Sometimes I like to cook, sometimes I don't. When in the midst of a big project it's a pain to have to stop and make something for dinner. These days we have a few big projects going on.
So I've fallen back into the habit of planning several meals around one piece of meat. Take a pot roast, for instance. AT LEAST three meals out of that baby. Buy a big one, stick it in the crockpot with onions, garlic, a bay leaf, lots of chopped carrots, 2 cups water, salt & pepper and let it slow cook all day long. While you're working on that big project.
Just before supper throw some potatoes in a pot to boil for mashed potatoes. When those are done, take the pot roast and carrots out of the crockpot, thicken the resulting juice into a nice gravy and serve up 1/3 the roast with half the carrots and potatoes and some of the gravy for a delicious dinner. Add salad and rolls to complete. [For those saying you wouldn't have any meat left, my answer is: Buy a REALLY BIG roast and only serve 1/3. There is enough in this meal that your family doesn't have to pork out on the meat to be satisfied! Before they ever come to the table, put away the meat you're saving for the following two meals.]
Now take 1/3 of the remaining roast and chop into bite size pieces. Mix with remaining carrots and gravy and spread in casserole dish. Spread remaining mashed potatoes over all. Shred some cheese (your choice) on top, cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate until two days hence. At which point you will remove plastic wrap and bake at 350° for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes (until heated through and bubbly around the edges) and present your family with an amazing Shepherd's Pie for dinner.
That other 1/3 of roast you can shred and refridgerate to use at lunch when you'll create the most awesomest roast beef sandwich EVER. Start with some goody chewy French bread (but it can be whatever bread your family prefers and you have on hand) and spread on mayonnaise, a little horseradish (it adds a little zing and heat without being overpowering -- trust me!), lettuce, tomatoes and the shredded beef. Muy delicioso!
I do something similar with chicken. Roast a big old chicken (or two, depending on your family size) and save some of the meat for sandwiches the next day and some for a creamed chicken over cornbread and you can even use that carcass to make some mighty fine chicken broth as a base for soup.
Aside from the whole stopping-the-big-project-to-cook issue, with food prices what they are these days, it's always a good plan to stretch your meat a little. Why not stretch it a lot? ☺
You know you can find a lot more great Works For Me Wednesday ideas over at Shannon's today.