People often ask me where I find the time to cook so much for the family and in particular, during the busy weeks when we all juggle schools, activities, sport, grades, general running of the household, oh, and work!
Well, I love it and that helps because to me, baking in particular, is a way of relaxing. In fact, when we had the builders in the house for a few months, I baked them a cake everyday – it was the only way I was going to retain my sanity.
But even I have my limits when it comes to coming up with delicious and inviting foods on a daily basis. And that limit is mainly time, without mentioning logistics and economics…
So I have ways to turn a dinner into lunch then into another dinner and yet into another lunch. By stretching one meal to four, I maximise the time available to me and minimise expense without people feeling like they are eating the same meals four times in a row. That is without mentioning my loathing of wasting food.
There are many meals I do this with and I am thinking of starting a section called ‘From dinner to lunch’ at some point on the website. So if some of you wish to spare five minutes, I would welcome some feedback on [email protected] .
I decided to start with a good old roast chicken and vegetables, because it is accessible to all, easy to make, fuss free and because most people like it. From it I will outline three more recipes which build on the leftovers from the said roast chicken: a warm winter salad, a chicken pie and a roasted vegetable soup – adding only the very odd ingredient when needed.
Before the list of ingredients, I will provide a shopping list and a list of what comes from my store cupboard, both of which cover the four meals. I would present it in that way if I were to turn this into a whole section too. This is in an attempt to be helpful, but please let me know whether it is or not.
As you will see below, the list of vegetables is by no way prescriptive. I normally go by what is in the fridge. So bear in mind that this is only a snapshot of how I did it that one day and refer to the recipes for alternatives.
The amount of food suits our family of four which includes a six year old; this is plenty for us, but you may need to alter the quantities to suit your family. And if like us, you find roast chicken so moorish that there isn’t much left after the first serving, roast two at a time!
Chicken – 1 large (or 2 small/medium)
Sweet potatoes – 4 medium size
Swede – 1 small
Marrow – 1
Leeks – 2 to 3
Butternut squash – 1 small or ½ of a large one
Any fresh green salad leaves – spinach, baby kale, lettuce…
Beetroot – ready cooked or raw – 2 (for the next day salad, optional)
Avocado – 1 ripe (optional)
Fresh thyme – a few sprigs
Egg – 1
(Lemon – 1 if using for the salad dressing instead of Apple cider vinegar)
From my fridge and store cupboard:
Butter – unsalted
Olive oil – or oil of your choice (macadamia, avocado…) optional
Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Salt and seasoning
Coconut milk for a creamy chicken pie
* If you do not make your own stock from the chicken carcass as outlined in the recipes, you may want to purchase some good quality stock for the soup of the fourth meal. Check the Bone broth recipe if you do wish to make your own and add a carrot, onion or leek and celery to your list.