Monday, February 22, 2010

Cook Once, Eat Twice

The response to my few questions from Saturday has been great, thank you all so much for taking the time and sharing your story with me. If you haven't responded yet, please please please do so. I really want to hear from you!

It's Monday and my to-do list is getting shorter and this makes me happy. I feel so much happier and more relaxed when my house is clean. I don't usually let it get out of hand but once in awhile it gets away with me. Rob was a superstar and helped me scour the house on Saturday morning. I'm caught up on laundry as well as feeling much more rested. I have a couple of free days now to start my office project. I'm going to work in there a couple of hours today and tomorrow and see how much I can get done.

So, whatcha been cooking good?

I've been trying on the cook once, eat twice method and I really like it. Last week I made lemon sage chicken on a bed of roasted root vegetables which were transformed into the easiest and yummiest chicken pot pie the next night. I can't get enough roasted root veggies so I made them again yesterday but this time with a mustard glazed pork tenderloin, which will make its way into a pork pot pie tomorrow evening. Saturday evening I made my favorite simple roast chicken (which is the best, most foolproof roast chicken method in the Universe) which will be returning in Cobb Salad this evening. The salad will feature shredded roast chicken breast, 2 ounces of roaring 40's blue cheese, a bit of crumbled bacon, soft poached eggs and homemade vinaigrette. Doesn't that sound good?

So, how do you turn leftover chicken and veggies into pot pie that isn't as heavy as the traditional comfort food? It's so easy! In a sauce pan, melt two tablespoons of Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend or unsalted butter then stir in two tablespoons of whole wheat flour. Cook until it's thick and starting to brown. Then whisk in one cup of 2% milk and one cup of low sodium chicken stock, stirring constantly over med-high heat until it comes to a boil. It will start to thicken. Toss in your leftover chicken and veggies, add some frozen peas, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until it's all combined and warmed through. Turn mixture into a pie dish and top with prepared puff pastry, cutting off the excess around the edges. Brush the pastry with egg wash, cut a hole to vent the steam and pop into a 400 degree oven and bake until the pastry is puffed and golden. This will serve 4 people alone, 6 people if you add a big salad. For the pork pot pie, I'm going to add some sauteed cremini mushrooms and some dry mustard when I season the sauce.

What are the benefits of cooking once and eating twice?

1. Helps avoid boredom! Boredom can undo a healthy lifestyle faster than you can dial Lucky China.

2. Reduces waste and saves money! I used to waste so much food, I feel guilty just thinking about it. But now, I waste nothing. Who am I to throw food away when there are so many people in this country struggling to make ends meet?

3. It's easy!

There are some good resources out there for cook one, eat twice recipes. Robin Miller of the Food Network is the first that comes to mind. A quick Google search has lots of results, too.

Edited to add: One closing thought. When I was at the gym this morning I was listening to the Fat 2 Fit podcast. The guys were talking to a yoga instructor and she said something that really resonated with me. She said, referring to how yoga is something that is progressive, a practice that you can grow with, "Your habits, good or bad, will eventually catch up with you." Think about it.


  1. You're making me want to make a pot pie of some sort tonight...hmm. I don't have much, but I'm a fan of altering recipes anyway. Maybe I'll see what I can come up with.

  2. I usually just make enough to eat a bunch of times. I made lentil soup, have been eating it, giving it to friends, neighbors. Sometimes it's hard to make small amounts, but I can only eat the same meal 2-3 days in a row, regardless of how much I might love it. If I can freeze, awesome, but many people don't cook, love home-made food. I feed people, earn brownie points, make sure my friends are nourished.