What is the carmalized onion recipe that you talk about? I made it last year, but can't find it this year. It was really good.