Dinner Made Easy – Two In One Meals
The Hectic Holidays. It is this time of year that we all too often meet ourselves coming and going. Multi-tasking is the norm. We are on the phone with Aunt Sue, making Thanksgiving plans while tossing a load of laundry in the washer, helping with homework and making dinner. Oh, wait. Not making dinner – trying to figure out what to fix for dinner. Ugh. Maybe you should start creating Two-In-One meals.
Two-In-One meals is just as it sounds. Make one meal, and stretch it into two. One way this can be done is by making enough at one time for two meals. Spaghetti sauce is perfect for this. Double you batch, and freeze the leftovers. Next time you are in a pinch, pull it out in the morning to allow it to thaw, then pour it into a pan to heat. By the time the spaghetti is done, the sauce is ready, and dinner is served.
Other double batch meals are soups and casseroles. After one week of double-batching it, your freezer will be loaded with quick and easy meals for those hectic days.
Another Two-In-One meal idea is simple as well. Bake a main dish, such as roast beef or chicken. For your sides, add steamed veggies, such as carrots, peas, beans, or potatoes. Toss all the leftovers into one bowl – including chopping up the remaining meat, and adding it to the bowl. For the next meal, use the leftovers to create a soup.
I did that last week, and it worked like a dream.
Here was Meal One:
This is actually one of the easiest meals to make.
Here is how to do it:
Wash a whole chicken. Season it to preference (we use garlic and onion powder, with a splash of Tony Chachere’s). Place chicken in a roasting pan. Add 2 cups chicken stock to pan. Put the lid on, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 2 hours. (You will need to adjust cooking time depending on the size of the bird).
Approximately 1 hour before the chicken is done, start your lima beans.
4 slices Bacon, cut into 1” pieces
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cups Lima Beans (fresh, frozen, or three cans)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon in a small saucepan, until at least 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease appears. Add onions, and saute until clear. Add lima beans, and allow to saute for a couple of minutes. Cover the lima beans with water (at least 1” over the beans). Add seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Allow to simmer until the beans are tender.
30 minutes before the Chicken is Done:
Scrape 1 large bag of carrots. Slice into 1/2″ rounds. Put in a steamer, and cook until soft.
Once the carrots are done, everything else should be ready as well.
When prepping this meal, take into consideration the number of people you are serving. If feeding a large crowd, you can double the amount you need. Remember, you just need enough to give your soup some bulk.
Store the leftover carrots and lima beans in one bowl. Debone the chicken, chop into chunks, and store in a second bowl. This will be the beginning of your soup.
Ready to make your Cream of Chicken Soup – Paradise Plantation Style? I made it easy for you. Download the FREE RECIPE right here. That way, you can keep it in front of you while you create it at home!
You can follow this same process with almost any meal. Think ahead to what soup you would like to create, then base your main meal on what you will need. Or, you can create a main meal, and get creative with the type of soup or second meal you can make. Leftover roast makes great stews. Pork chops can be chopped and made into BBQ pork sandwiches. Chicken can be used for just about anything. And turkey? The best sandwiches in the world are made with my Aunt Dot’s Hot Rolls.
Do you do Two-In-One meals? Please share your recipes and ideas in the Comments below. We all have hectic schedules during the holidays, and need all the help we can get. Need more ideas or recipes? Just ask! I will go through my recipe box and see what I can share. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Want to read more about baking? Visit me at these fun posts!