Over and over I hear people complain that they
don't have the time to cook a big meal every night
of the week.
Well, no shit, Sherlock...
(Or perhaps more importantly,
'Who wants to?' since it leads to
the entire kitchen being a wreck!)
My solution has long been to cook one or two big meals
and then simply divvy them up into leftovers and
freeze them. It's quick, easy, and I have found very few
things that don't freeze and reheat well.
I cook either a full course meal and
then prepare containers with a complete
serving of each, or I fix a 'one-pot' meal
(filled with starches, fiber, veggies, protein
all in one dish.)
You can get the new Tupperware that are
microwave safe (don't emit toxins when
heated) at dollar stores for next to nothing,
and it's a fine investment for the ability
to keep fully cooked meals on hand.
(I own about 40!)
With freezing your meals, they're good for
taking lunches to work, and folks who
don't like the same meal 2 days in a row don't
have to dread leftovers in the refrigerator.
By having multiple sorts of frozen meals on hand,
you can even vary your selection of leftovers
for several nights. And fixing several large meals
is a superb money-savings.
Some good suggestions are lasagna, beef stew
(just mix rice in alongside, and corn bread on top to
freeze,) casseroles, soups, chili, and so on.
With meats and rices, make sure you place any excess juices
from the pan in with the leftovers to help them stay
moist when reheating. If there are no
leftover juices, place a few drops of water over the
top of the food before heating.
Always make sure your Tupperware has had the
lid popped ajar when heating, and it's better
to under-heat and heat again than to overheat.
You can also make a huge salad ahead of time
and eat off of it for a few days before the greens get
limp. This saves doing all of the cleaning and chopping of
vegetables every night. There may be some ingredients
you want to store separately (tomatoes) so as to
better preserve the quality of your salad.