Jun 26The Leftovers Conundrum AKA Who Gets the “Fresh” meal

One of the perks of a work from home arrangement, at least for me, is that I can start dinner during the “work day”, bringing my laptop to the kitchen as I alternately chop, simmer and send emails. This only works of course if I am organized enough to multitask and if neither the work task or recipe requires more than 65% focus! But it still doesn’t solve the problem of my making two dinners every evening.

For the most part, Sara eats everything, and we are lucky that she is as excited about vegetables as she is about cookies, well maybe not as excited, but she does like vegetables very much, so I know we have that going for us. But she eats around 6:00, and we dine at 8:30 after she has gone to bed. This means that from 5:00 – 8:30 I am doing my dinner scramble: making something for her that is – hopefully- not pasta or chicken nuggets for a second or third day in a row, feeding her, prepping our dinner while Gary plays with her, then when she is down, rushing to cook our meal so we can have a moment to sit, relax and be adults. It’s tiring! Not to mention, it can be tricky- how do I make us something interesting that can be prepped before bath time, but then sit for a bit and be prepaerd in 30 minutes or less when we are ready to cook?

And more importantly, short of us eating at 6, how do I only make ONE meal? Do I make it so it’s fresh for Sara, and then we reheat it later? Do I make something fresh for us, then she eats the leftovers the next day? Are there things I can prep once and then cook twice – once for her and then later for us (ie a piece of fish). A few weeks ago, I found a recipe that looked interesting and easy – chicken marinated in a mild yogurt/curry mixture then roasted on top of some squash and brussel sprouts and served with nan and yogurt.I decided to give it a whirl, and let Sara be the recipient of the fresh from the oven version.

She gobbled it up (yes, I know, I am very thankful for a child who greedily stuffs brussel sprouts in her mouth and then asks for more!). Later that evening I rewarmed it for Gary and I, and it was just as good. So good that we gobbled it up. So good that the next night we gobbled up the leftovers eagerly, which is something I rarely do. So good I could not wait to make it again.

I was thrilled – a delicious, healthy, easy recipe that I made once but served twice without the person getting the “seconds” eating something that tasted reheated. This is any parents dream meal, not just one who works from home. This could easily be partially prepped in the morning and then finished/cooked after work with minimal effort. Find the recipe here and see for yourself.

I know there is not one right answer, and that I will constantly be changing things up so that none of us is always eating the leftovers, but I consider it a small victory when I find something that works!

Do you have any favorite cook once serve twice recipes?